RTTNews - Stocks are poised to open moderately higher on Friday as traders digested relatively steady data on consumer income and spending habits in July. The major index futures are all in positive territory, with the Dow futures up by 25 points.
The Commerce Department released a report showing that personal income was nearly unchanged in July, although the data also showed a modest increase in personal spending that came in line with economist estimates.
Personal income edged up by less than 0.1 percent in July following a revised decrease of 1.1 percent in June, while economists had expected income to increase by 0.1 percent compared to the 1.3 percent drop originally reported for the previous month.
At the same time, the Commerce Department said that personal spending rose 0.2 percent in July compared to an upwardly revised 0.6 percent increase in the previous month. The modest increase came in line with economist estimates.
With income unchanged and spending rising, personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income fell to 4.2 percent in July compared with 4.5 percent in June.
Shortly after the opening bell, Reuters and the University of Michigan will issue the results of their final consumer sentiment survey for August. The headline consumer sentiment index is expected to climb to 64.0 from the mid-month reading of 63.2, although it is still expected to be lower than July's reading of 66. The report will be released at 9:55 a.m. ET.
Some positive sentiment has been generated by a string of positive earnings reports, as Dell (DELL) reported second-quarter net income of $0.24 per share and revenues of $12.76 billion. Excluding $0.04 per share in expenses for organizational effectiveness actions, Dell earned $0.28 per share. Wall Street analysts expected the company to earn $0.23 per share on $12.59 billion in revenues.
Marvell Technology Group (MRVL) reported adjusted second quarter net income of $0.18 per share and sales of $640.6 million. The figures beat consensus estimates that called for earnings of $0.14 per share on $619.83 million in sales.
Further, J. Crew Group (JCG) announced second quarter earnings of $0.29 per share after the bell Thursday, compared to the $0.28 per share posted in the prior year period. The consensus estimate was for earnings of $0.15 per share. The company expects to report third quarter earnings of $0.30 to $0.33 per share, compared to the consensus estimate of $0.30 per share.
Tiffany & Co. (TIF) announced that its second-quarter net earnings were $0.46 per share, which exceeded the expected $0.33 per share. Net sales also surpassed estimates, coming in at $612.5 million compared to the $602.14 million forecast for the quarter.
Following an initial retreat on the heels of relatively uneventful economic reports, stocks staged a steady recovery and finished with modest gains on Thursday. The Dow advanced by 37 points to 9,581, the Nasdaq gained 3 points to close at 2,028 and the S&P 500 rose by 3 points to 1,031.
Crude oil futures are rising in early commodities trading, climbing by $0.43 to $72.92 a barrel after moving notably higher in the previous session. The price of gold is also moving higher, advancing by $7.50 to $953.50 an ounce.
On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is mixed versus the major European currencies, sitting at $1.4362 versus the euro and moving down to $1.6346 versus the pound. Meanwhile, the dollar has moved up against the yen, trading at 93.81 yen.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region closed mostly higher to close out the week. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 Index rose by 0.6 percent.
The major European markets are also on the rise, with the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index both up 1.4 percent, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is up by 1.1 percent.
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