Stock futures rise slightly Friday, but head for losing week on Fed angst

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U.S. stock futures rose Friday, as investors continued to appraise the likelihood of tighter monetary policy from the Federal Reserve to combat inflation.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures climbed 101 points, or 0.3%. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 0.2% and 0.3%, respectively.

The Dow bounced back on Thursday after two straight days of losses, ending the day up 0.25% after dropping as much as 300 points earlier in the session. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also closed higher for the day.

The choppy session occurred amid continued uncertainty as investors weighed a more aggressive stance against inflation by the Federal Reserve. On Wednesday, the central bank disclosed its March meeting minutes, revealing that policymakers plan to reduce their bond holdings by a consensus amount of about $95 billion a month. The minutes also indicated potential interest rate hikes of 50 basis points in future meetings. A basis point equals 0.01%.

“We’re in a trading range market and it’s going to be this way for some time,” Stephanie Link, chief investment strategist and portfolio manager at Hightower, told CNBC’s “Closing Bell.” “And it’s really because we just have so many unknowns to deal with.”

Despite Thursday’s bounce back and Friday’s early gains, the major averages were headed for weekly declines.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq were down 1% and 2.6%, respectively, for the week though Thursday’s close. The Dow was down 0.7% week to date. Those losses would mark the first weekly losses for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq in four weeks. Meanwhile, the Dow is headed for back-to-back weekly losses.

On the economic front, the wholesale inventories report will be released 10 a.m. Friday.

Investors are also looking ahead to earnings season, which will kick off next week with reports from five big banks. JPMorgan will report before the bell on Wednesday. Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo will report before markets open on Thursday.

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