After turning higher over the course of the previous session, stocks could see some further upside in early trading on Friday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a modestly higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 15 points.
The markets may benefit from recent optimism about the outlook for the U.S. economy as well as easing concerns about the financial situation in Europe.
Nonetheless, buying interest may be somewhat subdued, as traders question whether the global economic situation supports further upside for the markets. Specifically, the Dow may face resistance near the key 13,000 level.
Shortly after the open, trading could be impacted by the release of Reuters and the University of Michigan's final report on consumer sentiment in the month of February. The consumer sentiment index for February is expected to be upwardly revised to 73.0 from the preliminary reading of 72.5.
The Commerce Department is also scheduled to release its report on new home sales in the month of January. Economists expect new home sales to increase to an annual rate of 315,000 in January from 307,000 in December.
In corporate news, shares of J.C. Penney (JCP) may be in focus after the department store operator reported a fourth quarter loss compared to a year-ago profit. Excluding restructuring charges, however, the company reported a profit that exceeded analyst estimates.
by RTT Staff Writer
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