Stock futures gained this morning, adding to the week’s progress among the major indices, reports Reuters. Easing tension among various conflicts in Europe and the Middle East, at least for the time being, is at the heart of the progress
Friday, August 15, 2014
The S&P 500 is expected to rise for a third consecutive day, as futures ending next month rose 0.3% to 1,958.4 this morning. So far this week, the index has climbed 1.2%, and is poised for the largest one-week gain in more than a month, according to Bloomberg.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average has increased 1% this week, and the Nasdaq by 1.9%, according to Reuters.
Violence subsides on several fronts
Russian President Vladimir Putin has softened his rhetoric on Ukraine, and today border guards in the conflict-stricken region examined a Russian humanitarian aid convoy.
In the Middle East, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki abdicated his office, which will allow a new regime to take on terrorist group Isis. World powers are hopeful the new federation can neutralize the threat the insurgency poses to Baghdad.
Additionally, the latest ceasefire in Gaza has held, and could be a sign that enduring peace negotiations will soon take place. Both Israeli and Palestinian officials have agreed to terms of a 5-day truce, and thus far they have honored that contract.
Renewed investor confidence
The recent lull in warfare is not the sole predictor of the futures index - consumer confidence in the US economy plays a part, as well.
"The main reason why futures are up is more to do with a relief rally and the fact that the US economy should be able to weather the storm and grow, but at a slower pace," Ion-Marc Valahu, co-founder and fund manager at Clairinvest in Geneva, told Bloomberg.
Consumer optimism is expected to rise, and investors await the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers today. The data is expected to show improvement and indicate a rally around the economy.
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