Stocks poised for early gains

By CNNMoney.com staff


NEW YORK(CNNMoney.com) -- U.S. stocks were headed for a higher open Friday as a report on durable goods edged slightly ahead of forecasts, and gold reached a record high of $1,300 an ounce.

Dow Jones industrial average (INDU), S&P 500 (SPX) and Nasdaq (COMP) futures were all higher ahead of the opening bell. Futures measure current index values against perceived future performance.

Hamed Khorsand, analyst at BWF Financial, said the durable goods report was driving the market, because investors will seize upon "any sentiment for the positive for the market right now."

Wall Street had a rough session Thursday, ending with a late-stage slide. Investors have been fleeing risky stocks in favor of safe-haven investments like gold, fueling the precious metal's recent record run.

"All this week, we've seen maybe some nervous markets, concerned about the stuttering economic recovery," David Jones, chief market strategist at IG Markets. "But overall, I think they're still bullish. Maybe the weakness over the last couple of days was a bit overdone."

Economy: The government reported that orders for durable goods fell 1.3%. A consensus of economists surveyed by Briefing.com had forecast a decrease of 1.4% in durable goods for August.

There is also a report on new home sales, due out at 10 a.m. ET. The report comes a day after existing home sales came in slightly above expectations.

Companies: KB Home (KBH) reported a third-quarter loss of 2 cents per share. That was much better than the 15-cent loss forecast by analysts. Revenue rose more than 9% year-over-year to $501 million, marking the first year-over-year increase in four years. The stock made mild gains in pre-market trading.

After the closing bell Thursday, Nike (NKE, Fortune 500) reported am 8% rise in quarterly revenue to more than $5 billion as new orders jumped 10%. In China, orders surged 25%, and orders in emerging markets rose 21%. The stock rose over 6% in pre-market trading.

HSBC chief Michael Geoghegan is poised to leave the bank as part of a management shake-up, according to published reports.

World markets: European shares recovered from their declines earlier in the day. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.4% while Germany's DAX and France's CAC 40 jumped by nearly 0.7%.

In Asia, Japan's Nikkei index tumbled nearly 1%. The Shanghai Composite and Hang Seng in Hong Kong ended the day with slight gains.

Currencies and commodities: The dollar fell against other currencies, including the British pound, the Japanese yen and the euro.

Gold futures for December delivery reached a record trading high Friday morning, fueled by recovery jitters and currency market volatility. Prices reached an intraday trading high of $1,301.30 an ounce before backing off. In recent trading, gold was up $3.50 at $1,299.80 an ounce.

The price of oil for November delivery rose 80 cents, to $75.98 per barrel.

Bonds: The price of the 10-year note rose, pushing down the yield to 2.6%. To top of page

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Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,356.87 288.00 1.69%
Nasdaq 4,644.31 96.48 2.12%
S&P 500 2,012.89 40.15 2.04%
Treasuries 2.15 0.08 3.72%
Data as of 5:07am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 17.26 0.00 0.00%
General Electric Co 24.43 0.00 0.00%
Apple Inc 109.41 2.66 2.50%
Cisco Systems Inc 26.81 0.22 0.85%
Microsoft Corp 45.74 0.58 1.28%
Data as of Dec 17

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