Investing.com – U.S. stocks are seen opening firmly higher Friday, rebounding after Thursday’s losses, helped by some positive corporate earnings while the country continues to struggle with record-high numbers of coronavirus cases.
The United States recorded over 159,000 cases on Thursday, a new record. This has prompted major cities, like Boston, New York, and Chicago, to announce new restrictions and curfews to try and stem the rise.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell noted Thursday, in a panel discussion, that the economy was still in difficulty even given the optimism surrounding the development of a potential vaccine by U.S. drugmaker Pfizer (NYSE:PFE).
On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1.1%, or 317 points, the S&P 500closed down 1%, while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.7%, the worst trading day for these cash indices so far in November.
Helping the tone Friday were some strong earnings, released after the close Thursday. Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) soared in after hours trading on an upbeat revenue forecast for the current period, while Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) also jumped as it reported a smaller-than-expected fourth-quarter loss, benefiting from a surge in streaming subscribers.
The earnings news continues Friday, albeit slowly, with sports betting operator DraftKings (NASDAQ:DKNG) offering up third quarter earnings before the open. Its shares are up almost 300% year-to-date.
Financial data company Factset reported last week that with the majority of companies in the S&P 500 having already reported, 86% have recorded a positive EPS surprise. This would mark the highest percentage of S&P 500 companies reporting a positive EPS surprise since the company began tracking this metric in 2008.
Oil prices weakened Friday, weighed by a surprise jump in U.S. crude stockpiles as coronavirus infections continued to rise at an alarming pace, prompting a tightening of restrictions.
American crude inventories rose by 4.28 million barrels last week, compared with an expected fall of just under one million barrels, according to data from the Energy Information Administration released Thursday.
U.S. crude futures traded 1.5% lower at $40.49 a barrel, while the international benchmark Brent contract fell 1.2% to $4.02. Both contracts are still up close to 9% this week.