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Futures Pointing To Continued Strength On Wall Street

Stocks may move to the upside in early trading on Friday, adding to the modest gains seen at the close of yesterday’s lackluster session. The major index futures are currently pointing to a higher open for the markets, with the S&P 500 futures up by 0.4 percent.

The markets appear poised to extend their recent upward trend, which has lifted the Dow and the S&P 500 to new record highs.

With the recent strength in the markets, the Nasdaq is also closing in on the record highs the tech-heavy index set in November of 2021.

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Traders are likely to pay close attention to whether the S&P 500 can finish the day above 5,000. The broad market index peeked above 5,000 on Thursday but closed slightly below what could be a key psychological level.

Overall trading activity may be somewhat subdued, however, as a lack of major U.S. economic data may keep some traders on the sidelines.

Traders may be reluctant to make significant moves ahead of the release of key data next week, including reports on consumer and producer price inflation, retail sales and industrial production.

Among individual stocks, shares of Cloudflare (NET) are soaring in pre-market trading after the cloud services provider reported fourth quarter results that beat expectations and provided upbeat guidance.

Bitcoin miner CleanSpark (CLSK) is also seeing substantial pre-market strength after reporting an unexpected fiscal first quarter profit on better than expected revenues.

Meanwhile, shares of Pinterest (PINS) are moving sharply lower in pre-market trading after the image-sharing company reported weaker than expected fourth quarter revenues and provided disappointing guidance.

Video game publisher Take-Two Interactive Software (TTWO) may also come under pressure after reporting fiscal third quarter earnings that came in slightly below analyst estimates and issuing a lackluster forecast.

Following the strong upward move seen over the course of Wednesday’s session, stocks turned in a relatively lackluster performance during trading on Thursday. Despite the choppy trading, the S&P 500 and the Dow reached new record closing highs.

The major averages all finished the day modestly higher. The Dow inched up 48.97 points or 0.1 percent to 38,726.33, the Nasdaq rose 37.07 points or 0.2 percent to 15,793.71 and the S&P 500 inched up 2.85 points or 0.1 percent to 4,997.91.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance, with markets including China and South Korea closed for holidays. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index inched up by 0.1 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slid by 0.8 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets are little changed on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.1 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index are nearly unchanged.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are edging down $0.07 to $76.15 a barrel after surging $2.36 to $76.22 a barrel on Thursday. Meanwhile, after slipping $3.80 to $2,047.90 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are dipping $6.40 to $2,041.50 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 149.27 yen versus the 149.32 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Thursday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.0784 compared to yesterday’s $1.0768.

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