Fred Imbert, Sam Meredith
At around 7 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 168 points, indicating a positive open of more than 189 points. Futures on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 were both higher, reversing earlier losses.
Market focus is largely attuned to global trade developments, after President Donald Trump said that some trade discussions had taken place on Thursday, with more scheduled over the coming weeks.
China’s commerce ministry said Thursday it was willing to calmly resolve the long-running trade dispute, but added it was against any further escalation in tensions. The comments spurred hopes for progress in talks.
Trade tensions have dominated market sentiment for much of this year, with wild swings in global markets as rhetoric between world’s two largest economies fluctuates from conciliatory to combative.
The back and forth between China and the U.S. on the trade front has led to a volatile month on Wall Street. Entering Friday’s session — the last one for August — the Dow and S&P 500 were both down nearly 2% while the Nasdaq Composite had lost around 2.5%.
The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX), widely considered to be the best fear gauge on Wall Street, traded as high as 24.81 in August before pulling back to around 17. Investors also loaded up on traditionally safer assets such as gold and silver this month. The SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is up more than 8% in August while the iShares Silver Trust (SLV) has surged 12.2%.
At the same time, economic data has also pointed to a global growth slowdown, ramping up concerns of a possible recession.
Chicago PMI (Purchasing Managers’ Index) and consumer sentiment data for August will follow slightly later in the session.