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U.S. Stocks May Show A Lack Of Direction In Early Trading

wallstreet oct16 20nov20 lt

Stocks may show a lack of direction in early trading on Friday following the volatility seen over the past few sessions. The major index futures are currently pointing to a mixed open for the markets, as the Dow futures are down by 64 points but the Nasdaq futures are up by 2 points.

Traders may stick to the sidelines early in the day, as stocks have turned in a lackluster performance for much of the past two sessions before showing significant moves late in the trading day.

Mixed developments regarding the coronavirus pandemic may also keep trading activity subdued, as traders digest upbeat news on the vaccine front along with a continued spike in new cases.

Pfizer (PFE) and BioNTech (BNTX) have announced they will submit a request today to the FDA for Emergency Use Authorization of their coronavirus vaccine candidate.

"Filing in the U.S. represents a critical milestone in our journey to deliver a COVID-19 vaccine to the world and we now have a more complete picture of both the efficacy and safety profile of our vaccine, giving us confidence in its potential," said Dr. Albert Bourla, Pfizer Chairman and CEO.

Meanwhile, the continued surge in new cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the U.S. has raised concerns new restrictions and lockdowns will dampen the economy recovery.

A lack of major U.S. economic data may also keep some traders from make significant moves following the slew of reports released over the past few days.

Among individual stocks, housewares retailer Williams-Sonoma (WSM) is also seeing significant pre-market strength after reporting third quarter results that exceeded analyst estimates on both the top and bottom lines.

Foot Locker (FL) may also move to the upside after the sportswear and footwear retailer reported better than expected third quarter results.

On the day, shares of Workday (WDAY) may come under pressure after the cloud-software company reported third quarter results that beat estimates but warned about the lingering effects of the pandemic.

In a reversal of the performance seen on Wednesday, stocks moved higher late in the trading day on Thursday after turning in a lackluster performance for much of the session. The major averages all moved to the upside, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq outperforming its counterparts.

The major averages finished the session near their best levels of the day. The Nasdaq advanced 103.11 points or 0.9 percent to 11,904.71, while the Dow edged up 44.81 points or 0.2 percent to 29,483.23 and the S&P 500 rose 14.08 points or 0.4 percent to 3,581.87.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific once again turned in a mixed performance during trading on Friday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index fell by 0.4 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite Index rose by 0.4 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the upside on the day. Currently, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index are all climbing by 0.4 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are rising $0.24 to $41.98 a barrel after edging down $0.08 to $41.74 a barrel on Thursday. Meanwhile, after sliding $12.40 to $1,861.50 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are climbing $4.70 to $1,866.20 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 103.81 yen versus the 103.74 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Thursday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1867 compared to yesterday's $1.1875.

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