U.S. stocks set to extend gains buoyed by China industrial data

Wall Street

Futures slightly higher

Wall Street looked poised for more gains on Friday, supported by data that showed China’s industrial production grew faster than anticipated last month.

China said overnight that its industrial production rose 3.9% in April as activities continued to resume after stay-at-home measures imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19. Economists had called for an increase of 1.5%.

By 5:50 a.m. ET, the blue-chip Dow futures were up 23 points, or 0.14% to 23,567. S&P 500 futures rose 3.88 points, or 0.14% to 2,850.88 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a gain of 32.5 points, or 0.36% to 9,112.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $28, up 44 cents a barrel, or 1.6%. International Brent crude futures gained 58 cents, or 1.86% to $31.71 a barrel.

More economic data eyed

Traders will today also digest data on U.S. industrial and manufacturing production for April due at 9:15 a.m. ET for cues on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Empire State manufacturing index for May and data on retail sales for April is scheduled for release at 8:30 a.m. ET.

The Labor Department’s JOLTS report for March and the University of Michigan’s preliminary consumer sentiment survey for May will be published at 10 a.m. ET.

White House reportedly likely to support a second round of stimulus checks

In other news, the White House is likely to welcome another round of stimulus checks, according to a CNBC report late Thursday, citing two top administrative officials. CNBC said it sought feedback from the White House but nothing specific on the matter.

“As President Trump has said, we are going to ensure that we take care of all Americans so that we emerge from this challenge healthy, stronger, and with economic prosperity, which is why the White House is focused on pro-growth, middle class tax and regulatory relief,” the White House said in a statement sent to CNBC.

The report comes as House Democrats gear up to pass a $3 trillion coronavirus relief bill later today, which would boost funding for the U.S. Postal Service as well as local and state governments. Nearly 3 million people filed for unemployment claims last week, bringing the total number of claims in the past eight weeks to 36.5 million.