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U.S. Stocks May See Initial Weakness On Renewed Coronavirus Worries

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Following the roller coaster ride seen in the previous session, 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 157 points.

Concerns about a second wave of coronavirus infections in Europe may contribute to early selling pressure on Wall Street.

The U.K. and France both reported their biggest increases in new coronavirus cases since the pandemic began on Thursday.

The surge in cases in Europe has raised concerns about the economic impact of new restrictions, although President Donald Trump has ruled out another lockdown in the U.S.

Adding to the negative sentiment, the Commerce Department released a report showing a much smaller than expected increase in durable goods orders in the month of August.

The Commerce Department said durable goods orders rose by 0.4 percent in August after soaring by an upwardly revised 11.7 percent in July.

Economists had expected durable goods orders to surge up by 1.5 percent compared to the 11.4 percent spike that had been reported for the previous month.

Excluding a 0.5 percent increase in orders for transportation equipment, durable goods orders still climbed by 0.4 percent in August following a 3.2 jump in July. Ex-transportation orders were expected to shoot up by 1.5 percent.

Traders may also keep an eye on developments in Washington amid reports House Democrats plan to unveil a new $2.4 trillion coronavirus relief bill.

The price tag for the bill is $1 trillion less than a stimulus package the House passed back in May but may still be too high for Republicans.

After ending Wednesday's trading sharply lower, stocks showed wild swings over the course of the trading day on Thursday. The major averages spent the day bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before closing modestly higher.

The Dow fell as much as 226 points and jumped as much as 331 points before ending the day up 52.31 points or 0.2 percent at 26,815.44. The Nasdaq climbed 39.28 points or 0.4 percent to 10,672.27 and the S&P 500 rose 9.67 points or 0.3 percent at 3,246.59.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Friday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index rose by 0.5 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite Index edged down by 0.1 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the downside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index has fallen by 0.4 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index are both down by 1.6 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are slipping $0.28 to $40.03 a barrel after rising $0.38 to $40.31 a barrel on Thursday. Meanwhile, after climbing $8.50 to $1,876.90 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are tumbling $16.80 to $1,860.10 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 105.45 yen versus the 105.41 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Thursday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1638 compared to yesterday's $1.1672.

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