Wall Street was set for a positive trading day on Friday, as fears of an imminent Federal Reserve rate increase abated and as a slight rebound in oil prices helped lift the investing mood.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 64 points, or 0.4%, to 17,479, while those for the S&P 500 index advanced 6.55 points, or 0.3%, to 2,045.25. Futures for the Nasdaq 100 index gained 19.25 points, or 0.5%, to 4,336.50. The gains follow a day of losses on Thursday, when worries that the Fed will hike rates in June sent markets lower in both the U.S and Europe. The S&P 500 index closed down 0.4%, turning negative for 2016, while the Dow average ended down 0.5% and the Nasdaq Composite lost 0.6%.
But investors looked to be shrugging off those worries on Friday, as positive premarket trading tracked the upbeat lead of Asia and European markets. "The recent hawkishness regarding the Fed seems rather fragile, given that there are important caveats to this very doubted Fed rate hike," said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, market analyst at London Capital Group, in a note.
One factor in whether a June rate rise happens is how upcoming economic data turns out. Fed officials have emphasized such readings are crucial in their rate discussion. The U.K. referendum on EU membership on June 23, seen by some strategists as a variable in that discussion, could delay the increase until later this year. "With huge economic implications to the Brexit vote, it is unlikely we will see any action from the Fed next month," said Joshua Mahony, market analyst at IG, in a note. The U.K.'s Brexit vote takes place about a week after the next Fed meeting.