Major U.S. indexes slipped on Friday, but were still on track for weekly gains. Investors are eagerly awaiting U.S. consumer-sentiment data, which is due to be released this morning, as well as the Federal Reserve’s policy decision next week.
Fresh data out of China showed that factory output and consumer spending both improved last month, while unemployment rates declined further. In an effort to support the country’s recovery, the Chinese central bank cut a short-term lending rate. These positive indicators from the world’s second-largest economy have helped boost market sentiment.
However, despite these encouraging developments, stocks slipped on Friday, with the Nasdaq Composite leading indexes lower. Market participants are also wary of the potential impact of “triple witching”, a phenomenon where many futures and options contracts expire on the same day. This expiration can sometimes lead to increased market volatility and uncertainty.
In other news, Arm shares saw an 8% jump in morning trading following the chip designer’s volatile stock-market debut. This highlights the ongoing strong demand for technology and semiconductor companies, despite recent market fluctuations.
Oil prices continued to climb, with the most actively traded contract for Brent crude edging above $94. This puts it on track for the highest close since November, as global energy demand remains strong.
On the fixed-income side, Treasury bonds held steady, with the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield ticking up slightly to 4.332%. This follows Thursday’s settling at 4.289%. The bond market continues to attract investors seeking safe-haven assets amidst market uncertainties.
Looking ahead, market participants will keep a close eye on the Michigan consumer-sentiment index for September, which is due to be released at 10 a.m. ET. This data point will provide further insights into the health of the U.S. economy and consumer confidence levels.
Overall, while major U.S. indexes slipped on Friday, the week is still poised to end with gains. Investors’ attention is now focused on upcoming data and the Federal Reserve’s policy decision, as well as ongoing developments in China’s economy and global energy markets.