Stock futures are up on hopes that diplomacy will ease tensions between Russia and Ukraine

U.S. stock futures traded higher on Friday, paring losses from Thursday’s plunge on growing concerns over the possibility of Russia invading Ukraine.

The major futures indices suggest a 0.5% gain when the opening bell rings.

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Thursday’s market decline saw the S&P 500 take its biggest drop in two weeks as major indices saw their weekly gains disappear.

The sell-off came as President Biden warned that Russia, which is believed to have built up some 150,000 military forces near Ukraine’s borders, could invade within days. Dignitaries rushed to find solutions, but suspicions between East and West only grew, as NATO allies dismissed Russian claims it was withdrawing troops from drills which had fueled fears of an attack.

The price of gold, traditionally a safe haven in times of geopolitical uncertainty, rose 1.6%.

GOLD REACHES A NINE-MONTH HIGH ON RUSSIA AND UKRAINE

Deere & Company will help wrap up a busy revenue week. Also watch for numbers from parent company Outback Steakhouse Bloomin’ Brands and sports betting firm DraftKings.

On the economic agenda, keep an eye on existing home sales for the month of January. The National Association of Realtors is expected to say sales of previously owned homes fell 1% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.1 million units. That would follow a stronger-than-expected decline of 4.6% in December due to high prices and low inventories.

In addition, the Conference Board’s leading economic index will be released for January. Watch for a 0.2% increase from the previous month.

In European trading, London’s FTSE rose 0.3%, Germany’s DAX 0.3% and France’s CAC 0.7%.

In Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 lost 0.4%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 1.9% and China’s Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.7%.

Teleprinter Security Last Change Change %
Me: DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 34312.03 -622.24 -1.78%
SP500 S&P500 4380.26 -94.75 -2.12%
I: COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 13716.719187 -407.38 -2.88%

About 85% of stocks in the benchmark S&P 500 losing 2.1% closed lower on Thursday. It fell 94.75 points to 4,380.26 and now sits 8.7% below the all-time high it hit on January 3.

The Dow Jones slipped 622.24 points to 34,312.03, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 407.38 points to 13,716.72.

The technology sector was the biggest drag on the index, along with communications stocks and companies that rely on consumer spending. Microsoft fell 2.9%, Facebook parent company Meta fell 4.1% and Nike fell 2.5%.

WALMART STOCK JUMPS AS RETAILER RAISES FORECAST DESPITE INFLATION

But some companies have done well on the back of strong earnings. walmart, the world’s largest retailer, rose 4% after posting strong financial results in the fourth quarter. Cisco Systems, which makes routers, gained 2.8% after raising its profit forecast for the year.

Bond yields fell and dragged banks down. The 10-year Treasury yield fell to 1.97% from 2.04% on Wednesday night.

The price of gold, traditionally a safe haven in times of geopolitical uncertainty, rose 1.6%.

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Bitcoin traded around $40,000, falling more than 7% on Thursday.

So far, consumers have not reduced their spending due to rising prices. The Commerce Department said retail sales jumped 3.8% in January as the threat of the omicron variant of COVID-19 faded.

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In other trading on Friday, benchmark U.S. crude fell $1.04 to $90.76 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell 2% on Thursday, while the price of natural gas fell 4.9%.

Brent crude, the international price standard, fell 97 cents to $92.00 a barrel.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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