Friday February 17th


Wall Street expected to open lower as Trump rally pauses

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Friday ahead of the Presidents' Day holiday weekend. While the Dow eeked out another record closing high on Thursday, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq snapped a 7-day winning streak. Stocks have risen on the hope President Donald Trump will cut taxes and regulations. As the fourth-quarter earnings season comes to a close, Campbell Soup, Deere and Bloomin' Brands are among companies thate reported before the bell. There's not much in the way of data, with only the leading index scheduled to be released at 10 a.m. ET. In Europe, the pan European Stoxx 600 Index was around 0.24 percent lower on Friday morning. Asia markets finished mostly lower on Friday, as Samsung Group shares were in focus following the arrest of its chief. Japanese shares were lower, with the Nikkei Stock Average closing down 112.91 points, or 0.58 percent, to 19,234.62 and the Topix fell by 6.53 points, or 0.42 percent, to 1,544.54. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index was off by 0.50 percent. Chinese mainland shares were lower, with the Shanghai composite closing down 27.65 points, or 0.86 percent, to 3,201.96 and the Shenzhen composite fell 13 points, or 0.66 percent, to 1,945.10. In oil markets, Brent crude traded at around $55.32 a barrel on Friday, down 0.59 percent, while U.S. crude was around $53.09 a barrel, down 0.51 percent. Gold crept higher on Friday as investors opted for the safe haven qualities of bullion due to uncertainty about U.S. and European politics as well as the direction of stock markets. Spot gold gained 0.28 percent to $1,242.27 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures added 0.14 percent to $1,243.30. Gold, on track for a third week of gains, has risen about 7.5 percent in 2017.