U.S. stock futures are pointing higher in pre-market trading for Friday, May 20. The Dow Futures are up 43.00 points at 17,458.0. The S&P 500 Futures are higher at 2,043.25 for a gain of 4.50 points. The Nasdaq Futures are higher at 4,330.75 for a gain of 13.50 points. The Russell Futures are showing a gain of 2.90 points at 1,095.9.

In overnight trading in the Eastern Hemisphere stocks traded higher. In Asia, the Shanghai Composite is higher at 2,825.48 for a gain of 18.58 points or 0.66 percent. Japan’s Nikkei is higher at 16,736.35 for a gain of 89.69 points or 0.54 percent. The S&P BSE Sensex is lower at 25,301.90 for a loss of -97.82 points or -0.39 percent and the NSE Nifty is lower at 7,749.70 for a loss of -33.70 points or -0.43 percent. In Europe the FTSE 100 is at 6,131.25 for a gain of 77.90 points or 1.29 percent. The FTSE 250 is higher at 16,860.90 for a gain of 130.79 points or 0.78 percent. Germany’s DAX is at 9,877.60 for a gain of 81.71 points or 0.83 percent and France’s CAC 40 is at 4,327.83 for a gain of 45.29 points or 1.06 percent.

Friday’s Factors and Events

In the Dow Jones Industrial Average Home Depot, Cisco and Wal-Mart all reported earnings this week with actively trading stock. Home Depot is down 1.05 percent for the week. Cisco is higher at $27.57 for a weekly gain of 3.92 percent. Wal-Mart is also trading higher with a gain of 6.56 percent for the week. In pre-market trading, Yahoo is also trading actively as it continues to consider bids for a buyout with the current deal value now at approximately $2 billion to $3 billion. On Thursday the stock was down 0.59 percent to $37.02.


Source: Yahoo. Google Finance.

There are few economic reports on the calendar for Friday as the market continues to digest the Federal Reserve’s recent meeting minutes from its April meeting. At 10:00 AM EST the Existing Home Sales Report will be released with the reading expected to be at an annual rate of 5.4 million seasonally adjusted.

Thursday’s Activity

U.S. market indexes were lower on Thursday as uncertainty over the Fed’s next rate increase weighed on stock valuations. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 91.22 points or 0.52 percent to close at 17,435.40. The S&P 500 was also down, closing at 2,040.04 for a loss of 7.59 points or 0.37 percent. The Nasdaq Composite closed lower at 4,712.53 for a loss of 26.59 points or 0.56 percent. The VIX Volatility Index was higher closing at 16.42 for a gain of 0.47 points or 2.95 percent.

Other notable index closes included the small-cap Russell 2000 closing at 1,094.76 for a loss of -8.20 points or -0.74 percent; the S&P 600 closing at 670.97 for a loss of -5.22 points or -0.77 percent; the S&P 400 Mid-Cap Index which closed at 1,431.10 for a loss of -5.05 points or -0.35 percent; the Russell 3000 which closed at 1,199.15 for a loss of -4.99 points or -0.41 percent; and the Dow Jones U.S. Select Dividend Index which closed at 577.07 for a gain of 0.34 points or 0.06 percent.