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Stocks May Extend Yesterday's Rebound In Early Trading - U.S. Commentary


Following the rebound seen in the previous session, stocks may continue to regain ground 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 29 points.

The markets may continue to benefit from bargain hunting, as stocks remain at relatively low levels following the sell-off seen on Wednesday.

The Trump administration's announcement of its intent to renegotiate NAFTA has also helped ease concerns about the president's ability to deliver on his economic agenda due to recent scandals.

During a press conference after the close of trading on Thursday, President Donald Trump said he respects the decision to appoint former FBI Director Robert Mueller to serve as Special Counsel to oversee the investigation of Russian meddling in the presidential election

However, Trump reiterated his claim that the Russia investigation is a witch hunt and once again declared there was no collusion between his presidential campaign and Russia.

Trump argued that the Russia investigation is dividing the country and suggested the focus should be on the progress that has been made in the early days of his administration.

A lack of major U.S economic data may keep some traders on the sidelines, although remarks by a pair of Federal Reserve officials are likely to attract some attention.

Among individual stocks, shares of Autodesk (ADSK) are moving sharply higher in pre-market trading after the design software maker reported a narrower than expected first quarter loss on revenues that beat estimates.

Apparel retailer Gap (GPS) is also likely to see early strength after reporting first quarter results that exceeded expectations and raising its first-half guidance.

Meanwhile, shares of Foot Locker (FL) are likely to come under pressure after the athletic apparel and footwear retailer reported first quarter results that came in below analyst estimates.

Soup maker Campbell Soup (CPB) may also see early weakness after reporting fiscal third quarter results that missed estimates and lowering its full-year sales guidance.

After recovering from an early move to the downside, stocks moved mostly higher over the course of the trading session on Thursday. With the upward move on the day, the major averages partly offset the steep losses posted on Wednesday.

The major averages ended the day firmly in positive territory but off their highs of the session. The Dow rose 56.09 points or 0.3 percent to 20,663.02, the Nasdaq advanced 43.89 points or 0.7 percent to 6,055.13 and the S&P 500 climbed 8.69 points or 0.4 percent to 2,365.72.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Friday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index crept up by 0.2 percent, while Australia's All Ordinaries Index edged down by 0.1 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index has risen by 0.2 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index are up by 0.4 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are climbing $0.61 to $49.96 a barrel after rising $0.28 to $49.35 a barrel on Thursday. Meanwhile, after sliding $5.90 to $1,252.80 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are inching up $0.60 to $1,253.40 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 111.26 yen compared to the 111.49 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Thursday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1179 compared to yesterday's $1.1103.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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