Futures Suggest Moderately Higher Opening For Wall Street

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The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index, meanwhile, surged 127.30 points, or 1.8%, to end at 7,337.39, snapping a four-session skid, and putting the index just 2.2% shy of its January 26 peak at 7,505.77.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 index snapped a two-session losing streak on Friday, led by gains in the shares of energy companies.

Wall Street gained, as did the U.S. dollar, ahead of Wednesday's release of the minutes from the Federal Reserve's January meeting, the final one chaired by Janet Yellen.

I expect the market to move lower here to test its recent lows and pressure new Fed chairman Jerome Powell - which will make his first appearance before Congress in his current role on February 28 - to walk back what looks like increasing hawkishness from the central bank.

However, fears of more rates hikes were allayed on Thursday following comments by St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, who expressed concerns that a "bunch of hikes" this year could turn Fed policy restrictive.

U.S. Treasury 10-year note yields US10YT=RR also climbed to a more than four-year high following the release of the minutes.

The S&P 500 was up 2.63 at 2,703 but the Nasdaq was down over eight points at 7,210.

China's main Shanghai Composite index closed up 2.17 per cent at 3,268.56 points, while its blue-chip CSI300 index ended up 2.17 per cent at 4,52.73.

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Markets have been choppy in recent weeks, falling more than 10 per cent from their January 26 high only to rebound last week with their best weekly gain in five years.

"While the recent stock market volatility will not be reflected in the U.S. LEI until next month, consumers' and business' outlook on the economy had been improving for several months and should not be greatly impacted", said Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Business Cycles and Growth Research at the Conference Board.

Despite Fed's hawkish views, bets in the U.

Stocks initially rallied because the Fed minutes failed to reveal anything investors didn't already know. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Among individual stocks, shares of Blue Buffalo (BUFF) moved sharply higher after the natural pet food maker agreed to be acquired by General Mills (GIS) for approximately USD8 billion in cash. Shares of General Mills were off 3.6%.

Advance Auto Parts jumped 10.6 percent after reporting better earnings than analysts were expecting.

The company also said it was eyeing deals. Oil prices settled in the green (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-on-track-for-second-consecutive-weekly-rise-2018-02-23) after rig-count data.

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