MORNING MARKET SUMMARY
The major U.S. index futures are currently pointing to a lower open on Friday, with stocks likely to move back to the downside following the recovery rally seen in the previous session.
Traders may look to cash in on yesterdays strong gains, which largely reflected a substantial rebound by technology stocks.
Lingering concerns about the economic outlook are also likely to weigh on Wall Street amid worries further interest rate hikes will lead to a recession in the New Year.
Stocks sometimes benefit from window-dressing toward the end of the year, but traders may see that as a waste of time given the substantial weakness seen in 2022.
Going into the final trading day of the year, the $NSDQ100$QQQ is down by 33.0 percent for 2022, while the $SPX500$SPY is down by 19.2 percent and the $DJ30$DIA.US is down by 8.6 percent.
Stocks moved sharply higher during trading on Thursday, regaining ground following the weakness seen to start the holiday-shortened week. The major averages all showed strong moves to the upside, with the Nasdaq leading the way higher.
The major averages moved roughly sideways going into the close, holding on to strong gains. The Nasdaq spiked 264.80 points or 2.6 percent to 10,478.09, the S&P 500 surged 66.06 points or 1.8 percent to 3,849.28 and the Dow jumped 345.09 points or 1.1 percent to 33,220.80.
The rally on Wall Street partly reflected bargain hunting, particularly among tech stocks, which moved sharply lower over the two preceding sessions.
The standout gain by the Nasdaq came after the tech-heavy index ended Wednesday's trading at its lowest closing level in over two years.
Overall trading activity remained subdued amid the holidays, however, with below average volume potentially exaggerating the recent moves.
Following the long Christmas weekend, the markets are set for another break this weekend due to New Year's Day.
In U.S. economic news, the Labor Department released a report showing first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits rose by slightly more than expected in the week ended December 24th.
The report said initial jobless claims crept up to 225,000, an increase of 9,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 216,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to inch up to 222,000.
Meanwhile, the Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average edged down to 221,000, a decrease of 250 from the previous week's revised average of 221,250.
Semiconductor stocks showed a substantial rebound on the day, with the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index spiking by 3.3 percent after ending Wednesday's trading at its lowest closing level in well over a month.
Software, networking and computer hardware stocks also saw strength, contributing to the surge by the tech-heavy Nasdaq.
Significant strength was also visible among stocks, as reflected by the 3.0 percent jump by the NYSE Arca Airline Index. $JETS The index rebounded after ending the preceding session at a three-month closing low.
Oil service $OIH , biotechnology $IBB$XBI and housing stocks also showed strong moves to the upside, moving higher along with most of the other major sectors.... Show More