Stocks closed out 2013 at record highs and December was one of the best months for investors in a long time, and it remains to be seen whether markets can keep up the momentum in the coming year.
Some expect the new year to pull stocks higher while others predict a correction. But, Thursday’s stock futures suggest the rally might continue, at least for now. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.18 percent and futures on the S&P 500 were up 0.58 percent while those on the Nasdaq 100 were up 0.18 percent.
“Our position is the year will bring a much more moderate return and more volatility,” Stuart Freeman, chief equity strategist at Wells Fargo Advisors in St. Louis, told MarketWatch, adding that 2014 could bring a “bumpier ride” than the past year.
On Tuesday, 2013’s last trading day, the Dow Jones clocked its fifty-second record closing while the S&P 500 saw its biggest annual jump since 1997 and the Nasdaq ended the year with its best yearly jump since 2009.
On the data front, investors have a number of releases to look forward to. Jobless claims for the week ended Dec. 28 will be released at 8:30 a.m. EST and the ISM manufacturing index for December is expected at 10 a.m. EST. Data on construction spending in November is also due at 10 a.m.
In Europe, markets were mostly down with the Stoxx Europe 600 index trading down 0.45 percent while the FTSE 100 was down 0.51 percent. Germany’s DAX-30 was down 0.5 percent while France's CAC-40 was down 0.93 percent.
In Asia, markets were mixed. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 ended up 0.29 percent while the Shanghai Composite index fell 0.31 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was up 0.14 percent. India’s BSE Sensex was down 1.19 percent. Japan’s Nikkei was closed for a national holiday.