U.S. Stocks May Regain Ground Following Yesterday's Sell-Off

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Following the sell-off seen in the previous session, stocks may regain ground in early trading on Friday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a modestly higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 28 points.

Bargain hunting may contribute to initial strength on Wall Street, as some traders look to pick up stocks at reduced levels following the steep drop seen on Thursday.

The Dow had its worst day of 2022 in the previous session, while the S&P 500 saw its biggest daily percentage drop in two weeks.

News that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken have agreed to meet in Europe next week may also help ease concerns about an imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Buying interest may remain somewhat subdued, however, as geopolitical concerns and worries about the outlook for interest rates continue to weigh on investors' minds.

Shortly after the start of trading, the National Association of Realtors is scheduled to release its report on existing home sales in the month of January.

Existing home sales are expected to decrease by 1.0 percent in January after plunging by 6.4 percent in December.

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

Following the recovery attempt seen late in Wednesday's sessions, stocks showed a substantial move back to the downside during trading on Thursday. The major averages all showed significant moves to the downside, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq helping to lead the way lower.

The major averages saw further downside going into the close, ending the session near their worst levels of the day. The Dow tumbled 622.24 points or 1.8 percent to 34,312.03, the Nasdaq plunged 407.38 points or 2.9 percent to 13,716.72 and the S&P 500 dove 94.75 points or 2.1 percent to 4,380.26.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region 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 climbed by 0.7 percent.

The major European markets have also turned mixed on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.2 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is down by 0.3 percent and the German DAX Index is down by 0.6 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are plunging $2.19 to $89.57 a barrel after tumbling $1.90 to $91.76 a barrel on Thursday. Meanwhile, after jumping $30.50 to $1,902 an ounce an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are slipping $1.90 to $1,900.10 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 115.01 yen versus the 114.94 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Thursday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1353 compared to yesterday's $1.1361.

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