Market Insider

Markets will be watching economic data and whether Amazon can break $1,000

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters

With Nasdaq at a record high, could give it even more of a boost Friday if it breaks the $1,000 milestone for the first time. was flattish and slightly lower in early trading.

Traders were also watching crude prices. Oil was steady at a slightly lower levels, after a near 5 percent decline following OPEC's meeting Thursday. OPEC extended its production agreement for nine months, as expected but did not deepend the cuts as some int the markets had anticipated. West Texas Intermediate futures were just below $49 per barrel. Energy losses weighed on Asian and European equities.

Otherwise, Friday is expected to be relatively quiet ahead of the three-day Memorial Day weekend. There are durable goods and first quarter GDP, both at 8:30 a.m. ET, as well as PMI service sector data and consumer sentiment at 10 a.m.

President Donald Trump attends the G-7 meeting in Sicily, and traders will also be watching for any new developments in the investigation into Trump campaign ties to Russia after reports that Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is now under FBI scrutiny.

Amazon, up 32.5 percent year-to-date, gained 1.3 percent to close at $993.38 Thursday, as investors continued to gravitate toward the big cap tech names that have been dramatically outperforming. Amazon edged up to $999 Thursday before giving back some of its gains. Analysts have an average 12-month price target of $1,095 on the stock.

Other big tech names were also higher Thursday and are up sharply for the year. Apple is up 33 percent year-to-date, Netflix is up 31.7 and Alphabet is up 25.2 percent so far this year. Nasdaq was up 42 points Thursday to a record 6,205, while the jumped 10 to 2,415, also a new high. The Dow was up 70 at 21,082.

Before market pros head out Friday, focus will be on the economic data.

Economists on Thursday slashed second quarter GDP forecasts, based on April trade and inventories data. Many also revised down their forecast earlier this week because of weakness in new home and existing home sales data. According the CNBC/Moody's Analytics Rapid Update, economists are looking for 3 percent growth in the fourth quarter.

But it's the first quarter that will be in the headlines Friday. The second reading of first quarter GDP is expected to show improvement to 0.8 percent, from 0.7 percent, according to the Rapid Update.

"It's still a slug, but there's temporary factors at play that we think won't recur," said Ben Herzon, senior economist with Macroeconomic Advisers. Weather was a factor as well as a big drop in inventory investment, which he expects to see reverse. He expects to see first quarter GDP unchanged at 0.7 percent.

Economists have been hoping for a big spring back in the second quarter to make up for the first quarter's weakness, and Herzon said he's not yet discouraged about the second quarter. However, he did trim second quarter tracking GDP growth to 3.2 percent from 3.8 percent Thursday.

"This is the first big downward move we've made and we're still above 3 percent. It's still too early to worry about the Q2 rebound," he said. "There's still reason to expect a rebound in Q2."

Durable goods are expected to decline by 1.8 percent in April, after a 0.9 percent gain in March.

"It'll give us a sense of whether equipment spending is going to continue pushing higher. We had a year straight of declines in equipment spending that turned around over the last couple of quarters, so orders for capital goods will be something to look at closely to see if there's evidence the recovery in equipment spending is going to continue," Herzon said.

Consumer sentiment is expected to slip slightly to 97.5 from 97.7.