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Stock futures lower after S&P 500 reaches fresh record

Stock futures lower after S&P 500 reaches fresh record

26 Aug 2021

A trader works on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, August 20, 2021.

Andrew Kelly | Reuters

U.S. stock futures were lower in overnight trading on Wednesday following the S&P 500’s rally that saw the index cross the 4,500 level for the first time ever.

Dow futures dipped 30 points. S&P 500 futures lost 0.15% and Nasdaq 100 futures were down 0.24%.

Shares of software giant Salesforce rose 2% in extended trading after reporting fiscal second-quarter earnings and forward guidance that exceeded analysts’ estimates. Ulta Beauty also rose 6% in after hours trading on strong results.

On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 39 points. The S&P 500 gained 0.22% to close at a record, led by stocks that benefit from the economic reopening like airlines, cruise lines and financials. The 500-stock average crossed the 4,500 threshold for the first time ever on Wednesday, but closed below that level.

The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.15%, also notching a record close.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose as high as 1.352% Wednesday, hitting its highest level since earlier in the month when it yielded as much as 1.364%.

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“The 10-year Treasury bond yield has continued rising in recent days and exploded higher in [Wednesday’s] trading, sending a strong message that the Delta variant of Covid may be peaking in the U.S. which should improve confidence, restart economic reopenings, and drive investment flows toward small caps and cyclicals,” said Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at the Leuthold Group.

The highly anticipated Jackson Hole symposium starts Thursday. At the event, central bankers could provide updates on their plan around tapering monetary stimulus. The Federal Reserve has been purchasing at least $120 billion of bonds per month to curb longer-term interest rates and jumpstart economic growth in reaction to the pandemic. Chairman Jerome Powell is slated to make remarks on Friday.

“Expect investors to keep an eye on the Fed’s symposium the rest of this week for any comments about tapering or timing for interest rate hikes,” said Paulsen. “Either unexpected commentary from the Fed or a failure or success in scaling 4500 could bring additional volatility to the stock and bond markets.”

Last week’s jobless claim data will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET on Thursday. Economists polled by Dow Jones are expecting 350,000 Americans filed for unemployment last week, compared to the prior week’s 348,000.

Several companies report quarterly earnings on Thursday including Dell Technologies, Gap, HP and Abercrombie & Fitch.

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