Booming stocks are set for a pause as futures inch higher, Powell on tap


U.S. stock futures paused Friday after a two-day rally, as investors focused on debt-ceiling talks and an address from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.

What’s happening

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average futures YM00, +0.03% rose 17 points, or 0.1%, to 33635.
  • S&P 500 futures ES00, +0.10% gained 4 points, or 0.1%, to 4216.
  • Nasdaq 100 futures NQ00, +0.13% increased 12 points, or 0.1%, to 13906.

On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.34% rose 115 points, or 0.34%, to 33536, the S&P 500 SPX, +0.94% increased 39 points, or 0.94%, to 4198, and the Nasdaq Composite COMP, +1.51% gained 188 points, or 1.51%, to 12689.

What’s driving markets

The benchmark S&P 500 closed at its highest levels since Aug. 25, as the Nasdaq 100 also finished with a boom.

Investors who had been betting against stocks appear to be scrambling to buy them as the U.S. economy shows signs of continuing to grow, while mostly hopeful signs have emerged from negotiations to lift the debt ceiling.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell is due to step up to the mic at 11 a.m. Eastern — in a conversation with former Fed Chair Ben Bernanke — following recent commentary from central bank officials including Dallas Fed President Lorie Logan who seem ready to at least consider raising interest rates next month.

Friday also will see the expiration of key options contracts.

One segment missing out has been U.S.-listed Chinese stocks, as the KraneShares CSI China Internet ETF KWEB, -4.18% ended 4% lower on Thursday and has dropped 11% this year. The Hang Seng HSI, -1.40% closed 1.4% lower on Friday.

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