U.S. Shares Point Upwards Ahead of GDP and Inflation Data

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By Jacob Maslow

U.S. stock index futures signaled a higher open on Friday as traders remain upbeat while they anticipate the release of U.S. inflation data.

Dow futures briefly tacked on more than 100 points, before settling at around 80 points higher.

The price index of personal consumption expenditures (PCE) that excludes food and energy, but includes include data on personal income and consumer spending is the Federal Reserve’s basis for measuring inflation. It is slated to be made public today.

Other economic reports due to be released on Friday include the trade deficit for January, final consumer sentiment for February and the second reading on fourth-quarter gross domestic product.

On the earnings front, Foot Locker (FL), JC Penney (JCP) and Sotheby’s (BID) are all set to release quarterly figures today. All three are expected to report better-than-expected results.

In the volatile oil markets, international benchmark Brent crude edged higher 0.99% to trade at $35.64.

U.S. crude also traded higher at $33.36 per barrel, up 0.88 percent.

In Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei and China’s Shanghai Composite both closed higher, inching up 0.30%  and 0.95% respectively during Friday’s trade.

Elsewhere, the pan European Stoxx 600 (^STOXX) Index rose by around 1.97% to end the week’s session.

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