S&P 500 set for fresh record high

U.S. stock futures pointed to the major averages flirting with record highs at Friday’s opening bell as investors continued to look past a hotter-than-expected reading on inflation.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 104 points, or 0.3%, while S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 0.19% and 0.2%, respectively.

The early gains have the S&P 500 set to open in record territory after closing at an all-time high on Thursday despite the hottest annual inflation reading since August 2008. The Dow and the Nasdaq, meanwhile, were set to open just below their own record peaks. 

CONSUMER PRICES SURGE 5% ANNUALLY, MOST SINCE AUGUST 2008

In stocks, Dow component Boeing Co. gained after the U.S. and U.K. committed to settling a trade dispute over civil aircraft subsidies. 

Shares of Royal Caribbean Group were lower after two guests on its Celebrity Millennium ship, which restarted sailing last week, tested positive COVID-19. Rivals Carnival Corp. and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. were also weaker.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals said it would end the development of liver disease drug VX-864 after a study found it was “unlikely to translate into substantial clinical benefit.”

In earnings, pet-products retailer Chewy Inc. reported earnings and revenue that exceeded Wall Street estimates, but warned of labor shortages and supply chain issues.

Dave & Buster’s Entertainment Inc. reported quarterly sales surged 66% year over year as customers returned to locations as lockdowns eased. The company said revenue for the current quarter could return to 2019 levels, but cautioned that margins could be under pressure.  

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil jumped 27 cents to $70.56 per barrel and gold slid $2.60 to $1,893.80 an ounce. 

Overseas markets traded mixed, with strength in Europe and weakness in Asia. 

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European bourses rallied across the board with France’s CAC 40 up 0.75%, Britain’s FTSE 100 advancing 0.68% and Germany’s DAX 30 climbing 0.57%.

In Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index ticked up 0.36% while Japan’s Nikkei 225 slipped 0.03% and China’s Shanghai Composite lost 0.59%.