If Thursday’s market performance and Friday’s futures are anything to go by, the answer might be to call the rally just about now.
However, that might be premature, according to a report from MarketWatch, which says that the first trading day of the year is not much to go by if one wants to predict the direction stocks could take over the rest of the year. It’s best to wait until the end of January, the report adds, citing the research of market analysts.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down 0.1 percent but futures on the S&P 500 were up 0.09 percent while those on the Nasdaq 100 were down 0.32 percent.
According to a note from Capital Economics, the recent spate of economic data holds promise of a strengthening economic recovery as “growth remained strong at the end of last year and this should continue into 2014.”
“The housing recovery remains alive and well,” the note said, adding that spending on public construction too may soon “stabilize as the fiscal squeeze is set to fade.”
Later on Friday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is scheduled to speak at the annual meeting of the American Economic Association at 2:30 p.m. EST. However, the outgoing chairman is not expected to make any comments significant to monetary policy, saving that instead for the minutes of the Dec. 17-18 Federal Open Market Committee, or FOMC, meeting that is scheduled to be released on Jan. 8.
In Europe, markets turned positive with the Stoxx Europe 600 index trading up 0.27 percent while the FTSE 100 was up 0.11 percent. Germany’s DAX-30 was up 0.17 percent while France's CAC-40 was up 0.41 percent.
In Asia, markets were down across the board with Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 ending down 0.33 percent while South Korea’s Kospi fell 1.07 percent. The Shanghai Composite index was down 1.25 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index plunged 2.24 percent. India’s BSE Sensex was down 0.18 percent. Japan’s Nikkei continued to be closed for the New Year holidays.