Friday November 24th


US futures point to a higher open, ahead of key data

U.S. stocks futures pointed to a higher open Friday, as investors gear up for more data during a shortened trading day. Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 56 points, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 7.75 points and 11.75 points, respectively. Markets will be opening back up stateside, after taking a day off Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday. Trade in the U.S., however, will be shortened, with markets such as the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) finishing trade earlier. Markets in Europe and Asia are trading as usual. Prior to the Thanksgiving holiday, the Federal Open Market Committee released minutes from its latest meeting. In the release, the U.S. central bank delivered an overall optimistic view when it came to economic growth, yet showed signs of slight concern that financial market prices could be getting out of hand. On the data front, Flash US composite purchasing managers index (PMI) data is set to be released at 9:45 a.m. ET. In energy markets, crude prices ticked higher, with U.S. oil building on recent gains, as a major pipeline shutdown from Canada to the U.S. tightened North American markets. U.S. crude rose 1.2 percent to trade at $58.72 per barrel. While no major earnings are set to be published Friday, investors are likely to be paying close attention to how certain retailers perform as the Black Friday shopping spree commences. Elsewhere, tax reform will remain at the back of investors minds. Earlier this week, U.S. President Donald Trump stated that the administration was going to "give the American people a huge tax cut for Christmas," according to the Associated Press. Concerns still linger on Wall Street, however, as to whether a deal will come about by the end of the year. Looking to markets in other regions, trade in Europe was fluctuated around the flat line Friday, while markets in Asia ended the session mostly mixed to higher. Japan's Nikkei 225 reversed early losses to close up 0.12 percent at 22,550.85 as markets reopened for trade after a day off. Across the Korean Strait, the Kospi tacked on 0.28 percent to end at 2,544.33. In China, the benchmark Shanghai Composite eked out gains of 0.06 percent to close at 3,353.82 after trading in negative territory earlier in the day. The index finished the week 1.14 percent lower. The Shenzhen Composite meanwhile lost 0.09 percent to end at 1,922.72, closing the week down 2.5 percent. Gold prices dipped on Friday as some investors locked in profits at the end of the week, but there are expectations that the market could advance towards $1,300 next week. Spot gold was down 0.19 percent at $1,288.39 per ounce by 8 a.m. ET. Bullion was down about 0.4 percent for the week. U.S. gold futures for December delivery dipped 0.33 percent to $1,288.