Stock futures point to higher open for Wall Street

Reuters

Reuters

The index has been up for two straight weeks, representing its largest two week climb, up 4.6%, since November 18, 2016, according to WSJ Market Data Group.

The S&P technology index rose 0.9 percent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq turned positive for the week, with gains of 0.76 percent. It produced its best two-week stretch, up 6.7%, since October 31, 2014.

The S&P 500 posted 14 new 52-week highs and one new low; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 86 new highs and 30 new lows.

Bullard told CNBC on Thursday that central bankers need to be careful not to increase interest rates too quickly this year because that could slow the economy too much.

Indeed, the Fed stuck to its forecast for inflation to hover at or below its 2% target in 2018. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index fell 1.25 per cent to 12,528.64.

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.

In the last minutes of trade, however, the good mood was dazzled by the 10-year United States government bond yield, which reached a four-year high of 2.95%.

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.

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

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The U.S. central bank, looking past the recent stock market sell-off and inflation concerns, said it expected economic growth to remain steady and saw no serious risks on the horizon that might pause its planned pace of rate hikes. The yield on the 10-year Treasury held steady at 2.89 percent.

Worries of rising inflation were at the heart of a stock market rout earlier this month.

He said dovish remarks by the Fed and the monetary policy report helped eased market jitters.

Stocks initially rallied because the Fed minutes failed to reveal anything investors didn't already know.

Dish Network fell 2.4% after it revealed how many Sling TV subscribers it has for the first time as it looks to assure investors it can grow in new businesses while customers continue to drop their traditional television packages.

Advance Auto Parts jumped 8.5 percent after reporting better earnings than analysts were expecting. General Mills shares were marginally lower.

Semiconductor, natural gas, biotechnology, and telecom stocks also moved notably higher on the day, reflecting broad based buying interest on Wall Street. It also came before a very inflationary and stimulative budget deal in Congress that is expected to push the annual deficit past the $1 trillion threshold soon.

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