Friday March 24th


Wall Street seen mixed as investors eye health-care bill

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a mixed open on Friday as traders await a vote for the Republican-led health-care bill. President Donald Trump warned the Republican members of the House that he will leave Obamacare unchanged if they do not approve the bill. On the data front, durable goods orders rose 1.7 percent in February. The latest manufacturing PMIs are also due at 9:45 am ET. On the earnings front, Finish Line reported mixed results, but the stock tumbled more than 10 percent in the premarket. In Europe, the pan-European Stoxx-600 index was around 0.4 percent lower on Friday. In Asia, the Shanghai Composite in China closed 0.63 percent higher, while the Nikkei in Japan closed 0.93 percent higher. In oil markets, Brent crude traded at around $50.87 a barrel on Friday, up 0.61 percent, while U.S. crude was around $48.02 a barrel, up 0.7 percent. Gold was on track for a second weekly gain on Friday as concern about the ability of U.S. President Donald Trump to push legislation through Congress held the dollar near 7-week lows, making bullion cheaper for holders of other currencies. Spot gold was up 0.04 percent at $1,245.35 per ounce. On Thursday, it touched its strongest since Feb. 28 at $1,253.12. The yellow metal was on track for its second straight week of gains.