U.S. futures are rising on Friday as markets look to end a strong week of trading on a high note. Last week, the major indices experienced their strongest performance of the year.
Stocks are also climbing overseas, with the Shanghai Composite Index recovering from its steep selloff on Thursday to close trading Friday up 1%. The Nikkei closed up 0.3%. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was the strongest performer in Asia today, rising 2.5%.
In Europe, markets were off to a strong start by midday, with all three of the major indices on the continent rising by at least 1% with about three hours left in the session.
The global gains come ahead of today's scheduled G20 meeting in Shanghai. Leaders from 20 of the world's biggest economies are meeting today to discuss global strategies on how to boost growth and stabilize markets, and there has been talk that they could agree on some sort of coordinated action.
Crude oil was also climbing before stock markets opened today, with West Texas crude contracts for April delivery up $0.37 to $33.44 per barrel. Brent crude contracts for April delivery also rose $0.48 to $35.77 per barrel.
The market will be watching for the release of a couple of key economic indicators including the latest GDP data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis at 8:30 A.M. EST. The PCE price index, or price index of personal consumption expenditures that include food and energy, will also be under scrutiny today as the indicator remains the Fed's favorite tool to measure inflation.
Kraft Heinz (KHC), Foot Locker (FL), Hilton Hotels (HLT) and Magna International (MGA) were all gaining premarket as earnings season continues Friday.
Action Alerts PLUS holding Kraft Heinz was up over 5.5% after the food product manufacturer beat analysts' top and bottom line expectations and also declared a quarterly dividend of $0.585 per share.
Trifecta Stocks holding Foot Locker was rising 1.5% after outpacing analysts' earnings expectations by $0.04 per share and reporting revenues in line with guidance. The company will be announcing its internal guidance during its 9:00 A.M. EST earnings call.
Hilton shares were climbing 4% after topping analysts' fourth quarter profit expectations, while Magna was up 3.8% after beating top and bottom line expectations.
On the downside of the market, Weight Watchers International (WTW) was getting pummeled premarket, falling 28% after the company reported a 21% drop in sales in the most recent quarter. Weight Watchers shares spiked late last year after media magnate Oprah Winfrey purchased a 10% stake in the company for $43.2 million.