Stock futures point to a strong start Friday as investors seem to have had time to weigh Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s comments about a switch in monetary policy and assess future risks before resuming the market rally.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.23 percent while futures on the S&P 500 were up 0.24 percent and those on the Nasdaq were up 0.28 percent. On Thursday, indexes recovered from a fall triggered by a reaction to Janet Yellen’s comments that a monetary policy reversal could be only six months away.
Yellen, who was chairing her first meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, or FOMC, said Wednesday that the Federal Reserve’s low-interest-rate policy, which has kept rates at near-zero levels since December 2008, could change in “six months or that type of thing.” On Friday, a host of other Fed officials are slated to speak, including James Bullard, Richard Fisher and Jeremy C. Stein.
In earnings, Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) and Tiffany & Co. (NYSE:TIF) are scheduled to declare quarterly earnings before markets open.
In Europe, markets seemed to be on the mend following the effect of Yellen’s comments Wednesday. The Stoxx Europe 600 index was trading up 0.23 percent, while the FTSE 100 was up 0.26 percent. Germany’s DAX-30 was up 0.47 percent while France's CAC-40 rose 0.32 percent.
In Asia too markets were buoyant. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.83 percent while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 1.2 percent and the Shanghai Composite climbed 2.72 percent. South Korea’s Kospi was up 0.8 percent while India’s BSE Sensex was trading up 0.11 percent. Markets were Japan were closed for a local holiday.