3 Hot Things in the Markets Right Now

  • With 10-year yields still on the rise, housing stocks have lagged this week's rally. The SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB) is only up 2% this week below gains for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500.
  • TheStreet will be talking with Coca-Cola (KO) CEO James Quincey LIVE Friday at 11:15 a.m. ET, hours removed from fourth-quarter earnings. Tune in on our homepage. 
  • Action Alerts Plus holding Apple (AAPL)  is having an impressive week helped by news Warren Buffett bought more shares in the tech giant. Shares are up a cool 5% this week. 

Markets Now

On the futures markets the Dow Jones mini was up 0.38% at 25,331.00 while the S&P 500 mini was up 0.42% at 2,745.00. The implied open for the Dow was up 147.63 points.

Japanese markets extended the recent rally Friday, with the Nikkei closing up 1.19% at 21,720, despite the 0.2% rise in the value of the yen to 105.89 against the dollar, its highest in 15 months.

That's a factor which at most times is enough to curb enthusiasm for Tokyo's export-oriented main index. But the renomination of Haruhiko Kuroda - - a supporter of prime minister Shinzo Abe's "Abenomics" stimulus policy - - to serve a further term as Bank of Japan governor provided strong support for the market.

Tokyo's second index, the Topix, closed up 1.05% at 1,737.37.

Elsewhere in the region, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea, were all closed for the Lunar New Year Holiday and trading was thin even on the Japan market.

In Europe markets also continued the rise of recent days. In the opening minutes London's FTSE100 was up 0.84% at 7,295.65, while in Germany, the DAX was up 0.96% at 12,465.04 and in Paris the CAC40 rose 0.98% to 5,273.82.

The rallies followed last night's strong performance on Wall Street, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the day on 25,200.37, up 1.23% while the Nasdaq index closed up 1.58% at 7,256.43.

The dollar continued to be weak. The U.K. pound was worth $1.4111, while the Euro hit $1.2536.

In London, weaker than expected retail sales growth in January, up just 0.1% compared with analysts expectations of 0.5%, will likely ease the pressure on the Bank of England to raise interest rates. Year on year retail sales were up just 1.6% compared with expectations of 2.6%.

Danone (DANOY) , the world's largest yogurt producer, was up 1.73% at €65.23 ($81.76) in early trading in Paris on strong full year results and a forecast of better margin growth this year following its acquisition of U.S. organic food producer WhiteWave in 2017. The French dairy company said integration of WhiteWave was progressing well.

French carmaker Renault RNLSY (RNSDF) sped up 2.85% to €88.5 after announcing the reappointment of long-serving chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn for another four-year term, and pledging to cement its partnership with Japan's Nissan Motor NSANF and Mitsubishi Motors MMTOF. The company announced full year operating profit for 2017 up 17% to €3.85 billion, ahead of estimates of €3.65 billion. Revenue rose 14.7% to €58.7 billon, slightly behind market expectations.

Crude oil hit a one-week high on the back of a weaker dollar, which boosted the appeal of dollar-denominated commodities for importers. WTI Crude was up 0.80% at $61.83 while the European benchmark Brent Crude was up 0.78% at $64.83. Gold was up 0.50% at $1,360.40.