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U.S. Stocks May Give Back Ground Following Recent Rebound

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A rebound over the past few sessions has largely offset the sell-off seen on Monday, but stocks are likely to move back to the downside in early trading on Friday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a lower open for the markets, with the Dow futures down by 220 points.

Lingering concerns about the escalating trade dispute between the U.S. and China are likely to weigh on the markets early in the session.

President Donald Trump has sought to blame China for backing out of a nearly completed trade deal, although a spokesperson for China's Ministry of Commerce claims the U.S. is responsible for serious setbacks in the trade talks.

Commerce Ministry spokesperson Gao Feng accused the Trump administration of "bullying behavior" with a recent increase in tariffs, according to state-run Chinese news agency Xinhua.

"It is regrettable that the U.S. side unilaterally escalated trade disputes, which resulted in severe negotiating setbacks," Gao said.

He added, "We urge the U.S. side to correct wrongdoings as soon as possible to avoid causing heavier damages to businesses and consumers in both countries and dragging down the global economy."

Shortly after the start of trading, the University of Michigan is scheduled to release its preliminary report on consumer sentiment in the month of May. The consumer sentiment index is expected to inch up to 97.5 in May from 97.2 in April.

The Conference Board is also due to release its report on leading economic indicators in the month of April. Economists expect the leading economic index to rise by 0.3 percent.

Stocks moved mostly higher during the trading day on Thursday, extending the upward move seen over the course of the two previous sessions. With the continued advance, the major averages have largely offset the steep drop seen on Monday.

The major averages gave back some ground in afternoon trading but remained firmly positive. The Dow climbed 214.66 points or 0.8 percent to 25,862.68, the Nasdaq jumped 75.90 points or 1 percent to 7,898.05 and the S&P 500 advanced 25.36 points or 0.9 percent to 2,876.32.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Friday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index advanced by 0.9 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite Index plunged by 2.5 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the downside following recent strength. While the German DAX Index has slumped by 1.2 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is down by 0.7 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is down by 0.5 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are rising $0.40 to $63.27 a barrel after climbing $0.85 to $62.87 a barrel on Thursday. Meanwhile, after tumbling $11.60 to $1,286.20 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are slipping $0.50 to $1,285.70 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 109.60 yen versus the 109.85 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Thursday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1172 compared to yesterday's $1.1174.

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