Stock futures opened higher Thursday evening as investors awaited new economic data on consumer spending, income and inflation out Friday morning and considered stronger-than-expected data reports out earlier this week.
Contracts on the S&P 500 advanced after the blue-chip index closed out a back-to-back session of gains on Thursday. Contracts on the Dow added more than 100 points, while contracts on the Nasdaq also increased in late trading.
Shares of Dow-component Salesforce (CRM) gained after delivering a full-year profit forecast that topped Wall Street’s expectations, underscoring continued expected strength in software spending even coming out of the pandemic. Shares of retailers Gap (GPS) and Ulta (ULTA) also gained in late trading after both companies posted first-quarter results that exceeded even lofty consensus expectations amid a pick-up in consumer spending.
Traders on Friday are set to receive a host of new economic data, including the Bureau of Economic Analysis’ April report on personal income, spending and personal consumption expenditures. Personal income is expected to have dropped by 14.2% in April over March. This would come following a 21.1% surge during the prior month, which had been buoyed by the distribution of $1,400 stimulus checks to most Americans. Personal spending likely crept higher by 0.5%, moderating from March’s stimulus-boosted 4.2% monthly gain.