Friday September 8th


Futures point to a lower open on Wall Street as investors await data

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Friday, as investors took note of the weaker trading seen overseas, while awaiting more data releases. Dow Jones industrial average futures declined 90 points, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures pulled back 9.25 points and 20 points, respectively. When it comes to data, wholesale trade is set to come out at 10:00 a.m. ET, followed by consumer credit at 3:00 p.m. ET. Meanwhile in earnings, Kroger is set to report before the bell. In central bank news, Philadelphia Federal Reserve President Patrick Harker is expected to deliver remarks at the "New Perspectives on Consumer Behavior in Credit and Payments Markets" Conference in Philadelphia at 8:45 a.m. ET. In commodities, oil prices have been closely watched in recent trading sessions as investors show signs of concern when it comes to the possible chaos that Hurricane Irma could inflict on the U.S. and its businesses. At 7:02 a.m. ET, oil prices fluctuated with U.S. crude trading at $48.95 per barrel, while Brent hovered at $54.71. In the U.S., investors will be watching closely for any updates out of the White House, in light of the recent political news that has rocked markets as of late, including escalating tensions with North Korea and talk of a short-term extension of the debt ceiling and government funding plan, in light of the chaos Hurricane Harvey inflicted on the country. Overseas, European stocks were trading under pressure during early market trade, while markets in Asia closed on a mostly negative note. Japan's Nikkei 225 slipped 0.63 percent, or 121.7 points, to close at 19,274.82, after touching its lowest levels since May this year. Second-quarter gross domestic product data released earlier in the morning showed the economy grew 2.5 percent on-year, below the 4.0 percent growth estimated in a preliminary reading. Across the Korean Strait, the Kospi edged down 0.11 percent to close at 2,343.72. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index advanced 0.48 percent by 3:23 p.m. HK/SIN. On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite erased earlier gains to close flat at 3,365.4406, and the Shenzhen Composite gained 0.159 percent to end at 1,975.8693. Gold prices rose to their highest in more than a year on Friday as weak economic data reduced expectations of another interest rate increase in the United States this year, U.S. bond yields fell and the dollar plunged to its weakest since early 2015. Spot gold was up 0.33 percent at $1,353.20. Earlier in the session, it marked its strongest since August last year. It was up over 2 percent for the week, on track for a third weekly gain. U.S. gold futures for December delivery rose 0.57 percent to $1,358.