Here are the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:
- Wall Street on track for a winning week on strong earnings
- Bitcoin neared $60,000 on hopes for first bitcoin futures ETF
- Retail sales unexpectedly rose in September as consumers keep spending
- FDA panel to meet on J&J booster after recommending Moderna
- Virgin Galactic sinks 20% after delaying commercial service
1. Wall Street on track for a winning week on strong earnings
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose more than 200 points Friday, one day after the 30-stock benchmark broke a four-session losing streak with a surge of 534 points, or nearly 1.6%. Dow stock Goldman Sachs rose more than 2% in Friday's premarket after reporting quarterly earnings and revenue that crushed estimates. Strong investment banking and trading results boosted the numbers. Bank earnings this week have been strong.
- While the Dow on Thursday had its best day since July, the S&P 500's 1.7% increase was its best day since March. The Nasdaq Composite rose more than 1.7% for its best day since May.
- The three stock benchmarks were headed for weekly gains.
- U.S. oil prices rose to a fresh seven-year high, topping $82 per barrel.
- The 10-year Treasury yield ticked higher to about 1.54%.
2. Bitcoin nears $60,000 on hopes for first bitcoin futures ETF
Bitcoin continued its march higher Friday, inching toward $60,000 overnight, on growing hopes that U.S. regulators won't stand in the way of the first bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund. The fund is set to begin trading Tuesday. The Securities and Exchange Commission can object to the filing until midnight Monday. However, many crypto watchers believe the odds are in favor of the ETF beginning trading as scheduled. Bitcoin hit an all-time high near $65,000 in April before a major slump that brought the world's largest digital currency below $29,000 in June. Bitcoin, known for its volatility, has doubled since then.
3. Retail sales unexpectedly rose in September as consumers keep spending
Following two key inflation reports this week that showed sticky price pressures on the wholesale and consumer levels, the government on Friday said September retail sales rose 0.7%. Economists polled by Dow Jones had expected a 0.2% decline. Retail sales, excluding autos, gained 0.8% last month, also stronger than forecasts. The data follows this week's release of the Federal Reserve's September meeting minutes. According to minutes, the central bank could begin tapering its Covid-era bond purchases as soon as mid-November, as the economy recovers. The Fed's next meeting is set for Nov. 2-3, with this year's final meeting scheduled Dec. 14-15.
4. FDA panel to meet on J&J booster after recommending Moderna
The Food and Drug Administration's vaccine advisory committee is set to meet Friday to consider a booster shot of Johnson & Johnson's one-dose Covid vaccine and data on mixing and matching shots. The panel on Thursday unanimously recommended giving a booster of Moderna's two-dose Covid vaccine to people 65 and older and other vulnerable adults. The nonbinding decision would bring guidelines for Moderna in line with a third shot of Pfizer's vaccine. A final FDA decision on Moderna boosters could come within days after consideration from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
5. Virgin Galactic sinks 20% after delaying commercial service
Virgin Galactic is delaying the launch of its commercial space tourism service until the fourth quarter of 2022. Shares of Richard Branson's space company plunged 20% in the premarket. Virgin Galactic will start this month refurbishing and improving its spacecraft and carrier aircraft, rather than carry out its next spaceflight test. The company's enhancement process, which is expected to take eight to 10 months, makes mid-2022 the earliest for the Unity 23 spaceflight. Last month, the Federal Aviation Administration cleared Virgin Galactic to return to flight after an investigation into the July spaceflight that carried Branson.