U.S. equity futures were higher heading into the final trading session of the week. The major futures indexes suggest a gain of 0.6% when the opening bell rings on Wall Street.
Oil looks to finish the week with gains. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures traded around $93.00 a barrel and was on track for a weekly gain of more than 5%, recouping about half of last week’s loss.
Brent crude futures traded around $99.00 a barrel and was headed for a gain of more than 4% for the week, recouping part of last week’s 14% tumble.
Prices of imported goods for July likely fell 1% month-over-month, compared with a 0.2% increase in June and further evidence that inflation may have peaked. For comparison, March’s 2.9% surge marked the biggest increase in 11 years.
Meantime export prices are expected to fall 1.1% in July. That compares with a rise of 0.7% the prior month.
The University of Michigan releases its preliminary index of consumer sentiment for August. It’s expected to rise a point to 52.5, the second straight monthly increase, after tumbling to an all-time low of 50.0 in June when record-high gasoline prices drove inflation fears.
In Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 surged 2.6%, catching up on gains after being closed Thursday for a holiday. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong picked up 0.5% and China’s the Shanghai Composite index slipped 0.2%.
Markets got a boost Thursday after a report showed inflation at the wholesale level slowed more than economists expected last month.
On Wall Street, the S&P 500 closed
0.1% lower at 4,207.27 Thursday but was still on pace for a fourth consecutive weekly gain. The Nasdaq gave up 0.6% to 12,779.91, and the Dow rose 0.1% to 33,336.67.