Friday January 29th


Dow futures up 100 again after GDP, surprise BOJ decision

U.S. stock index futures indicated a higher open on Friday after the Bank of Japan unexpectedly adopted a negative interest rate policy. Dow futures reclaimed an earlier rise of more than 100 points after the advance read on the fourth-quarter showed U.S. GDP increased at a 0.7 percent annual rate, in-line with expectations but down sharply from the 2.0 percent rate in the third quarter. The economy grew 2.4 percent in 2015 after a similar expansion in 2014. The gains in Dow futures came despite a 1.5 percent drop in Chevron shares in pre-market trade after the firm unexpectedly posted a loss. Yields held near earlier lows after the GDP report. Global equities climbed after the Bank of Japan's surprise announcement, with the Nikkei reversing mild losses to close up 2.8 percent. The Shanghai composite closed 3.09 percent higher. European stocks traded nearly 1 percent higher as of 8:06 a.m. ET. Treasury yields edged lower to hit multi-month lows, with the 2-year yield below 0.8 percent and the 10-year yield near 1.92 percent. The U.S. dollar traded about 0.9 percent higher against major world currencies, with the euro back below $1.09 and the yen at 121.23 yen against the greenback. Nasdaq futures also held slightly higher. A 10 percent drop in Amazon shares in pre-market trade offset gains in Microsoft shares. Microsoft beat on both the top and bottom line, helped by improvement in its cloud services business as well as cost-cutting. posted quarterly profit substantially below expectations. Revenue was slightly below forecasts as well, and the shares came under immediate pressure despite the highest-ever quarterly profit ever posted by the online retail giant. The Bank of Japan was not expected to take significant action on monetary policy at its meeting this week. The employment cost index for the fourth quarter showed a rise of 0.6 percent, unchanged from the prior quarter. The Chicago PMI follows at 9:45 a.m., with consumer sentiment due at 10:00 a.m. On the earnings front, Chevron, Colgate-Palmolive, MasterCard, American Airlines Group and Air Products are all expected before the bell. Oil rose on Friday, ending the week sharply higher, on expectations of a deal by major exporters to cut production to reduce the massive over-supply that has sent prices tumbling. Brent futures have jumped more than a quarter since hitting an intra-day low of $27.10 a barrel on Jan. 20. It hit an intraday high on Thursday of $35.85. Brent had risen 60 cents to $34.49 a barrel by 9 a.m. ET, after ending up 79 cents, or 2.4 percent on Thursday, and is heading for its fourth straight session of gains. U.S. crude climbed 56 cents to $33.78 a barrel, having settled up 92 cents, or 2.9 percent, at $33.22 on Thursday. U.S. crude is also set for almost 6 percent weekly gain. Gold edged lower on Friday as the dollar strengthened, but prices were still on track for their strongest monthly climb in a year after global economic headwinds hit riskier assets. The metal has risen nearly 5 percent in January, underpinned by concerns over the world's growth outlook, especially China, which has raised questions about the pace of interest rate rises in the United States. Spot gold was down 0.1 percent at $1,113.26 an ounce, while U.S. gold for February delivery was down 0.2 percent at $1,113.90 an ounce. The metal reached a 12-week high of $1,127.80 on Wednesday, after the Federal Reserve said it was closely watching the global economy and financial markets. This supported the view that U.S. policymakers may not be able to raise interest rates again as soon as March.