U.S. Stocks May Regain Ground Following Recent Weakness

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Stocks are likely to move to the upside in early trading on Friday, regaining ground after trending lower over the past few sessions. The major index futures are currently pointing to a higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 174 points.

Traders may look to pick up stocks at somewhat reduced levels after the Dow and the S&P 500 closed lower for the fourth straight session on Thursday.

The Dow ended Thursday's trading at its lowest closing level in a month, and the major averages are all currently lower for the week.

Buying interest may be somewhat subdued, however, as traders continue to express concerns about the economic impact of the delta variant.

Traders may also be wary of making significant moves ahead of the Federal Reserve's next monetary policy meeting later this month.

The Fed may provide an update on the plans for its asset purchase program, although recent signs of slowing economic momentum may lead the central bank to push back tapering.

In U.S. economic news, the Labor Department released a report showing producer prices increased by slightly more than expected in the month of August.

The Labor Department said its producer price index for final demand climbed by 0.7 percent in August after jumping by 1.0 percent for two straight months. Economists had expected producer prices to increase by 0.6 percent.

Excluding prices for food, energy and trade services, core producer prices rose by 0.3 percent in August following a 0.9 percent advance in July. Core prices were expected to rise by 0.4 percent.

After failing to sustain an early move to the upside, stocks moved mostly lower over the course of the trading session on Thursday. The major averages pulled back well off their early highs and into negative territory.

The major averages all finished the day in the red, with the Dow and the S&P 500 closing lower for the fourth straight session. The Dow fell 151.69 points or 0.4 percent to 34,879.38, the Nasdaq dipped 38.38 points or 0.3 percent to 15,248.25 and the S&P 500 slid 20.79 points or 0.5 percent to 4,493.28.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Friday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index jumped by 1.3 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index surged up by 1.9 percent.

The major European markets have also moved to the upside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index has risen by 0.3 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index and the German DAX Index are both up by 0.4 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are jumping $1.24 to $69.38 a barrel after tumbling $1.16 to $68.14 a barrel on Thursday. Meanwhile, after rising $6.50 to $1,800 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are slipping $3.20 to $1,796.80 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 109.89 yen versus the 109.72 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Thursday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1830 compared to yesterday's $1.1825.

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