U.S. Stocks May Move To The Upside On Upbeat Earnings News

After ending yesterday’s extremely volatile session mostly lower, stocks are likely to move to the upside in early trading on Friday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 228 points.

A positive reaction to the latest batch of earnings may contribute to early strength on Wall Street, with apparel retailer Gap (GPS) moving notably higher in pre-market trading after unexpectedly returning to profitability in the third quarter on sales that exceeded analyst estimates.

Semiconductor equipment maker Applied Materials (AMAT) is also likely to move to the upside after reporting fiscal fourth quarter results that beat analyst estimates on both the top and bottom lines and providing upbeat guidance.

Shares of Ross Stores (ROST) and Palo Alto Networks (PANW) are also moving sharply higher in pre-market trading after reporting better than expected quarterly results.

Overall trading activity may be somewhat subdued, however, as some traders may stick to the sidelines following the recent volatility on Wall Street.

Shortly after the start of trading, the National Association of Realtors is scheduled to release its report on existing home sales in the month of October. Existing home sales are expected to edge down by 0.1 percent in October after slumping by 1.5 percent in September.

The Conference Board is also due to release its report on leading economic indicators in the month of October. The leading economic index is expected to fall by 0.4 percent in October, matching the drop seen in September.

Stocks went on another wild ride over the course of the trading day on Thursday, extending the volatility seen in recent sessions. After recovering from an early sell-off, the major averages pulled back once again to end the day in negative territory.

The major averages moved back to the upside going into the close but finished the session in the red. While the Dow edged down 7.51 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 33,546.32, the Nasdaq fell 38.70 points or 0.4 percent to 11,144.96 and the S&P 500 dipped 12.23 points or 0.3 percent to 3,946.56.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index edged down by 0.1 percent, while South Korea’s Kospi inched up by 0.1 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the upside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index has jumped by 1.3 percent, the German DAX Index is up by 1.2 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.9 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are slumping $1.69 to $79.95 a barrel after plunging $3.95 to $81.64 a barrel on Thursday. Meanwhile, after falling $12.80 to $1,763 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are inching up $2.70 to $1,765.70 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 139.84 yen versus the 140.20 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Thursday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.0379 compared to yesterday’s $1.0362.

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