Dow futures jump 300 points to start the week as rate fears ease

Dow futures jump 300 points to start the week as rate fears ease

U.S. stock futures rose sharply in early morning trading on Monday, as Treasury yields retreated from their highs from last week, easing concerns about inflation and that higher rates would undermine equity valuations.

Dow Jones Industrial average futures rose 305 points, or 0.9%. S&P 500 futures gained about 1%. Futures for the Nasdaq-100, the tech heavy index that got hit hard last week, jumped by 1.3%.

The 10-year Treasury yield dipped to 1.44% on Monday, off by 2 basis points from Friday and down from its recent high of 1.6% on Thursday, which rattled stocks.

There were a broad-based group of stock gainers in the premarket. Economic reopening plays like Carnival Corp and American Airlines were higher by at least 3%. Tech shares like Apple and Tesla were also higher.

Last week, stocks were pressured by rising interest rates. Higher interest rates can threaten the dominance of equities, as bonds are viewed as less risky, and compress stock valuation by reducing the value of future cash flows.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 lost and 1.7% and 2.5%, respectively, between Monday and Friday. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite dropped more than 4% for the week, suffering its worst one-day sell-off since October on Thursday. Technology companies rely on being able to borrow money for a low rate in order to invest in future growth.

“Bond market volatility surged to its highest level since April and until some calm and some new peak level of yields is found, this well be the key focus for investors,” Jim Paulsen, The Leuthold Group chief investment strategist, told CNBC.

Boosting sentiment on the vaccine front, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory panel voted unanimously Sunday to recommend the use of Johnson & Johnson‘s one-shot Covid-19 vaccine for people 18 years of age and older. The company expects to ship out 4 millions of doses initially.

The major averages rose for the month of February, bolstered by a strong earnings season, positive news on the vaccine rollout and hopes of anther stimulus package.

The House passed a $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, early Saturday. The Senate will now consider the legislation. 

The Dow gained 3.15% for its third positive month in four in February. The S&P 500 gained 2.61% and the Nasdaq Composite gained nearly 1% for its fourth positive month in a row.

February’s final read for Markit’s U.S. manufacturing purchasing managers’ index for February comes out on Monday at 9:45 a.m. ET. Economists polled by Dow Jones are expecting a read of 58.5, the same as December’s read of 58.5.

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