U.S. stock futures are pointing lower in pre-market trading for Friday, August 19. The Dow Futures are at 18517.0 for a loss of -48.00 points. The S&P 500 Futures are at 2177.75 for a loss of -5.75 points. The Nasdaq Futures are at 4795.0 for a loss of -13.50 points. The Russell Futures are at 1231.7 for a loss of -4.00 points.

In overnight trading in the Eastern Hemisphere Japan’s Nikkei 225 is at 16545.82 for a gain of 59.81 points or 0.36 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index is at 22937.22 for a loss of -85.94 points or -0.37 percent. China’s Shanghai Composite is at 3108.10 for a gain of 3.99 points or 0.13 percent. India’s S&P BSE Sensex is at 28077.00 for a loss of -46.44 points or -0.17 percent. In Europe, the FTSE 100 is at 6850.43 for a loss of -18.53 points or -0.27 percent. Germany’s DAX is at 10536.89 for a loss of -66.14 points or -0.62 percent. France’s CAC 40 is at 4396.18 for a loss of -40.88 points or -0.92 percent. The Stoxx Europe 600 is at 340.33 for a loss of -2.58 points or -0.75 percent.

Friday’s Factors and Events

There is only one report on the economic calendar for Friday, the Baker-Hughes Rig Count. The rig count report will be released Friday afternoon at 1:00 PM EST. Investors have been closely watching oil as it helped to give stocks a boost on Thursday along with a continued positive outlook for the economy.

Oil prices increased to over $50 a barrel on Friday. Brent crude oil gained 2.03 percent to $50.86. WTI crude gained 3.23 percent to $48.30.

Stocks trading actively in the pre-market for Friday include the following:

CF Industries


Royal Caribbean




Marathon Oil


Helmerich and Payne

United Rentals

Second quarter earnings continue to slow down with approximately ten companies reporting earnings Friday.

The market focus the next few days and weeks will be on the Federal Reserve’s next interest rate increase. Janet Yellen will be speaking next week in Jackson Hole where economic officials will be meeting at the Monetary Policy Symposium. The FOMC’s next policy meeting is also scheduled for September 20.

Thursday’s Activity

On Thursday, stocks gained with a positive outlook on the economy and higher oil prices. For the day the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 18597.70 for a gain of 23.76 points or 0.13 percent. The S&P 500 was also higher, closing at 2187.02 for a gain of 4.80 points or 0.22 percent. The Nasdaq Composite closed higher at 5240.15 for a gain of 11.49 points or 0.22 percent.


Source: DJIA, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite. Google Finance.

Other notable index closes included the small-cap Russell 2000 Index, higher at 1236.59 for a gain of 8.91 points or 0.73 percent; the S&P 600 Small-Cap Index higher at 748.81 for a gain of 4.93 points or 0.66 percent; the S&P 400 Mid-Cap Index, higher at 1561.27 for a gain of 10.99 points or 0.71 percent; the S&P 100 Index closing at 967.04 for a gain of 0.55 points or 0.06 percent; the Russell 3000 Index closing at 1292.22 for a gain of 3.70 points or 0.29 percent; the Russell 1000 Index closing at 1211.14 for a gain of 3.03 points or 0.25 percent; and the Dow Jones U.S. Select Dividend Index closing at 624.70 for a gain of 4.80 points or 0.77 percent.