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

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With traders returning to their desks following the holiday on Thursday, stocks may move 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 53 points.

Rising tensions in Hong Kong may weigh on Wall Street amid concerns widespread protests could impact the ability of the U.S. and China to reach a phase on trade deal.

Traders may also look to take some profits after the upward trend see over the past several sessions lifted the major averages to new record highs.

However, the markets have recently shown a resistance to giving back much ground, with traders seemingly concerned about missing out on further upside.

Overall trading activity is likely to remain subdued, as some traders to the sidelines following the holiday on Thursday.

A lack of major U.S. economic news may also contribute to light trading activity along with the early close for the markets.

Extending the upward trend seen over the past few sessions, stocks moved mostly higher over the course of the trading day on Wednesday. Buying interest was somewhat subdued, but the major averages still managed to reach new record closing highs.

The major averages all closed in positive territory, with the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 just off their highs of the session. The Dow rose 42.32 points or 0.2 percent to 28,164.00, the Nasdaq advanced 57.24 points or 0.7 percent to 8,705.18 and the S&P 500 climbed 13.11 points or 0.4 percent to 3,153.63.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Friday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index fell by 0.5 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index plunged by 2 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets are turning in a mixed performance on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index has slipped by 0.3 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index are up by 0.2 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are slipping $0.16 to $57.95 a barrel after falling $0.30 to $58.11 a barrel on Wednesday. Meanwhile, after sliding $6.60 to $1,460.80 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are edging down $0.30 to $1,460.50 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 109.61 yen compared to the 109.51 yen it fetched on Thursday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.0987 compared to yesterday's $1.1009.

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