The U.S. stock index futures point to a higher opening Friday following expectation among investors that central banks around the world will announce stimulus measures to regain the economic growth momentum.
The futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.35 percent, on the Standard & Poor’s 500 index were up 0.28 percent and those on the Nasdaq 100 index were up 0.57 percent.
Investors welcomed the European Central Bank President Mario Draghi’s pledge Thursday to do whatever it takes to save the euro. Market players were encouraged as he hinted that the ECB might restart sovereign bond purchases under its Securities Market Programme (SMP).
Draghi’s statements come as a clear indication to the market participants that nothing should be ruled out in terms of monetary policy decisions as the most recent developments on the sovereign bond markets call for emergency interventions. The yields on 10-year government bonds in both Spain and Italy plunged after his statement.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis will report Friday the first estimate of the second quarter gross domestic product (GDP), which measures the annualized change in the inflation-adjusted value of all goods and services produced by the economy. The U.S. economy is expected to have expanded at 1.4 percent in the second quarter, but is down from the 1.9 percent rise of the first quarter.
On Thursday, the U.S. markets gained as investor sentiment turned positive after Draghi's assurances of the ECB taking all measures to preserve the euro. “Draghi shook things up overnight providing a major backstop for risk assets. The aggressiveness of his comments left no doubt that the ECB chief means business,” Credit Agricole said in a note.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 1.67 percent, the S&P 500 Index advanced 1.65 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index was up 1.37 percent.
Major European indices rose as investor sentiment turned positive amid hopes of stimulus measures from the ECB to boost the euro zone economy. London’s FTSE 100 was up 7.71 points, Germany's DAX 30 Index rose 8.83 points and France's CAC 40 advanced 11.91 points.
Asian stocks rose amid hopes of monetary easing measures to be announced soon by policymakers globally to handle the weakening economic condition.