Investing.com - Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Friday, November 23:
1. Black Friday Puts Retail in the Spotlight
It’s the day after Thanksgiving and that means a rush of shopping during the global Black Friday retail sales event.
With no earnings on tap, investors will be watching retail stocks for reactions to the promotional activities after a lower-than-expected earnings session for the retail sector.
Black Friday was traditionally when retailers moved into the black for the year as holiday shopping began and is now an annual event that promises long lines and marked down items.
Big-name retailers will be watched closely, even among that those that reported strong numbers, like Walmart (NYSE:WMT). While retailers do not break out numbers for the Black Friday event, retail analysts and social media will be closely watched for estimates of foot traffic, online sales, and popular promotions.
2. Wall Street Closes Early
The stock market closes early on Friday, after markets were closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday, with many investors still away.
Wall street looked set to open lower: S&P 500 futures fell 0.40% while Dow futures lost 0.50% and tech heavy Nasdaq 100 futures decreased 0.58%.
On Friday, stock markets will close at 1:00 PM ET (18:00 GMT). The bond markets close at 2:00 PM ET.
Trading in Europe was higher, with the DAX, FTSE 100 and CAC 40 all in the green.
Meanwhile in Asia, stocks were mixed at the close. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng fell 0.35%. The Shanghai Composite was down 2.49% while in Japan, the TOPIX rose 0.81% and the Nikkei 225 gained 0.65%.
3. Crypto Prices Continue to Tumble
The only sector not celebrating Black Friday is crypto. Prices continued to tumble on Friday, as regulators in the UK warned investors against digital coin derivatives.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) could ban some crypto-based derivatives, Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition at the FCA, said this week.
Virtual coins have fallen dramatically in recent weeks, with Bitcoin falling 75% since its peak of almost $20,000 in December.
Cryptocurrencies overall were lower, with the total coin market capitalization at $141 billion at the time of writing, compared to $147 billion on Thursday. Bitcoin (BitfinexUSD) was trading at $4,430.10, having reached a 14-month low of $4,251 during Asian trading.
Read more: Investing in Cryptocurrency? Here’s How To Choose An Exchange: Tanzeel Akhtar
4. Manufacturing and Services PMI Data Released
The data calendar will be light on Friday.
On average, economists expect the Markit manufacturing purchase managers’ index (PMI) to stay steady compared with October. The November services PMI is forecast to tick up slightly.
5. Oil Prices Fall to Lowest Level Since 2017
Oil prices slumped to their lowest level since 2017 on Friday amid worry of oversupply and concerns over slowing economic growth.
Crude Oil WTI Futures slumped 5%, to $51.83 a barrel, while international benchmark Brent crude oil futures fell their lowest since October 2017 at $60.45 a barrel.
Data on Wednesday showed that inventories in the U.S. continue to rise more than expected, leading to a concern of oversupply.
U.S. crude inventories rose by 4.9 million barrels last week, compared with the general consensus of a 2.9 million-barrel increase, the EIA reported.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is expected to curb output after a meeting on Dec. 6.
The weekly U.S. Baker Hughes oil rig count, which is a leading indicator of demand for oil products, comes out later in the session.