Futures extend recovery ahead of retail sales data

FILE PHOTO: People are seen on Wall Street outside the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., March 19, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures firmed on Friday at the end of a volatile week marred by worries about rising inflation and a subsequent tightening of monetary policy, while investors awaited retail sales data.

Retail sales is likely to have increase 1% in April after a 9.8% jump in March, data at 8:30 a.m. ET is expected to show. Industrial production and consumer sentiment data will also be released later in the day.

The Dow and the S&P 500 are set for their steepest weekly drop since January after stronger-than-expected inflation data, signs of labor shortage and higher commodity prices this week raised bets the Federal Reserve would have to hike interest rates sooner than anticipated.

The three main U.S. stock indexes snapped a three-day losing streak on Thursday after better-than-expected weekly jobless claims data.

In signs that life was returning to normal, revised guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks outdoors and can avoid wearing them indoors in most places.

At 6:28 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 150 points, or 0.44%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 26 points, or 0.63%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 141.5 points, or 1.08%.

Large-cap growth stocks, that were beaten down this week on concerns over their lofty valuations, led gains in early trading with Apple Inc, Amazon.com Inc and Microsoft Corp gaining about 1% each and Tesla Inc adding about 3%.

Disappointing subscriber additions for Walt Disney Co’s namesake streaming service overshadowed better-than-expected overall profits, driving down shares of the entertainment company by 3.8%.

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