Wall Street poised for strong open as earning season heats up

Wall Street

Stocks set to extend gains

U.S. stock markets look likely to open in the green territory on Friday after the S&P 500 posted its best since early March in the previous session.

As of 5:30 a.m. ET, futures tied to the blue-chip Dow indicated a gain of 119 points, or 0.34% to 34,903. S&P 500 futures climbed 12 points, or 0.27% to 4,441 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures were up 34 points, or 0.23% to 15,071.25.

The Dow rallied 535 points, or 1.56%, to end the session at 34913 as traders digested a big batch on big bank financial results that included Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC), and Citigroup (NYSE: C).

The S&P 500 added 74 points, or 1.71%, to finish at 4,438, its best session in six months. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite advanced 252 points, or 1.73%, to close at 14823, its best session in four months.

Goldman Sachs, JB Hunt, Charles Schwab earnings on tap

Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) is scheduled to release its results this morning, making it the last of the major banking giants to report for the quarter.

Analysts expect the bank to report earnings of $10.11 per share and revenue of $11.67 billion. As of writing, Goldman Sachs stock was up $5.60, or 1.43% to $396.80 per share in the pre-market trading session.

Other notable earnings to watch today include JB Hunt Transport (NASDAQ: JBHT), Sensient Technologies (NYSE: SXT), Prologis (NYSE: PLD), Charles Schwab (NYSE: SCHW), and PNC Financial Services Gr (NYSE: PNC).

Traders are also awaiting the release of U.S. retail sales data for September and the Michigan Consumer Sentiment index later this morning.

Bitcoin nears $60K level amid reports SEC will allow a BTC futures ETF

On the crypto front, the price of bitcoin neared $60,000 for the first time since March on Friday morning after Bloomberg reported that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) would allow a bitcoin future exchange-traded fund (ETF) to start trading.

The news outlet said, citing people familiar with the matter, that regulator is set to allow the first U.S. bitcoin futures ETF to begin trading next week.

While the approval of such ETFs would offer mainstream investors exposure to bitcoin, the contacts would not be based on bitcoin itself but on bitcoin futures prices, instead.

Bitcoin, the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency, was up 3.3% at $59,360 at the time of writing this post.