NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are rising modestly in early trading on Wall Street as a bumpy, holiday-shortened week of trading winds down. The S&P 500 was up 0.4% in the early going Friday. Thanks to big drops on Tuesday and Thursday, the bechmark index is still headed for its second straight losing week. Technology companies, which have the led the wild swings both up and down in recent days, were back up. Oracle rose 5% after the business software maker reported results that were better than analysts were expecting. Asian markets ended mostly higher and European markets were mixed. Treasury yields held steady.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story appears below.
Wall Street appeared set to open higher on Friday, with U.S. futures and global stock markets mostly edging up following days of heavy volatility for tech stocks.
Dow futures were up 0.7%, while those for the S&P 500 were 0.8% higher. In Europe France's CAC 40 rose 0.1% to 5,030, while Germany's DAX was flat at 13,209. Britain's FTSE 100 climbed 0.3% to 6,023.
Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 recouped early losses to rise 0.7% and finish at 23,406.49. South Korea's Kospi ended little changed at 2,396.69, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.8% to 5,859.40. Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.8% to 24,503.31, while the Shanghai Composite rose 0.8% to 3,260.35.
Investors are preoccupied with the duration of the coronavirus pandemic and hopes for development of a safe, effective vaccine.
While Big Tech is benefiting from the shift to online life that the pandemic and ensuing stay-at-home economy has accelerated, critics said their stocks prices have surged too high.
“Big tech stocks might have seemed like safe havens, but they have found themselves at the center of a brutal sell-off,” said Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at AxiCorp.
The catch is that progress in curbing COVID-19 could hurt technology shares, Innes said.
“But keep your eye on the prize. A virus vaccine is a key to the second leg of growth recovery, which will be globally-coordinated and could run for a while as doses are distributed gradually,” he said.
The latest gyrations on Wall Street followed a wild stretch where the S&P 500 careened from its worst three-day slump since June to its best day in nearly three months.
The selling came as the odds lengthen that Congress will deliver more aid to the economy before November’s elections, support that many investors say is crucial after federal unemployment benefits and other stimulus expired. Partisan disagreements on Capitol Hill have kept Congress at a seeming impasse.
Japan and the U.K. agreed on an economic partnership in principle on Friday, though there were few details. The talks have been ongoing as Japan has a broad trade deal with the European Union, which Britain left in January.
New data meanwhile showed that the British economy recouped further lost ground during July after a swath of coronavirus restrictions on businesses were lifted. The Office for National Statistics said the British economy grew by a monthly rate of 6.6% as many sectors started reopening, though the economy is still 11.7% below its pre-pandemic levels.
Benchmark U.S. crude oil added 14 cents to $37.44 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent, the international standard, fell 3 cents to $40.03 a barrel.
The U.S. dollar inched up to 106.17 Japanese yen from 106.15 yen late Thursday. The euro rose to $1.1853 from $1.1816.