By Scott Kanowsky
Investing.com — U.S. futures pointed higher on Friday, building on gains in Europe and Asia following a late rally on Wall Street, as investors digest two days of high-profile testimony from Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell.
As of 06:48 AM EST (1048 GMT), the Dow futures contract was higher by 219 points, or 0.71%, S&P 500 futures traded up 30 points, or 0.80%, and tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures rose 116 points, or 0.99%.
The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 0.64% higher at 30,677.36, while the broad-based S&P 500 increased 0.95% and the Nasdaq Composite jumped 1.62%. All three of the major U.S. indices are on course to snap three-week losing streaks.
Market watchers are set to spend the final day of the trading week picking through Powell’s recent comments made on Capitol Hill. The central banker said he had an “unconditional” commitment to stemming a spike in inflation – but admitted that there are still risks that aggressive central bank interest rate rises aimed at curbing prices may instead push up unemployment and spark a broader recession.
New economic data on Friday will also reveal more about the state of the world’s largest economy. U.S. new home sales for May, as well as the June Michigan consumer sentiment index, are due out at 10:00 AM ET (1400 GMT). New home sales are forecast to dip slightly, while the Michigan number is expected to remain in line with the prior month.
On the earnings front, FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX) shares are seen opening higher in pre-market trade after the transport company – widely seen as a gauge for the health of online retail demand – reported a rise in quarterly profit and a better-than-expected full-year target. Cruise operator Carnival Corporation (NYSE:CCL) will also post its latest results as the pace of the summer travel season heats up.
Oil prices firmed by more than $1 a barrel on Friday due to supply constraints, but remain on course for a second week of declines. Brent crude futures gained $1.32, or 1.2%, at $111.38 a barrel and U.S. crude futures gained $1.46, or 1.39%, to $105.75 a barrel.
Additionally, gold futures dropped 0.14% to 1,827.10/oz, while EUR/USD rose 0.10% to $1.0534.