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Stock futures are slightly higher ahead of Fed meeting, Nasdaq set to add to record

Stock futures are slightly higher ahead of Fed meeting, Nasdaq set to add to record

15 Jun 2021

U.S. stock futures were slightly higher in early morning trading Tuesday after the Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 registered new record highs ahead of the Federal Reserve’s latest monetary policy meeting.

S&P 500 futures gained about 0.1%. Nasdaq 100 futures also added 0.1%. Dow Jones Industrial average futures were higher by about 13 points.

There were very few standout premarket performers. Some reopening plays, such as Boeing and cruise lines, traded slightly higher early Tuesday.

On Monday, S&P 500 gained 0.2% to close at a new record of 4,255.15. The Dow, however, fell 85 points.

The Nasdaq Composite was the relative outperformer, gaining 0.8% to close at an all-time high of 14,174.14. Investors are pouring back into growth stocks as bond yields keep falling. The 10-year Treasury rate hit a three-month low last Friday and hovered around 1.5% on Monday. Yields were lower again on Tuesday.

Bitcoin rose to $40,000 on Monday after Tesla CEO Elon Musk said Sunday that the company will resume bitcoin transactions once it confirms there is reasonable clean energy usage by miners.

The Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting starts on Tuesday, and it’s a focal point for the markets this week. The central bank is not expected to take any action. However, commentary on interest rates, inflation and the economy could drive market moves.

Traders will listen closely for comments on inflation and the Fed’s eventual tapering plans.

Billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones told CNBC on Monday that this Fed meeting could be the most important in Chairman Jerome Powell’s career. Tudor Jones also warned that Powell could spark a big sell-off in risk assets if he doesn’t do a good job of signaling a taper in the Fed’s monthly asset buying.

Investors will also be watching for another inflation gauge released on Tuesday. The Producer Price Index — which measure the prices paid to producers as opposed to prices on the consumer level — is expected to rise 0.5% in May, according to Dow Jones estimates. The core PPI — which excludes volatile items like foods, energy and trade services — is estimated to increase 0.4%.

May’s retail sales data are also slated for release at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists polled by Dow Jones are expecting a drop of 0.7% for last month. Excluding autos, economists expect May’s retail sales rose 0.5%, economists expect. Retail sales in April were unchanged as the boost from stimulus checks faded.

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