It’s been a fabulous February in the stock markets.
As we approach the final trading day of the month, here are the five things you need to know before the opening bell rings in New York:
1. Fabulous February: The Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 both hit record highs after rising about 6% this month. The Nasdaq rallied by 7.6% in February and is now within spitting distance of 5,000, a number it hasn’t reached since March 2000.
Looking to commodities, oil prices are rising by about 2% to trade just above $ 49 per barrel.
Gold prices are edging down a touch to trade at $ 1,205 per ounce.
2. Keep an eye on U.S. data: At 8:30 a.m. ET, the Bureau of Economic Analysis will release its second estimate for U.S. GDP in the fourth quarter of 2014.
“U.S. GDP is expected to be revised lower in Q4, but not in a way that should worry the rest of the world,” said Paul Donovan, a global economist at UBS. “Domestic demand is expected to stay strong — the U.S. consumer is resolute in their intention to visit the mall.”
At 10 a.m. ET, the University Michigan will post a final reading of its monthly consumer sentiment index for February.
3. Market mover — International Airlines Group: Shares in International Airlines Group are rising by over 4% in London after investors cheered the company’s full year results. The firm, which owns British Airways, is benefiting from lower fuel costs.
4. Netflix in the spotlight: Netflix (Tech30) released the latest season of its popular show , House of Cards Friday. Many viewers are expected to spend the weekend watching the series, while investors will be watching the company’s stock market moves.
Netflix shares are up about 40% this year and are approaching a record high.
The company scored a victory Thursday after the Federal Communications Commission passed a historic measure to regulate the Internet more strictly, ensuring that Netflix shows streaming online don’t get slowed down by broadband providers.
5. Germany approves Greek bailout: German lawmakers approved Europe’s four-month debt extension for Greece on Friday.