Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, USA, March 29, 2023.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
US stock futures were flat on Thursday night.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures added 14 points, or 0.04%. S&P 500 futures were up 0.09%, while Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.05%.
The Dow gained more than 141 points or 0.43% in regular trading on Thursday. The S&P 500 rose 0.57% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 0.73%.
The three main averages are also on track for a positive week. The Dow Jones is up 1.93% and the S&P 500 is up 2%. Both indices are on track for their best weekly performance since January. The Nasdaq is up 1.6% for the week.
Thursday’s gains come after the number of weekly jobless claims hit 198,000, up 7,000 from the previous week. The cooling in the job market added to optimism on Wall Street that the Fed will soon end its rate-raising cycle. Semiconductors enjoyed a good day, with AMD and Nvidia up more than 1%.
The recent rally is “helping confirm market perception that the problems that led the market into a crisis of confidence may very well be contained,” said Quincy Krosby, chief global strategist at LPL Financial.
“Semiconductors, (which) have come to be seen as an important indicator for global growth, performed strongly,” Krosby continued.
However, he noted that the markets are not yet completely free of an economic downturn.
“Economic concerns surrounding recession fears have not faded as the yield curve still represents an upward counter to the market,” Krosby added.
The Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge, the Personal Consumption Expenditures Index, will be released on Friday at 8:30 am ET. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expect core PCE, which excludes energy and food costs, gained 0.4% in February from a month earlier and added 4.7% on an annualized basis.
Personal income and consumer spending data will also be released on Friday morning. The final reading for March of the University of Michigan Consumer Confidence Index will be released at 10 am ET.
Several central bank officials will also speak on Friday, including Fed Governors Lisa Cook and Christopher Waller.