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Jun 17, 2016

U.S. Stock Market Future Indications, by MarketWatch - June 17, 2016: U.S. Stocks Set for Choppy Day as Brexit Debate is Trown into Limbo

Sara Sjolin
U.S. stock futures struggled for direction on Friday as investors reassessed the possibility of a Brexit, after both sides in the referendum debate suspended campaigning for a second day following the murder of a British lawmaker.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average YMU6, -0.07%  slipped 5 points, or less than 0.1%, to 17,640, while those for the S&P 500 index ESU6, -0.13%  fell 1.60 points, or 0.1%, to 2,069. Futures for Nasdaq-100 index NQU6, -0.03%  rose 1.25 points, or less than 0.1%, to 4,417.75.
The benchmarks on Thursday erased earlier losses and broke a five-day losing streak after the murder of British Member of Parliament Jo Cox was seen as bolstering the campaign for the U.K. to remain in the European Union. The pound GBPUSD, +0.3239%  — which has effectively worked as a gauge of Brexit sentiment — erased losses on Thursday and continued to rise on Friday. Sterling traded at $1.4270, up from $1.4202 late Thursday in New York.
Read: Brexit debate thrown into limbo after death of U.K. lawmaker Jo Cox
“The U.K. EU referendum was put into some perspective yesterday by the tragic death of a Labour Member of Parliament, with eyewitness reports to the BBC suggesting the killer shouted ‘put Britain first’,” said analysts at Deutsche Bank in a note on Friday.
“Campaigning has been suspended for now, and it’s unclear when it will get going again. While it seems insensitive to talk about markets in relation to this event, unfortunately this story heavily influenced them yesterday,” they added.
Further underscoring the change in sentiment, gold GCQ6, -0.87%  sold off on Friday. The metal dropped 0.8% to $1,287.60 an ounce.
Brexit may not be the biggest risk for investors
The possibility of the U.K. exiting the European Union, also known as the Brexit, should be the least of investors' worries, according to investing experts at a MarketWatch panel discussion in London.
Economic news: Out of respect of the tragedy in Britain, the International Monetary Fund delayed the publication of its economic report on the U.K. by 24 hours to 7 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday.
U.S. housing starts for May are due at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time, along with building permits for the same month.
See: MarketWatch’s economic calendar
Movers & shakers: Shares of Microsoft Corp. MSFT, +1.41%  slipped 0.3% in thin premarket trade after software giant late Thursday said it is buying Wand Labs and announced it has partnered with KIND Financial to track legal cannabis.
Revlon Inc. REV, +0.19%  could also move after late Thursday agreeing to buy rival Elizabeth Arden Inc. RDEN, -0.21% for $420 million, only months after Revlon’s largest shareholder contemplated putting the cosmetics company up for sale itself.
Other markets: European stocks rallied across the board as Brexit fears receded.
Asian markets also closed with firm gains, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 index NIK, +1.07%  rising from a four-month low.
Oil prices CLN6, +1.41% LCOQ6, +1.82%  rallied ahead of the release of the Baker Hughes rig count, while the dollar DXY, -0.17%  dropped against all other major currencies.