The Dow Jones industrial average rose more than 140 points on Friday, closing at 13,378.87, mainly due to stronger-than-expected reading on new homes sales for July. The Commerce Department said new home sales rose 2.8 percent in July, after falling 4 percent in June. The increase in July lifted sales to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 870,000 units.
Even though the housing report appeared to ease concerns that the U.S. economy might tip into recession because of a skidding housing market and tightening access to credit, the upbeat reports could still disappoint investors who had been hoping weak readings would goad the Fed into cutting its benchmark fed funds rate.
The Chicago Board Options Exchange’s volatility index, known as the VIX, and often referred to as the “fear index,” has fallen for six sessions, signaling investors are regaining some confidence.
It is expected the Asian stock markets will open in the positive territory when the trading bell starts on Monday morning, including Malaysia Stock Exchange.