By Peter Nurse
Investing.com - U.S. stocks are set to open mixed Friday, with the tech sector firmly in focus after another sharp selloff the previous session.
At 07:10 AM ET (1110 GMT), S&P 500 Futures traded 2 points, or 0.1%, higher, the Dow Futures contract fell 22 points, or 0.1%, while Nasdaq 100 Futures climbed 50 points, or 0.5%.
On Thursday, the S&P 500 declined 0.8%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 0.5%, snapping a four-day winning streak, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell 1.3%, down 10% from its record high.
The major equity indexes are still on course to break a two-week losing streak, although quarterly futures and options on indexes and stocks are set to expire on Friday, an event known as quadruple witching, which could make for a volatile session.
Investors pumped nearly $24 billion into equities in the world's top economy in the week to Sept. 16, research from the Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) showed, the largest such inflows since March 2018. The inflows come after 10% pullback in Nasdaq 100 in early September.
With the Federal Reserve confirming this week that it will retain its ultra-low interest rates policy for some time, but not adding any more monetary stimulus, the focus returns to Congress and the ongoing negotiations over another relief bill.
The two sides are still struggling to come up with a compromise on how much aid to provide in a new package. That said, President Donald Trump broke ranks on Wednesday when he said he liked “the larger numbers,” implying Republican lawmakers should go for a bigger coronavirus stimulus.
The economic data slate centers around the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment number, at 10 AM ET (1400 GMT). The forecast is for a reading of 75, marginally higher than 74.1 the prior month, suggesting a slowing recovery.
In corporate news, the saga surrounding TikTok continues amid reports that China's ByteDance, its current owner, is planning a U.S. initial public offering of TikTok Global, the potential new company. Video games maker Unity Software (NYSE:U) will also be in focus after pricing its IPO offering above its marketing range.
Oil prices climbed Friday, with the complex set for its best week since June on the back of strong words from Saudi Arabia about adherence to agreed production cuts and reduced U.S. stockpiles.
Eyes will turn later Friday to the Baker Hughes’ weekly rig count data for any signs of life in the shale patch.
U.S. crude futures traded 0.1% higher at $40.98 a barrel, while the international benchmark Brent contract rose 0.1% to $43.34. Both benchmarks have seen gains of over 9% this week, the first positive week in three.
Elsewhere, gold futures rose 0.6% to $1,960.70/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% lower at 1.1840.