Following a mild Thursday for markets in which crude oil managed to move slightly higher, here’s what iiTrader chief market strategist Bill Baruch will be watching for on Friday.
1. Oil bottom?
Crude oil rose moderately on Thursday, following a Wednesday in which the commodity bottomed just above $42 per barrel, a nearly one-year low.
“Crude oil has bottomed early in Friday’s session, [and] finished green on Friday, for eight straight weeks,” he pointed out Thursday on CNBC’s “Trading Nation.”
Further, “sentiment is a little too bearish ahead of the weekend,” Baruch added.
One potential bullish driver for crude, in the trader’s view, is Tropical Storm Cindy, which has already caused flooding in the U.S. southeast and cut into Gulf of Mexico production.
If the storm further tamps down on production, that could send oil prices marginally higher.
2. Global PMI data
Another thing that Baruch will be watching is economic data, in the form of purchasing manager’s index data for both the United States and Europe.
“Friday is the fullest day of economic data this week,” he pointed out. U.S. PMI data, provided by Markit, is set to be released at 9:45 a.m. E.T. on Friday.
3. Fed heads speak
Investors ought to get some more insight on the Fed Friday, as St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester, and Fed governor Jerome Powell are set to speak.
Of the three, only Powell is a voting member of the Federal Open Markets Committee. Still, they may collectively shed some light on the Fed’s future rate-hiking plans.
“Currency traders, take note,” Baruch advised.