Stock futures rise slightly as S&P 500 inches toward new record

Stock futures rise slightly as S&P 500 inches toward new record

U.S. stock index futures rose slightly on Wednesday, following muted action on the first day of June.

The threat of inflation is keeping U.S. stocks below, albeit within reach, of their all-time high.

Futures contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 70 points. S&P 500 futures rose 0.13% and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 0.1%.

Stocks tied to the economic reopening were a bit weaker in premarket trading. United Airlines and American Airlines shares were slightly lower. Carnival Corp and some retailers were also lower in early trading.

AMC shares were surging again, up another 25% in premarket trading. The meme stock was up 22% on Tuesday after raising $230.5 million through a stock sale.

Inflation fears, and the ways in which the Federal Reserve might respond, have weighed on sentiment recently, although the major averages are still hovering around all-time highs.

“Inflation expectations have also increased beyond what may be achievable in the near term. Inflation is on the upswing in our view and will eventually surpass the Fed’s targets on a sustainable basis,” Morgan Stanley chief U.S. equity strategist Mike Wilson told clients. “However, expectations have increased too and now price this rise in many asset markets.”

June is historically a weak month for stocks, but Instinet points out that the S&P 500 has had a better track record recently, gaining every June since 2016.

The S&P 500 and Dow are down 0.8% and 1.5%, respectively, from their May records. The Nasdaq has a little more ground to make up following a rotation out of growth-oriented areas of the market. The tech-heavy index is currently 3.3% from its April all-time high.

On Tuesday, the Dow gained 47 points, after rising more than 300 points at one point. The S&P broke a 3-day win streak to close down just 2 points. after shooting to within 4 points of its all-time high of 4,238. The Nasdaq Composite was the relative underperformer, shedding 0.09% for its second negative session in three.

Despite the muted action, there were some gainers during the session, notably in stocks connected to the economic recovery. Airline and cruise operator companies saw their stocks jump as Covid cases in the U.S. continue to decline.

Markets may be on hold before the big jobs report on Friday. The U.S. likely added 671,000 non-farm payrolls in May, up from 266,000 jobs added in the previous month, according to economists polled by Dow Jones.

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— with reporting from CNBC’s Patti Domm.

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