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Stock futures retreat slightly a day after the S&P 500 closes at a record

Stock futures retreat slightly a day after the S&P 500 closes at a record

04 Aug 2021

U.S. stock futures were mildly lower on Wednesday morning a day after the S&P 500 rose to another fresh record close.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were about 77 points lower, or 0.2%. S&P 500 futures slipped by 0.2% while Nasdaq 100 futures were trading near the flatline. The S&P 500 broke a 2-day losing streak on Tuesday to post a record close, bringing its 2021 gains to more than 17%.

Shares of General Motors fell about 3% in premarket trading, weighing on the broader market, after the automaker missed earnings expectations for the second quarter. The automaker did raise its guidance for a key profit metric for the rest of the year.

The 10-year Treasury yield pulled back to near 1.15% on Wednesday morning, erasing meager gains from the previous session. In recent weeks, lower bonds yields lately have tended to set a more bearish tone for equities, by triggering concerns about the pace of the economic comeback.

Investors will also be keeping an eye on employment data being released by ADP Wednesday that comes before the Labor Department’s official jobs report on Friday. The readings are expected to show a continued recovery in the labor market but come as the delta variant of Covid 19 has spread across the United States, leading to new restrictions and mass mandates from some local governments and companies.

“The elephant in the room is the Delta variant. It has not prompted major changes in public health restrictions yet but it could make some people nervous about going back to work, especially in those states in which vaccine hesitancy has held back progress,” James McCann, deputy chief economist at Aberdeen Standard Investments, said in a note. “However, it is probably too soon to see the Delta variant really impinging on the data. It is likely to be drowned out by a broader hiring spree at this stage.”

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will say on Wednesday that enacting the trillion-dollar bipartisan infrastructure bill is key to keeping America’s status as the “world’s pre-eminent economic power.” Her comments come as investors await the final details of the bill, which the Senate is currently haggling over.

A strong earnings season continued after the bell Tuesday with Lyft and Caesars Entertainment reporting stronger-than-expected results for the second quarter and citing a rebound to pre-pandemic levels of activity. Travel stocks MGM Resorts, Wynn Resorts and Booking Holdings will report after the bell on Wednesday.

In the regular trading session on Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 278 points, or 0.8%, to 35,116.40. The S&P 500 gained 0.8% to a new all-time closing high of 4,423.15. The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.6% to 14,761.29.

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The stock market has been taking its cues from the bond market lately, with shares under pressure to start the week after the 10-year Treasury yield fell to 1.15% Monday. The decline in the bond yields was driven by concerns about the spread of the delta coronavirus variant and comments by Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller, who told CNBC that the central bank could start tapering its bond purchases as early as October.