Stock futures edge higher, on track for weekly gain

SHAFAQNA – U.S. stock index futures edged higher on Friday, putting major indexes on track for a second straight weekly advance, though moves were likely to be slight with few market catalysts and many traders still out for the Christmas holiday.

Wall Street has rallied of late, with both the Dow and S&P 500 touching intraday records in Wednesday’s shortened session and the Dow eking out a sixth straight daily advance. The S&P rose 5.5 percent over the past six sessions and has notched 51 record closes this year, the most since 1995 and the fourth best ever in terms of record closes.

Recent gains have come on central bank assurances over interest rate policy and strong economic data, including a bullish read on economic growth earlier this week. While no major economic indicators were due Friday, the market’s upward bias looked set to continue. Low volume could increase volatility.

Among the biggest movers premarket was GoPro Inc (GPRO.O), up 2.7 percent to $68.17. Earlier in the week, the first lock-up period for shares of the high-definition camera maker expired, making about 15.3 million shares held by employees and early investors available for trading.

U.S. crude futures CLc1 rose 1 percent to $56.41 per barrel as unrest in Libya cut supplies, offsetting a growing glut in the United States and weak imports by Japan. The modest increase could help the beleaguered energy sector, which has fallen alongside commodity prices. Crude oil has fallen in 12 of the past 13 weeks.

Biotechnology stocks will also be in focus following heavy volatility throughout the week. The Nasdaq Biotech index .NBI rose 1.6 percent on Wednesday in a partial rebound from the drop of nearly 7 percent over the previous two sessions.

For the week, the Dow is up 1.3 percent, the S&P 500 is up 0.5 percent and the Nasdaq is up 0.2 percent. It is the second straight weekly gain for all three, and the ninth positive week in the past ten for the Dow and S&P.

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