Stock futures gained Friday as Wall Street looked to grind out a rare positive week in what has been a rough first half of the year.
Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 222 points, or 0.7%. Futures for the S&P 500 were 0.8% higher, while Nasdaq 100 futures advanced 0.8%.
The moves in futures come as the stock market appears to have found some stability this week, at least for the short term. After an afternoon rally on Thursday, the S&P 500 is up 3.3% for the week, while the Nasdaq Composite is up 4% and the Dow is 2.6%.
All three averages are looking to snap three-week losing streaks.
“It’s a relief measure,” Allianz’s Mohamed El-Erian said Friday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “Its relief after a difficult week, a difficult six weeks, a difficult year, and we’re having a relief rally, and that’s really welcome.”
Still, the firm’s chief economist pointed to troubling signs in the bond market, which is pricing in a “higher risk of a recession” just as the Federal Reserve shifts to a more aggressive stance against inflation.
“The market is saying ‘whoa, be careful,’ because the economy is weakening not just in the U.S., but around the world. So it’s two different narratives right now in the stock market and the bond market. And the key issue is that once again, it is the bond market that is leading the Fed, and not the Fed that is leading the market,” El-Erian continued.
Volatility on Wall Street could be elevated Friday, as FTSE Russell completes its annual index rebalancing, shifting the makeup of tracking indexes that contain trillions of dollars. Rebalancing days are typically accompanied by heavy trading volumes as well.
Economic data will be a key focus ahead, as investors try to determine if the U.S. economy is falling into a recession. New home sales data is due out at 10 a.m. ET and the final University of Michigan consumer sentiment report for June will follow later in the day.
The consumer sentiment reading could be particularly important for investors, as Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said that a surprise drop in the preliminary reading was one of the reasons the central bank hiked its benchmark interest rate by three-quarters of a percentage point earlier this month.
“Recession talk remains the focal point on Wall Street and that means whatever stock market rebounds emerge will probably be short-lived,” Oanda senior market analyst Ed Moya said in a note. “Wall Street won’t have any answers anytime soon for the questions on when will inflation peak, how soon will we see a recession, and how high will the Fed raise rates?”
On the corporate front, shares of FedEx moved higher in extended trading despite a mixed fourth-quarter report after the logistics company delivered an upbeat earnings forecast. Carnival Cruise Line is scheduled to release a business updated on Friday morning.