Stock Futures Climb After S&P 500 Hits Record
By Anna Hirtenstein
U.S. stock futures rose Thursday, pointing to another
record-setting trading session after the opening bell, as investors
awaited data on unemployment benefits and comments from Federal
Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.
Futures tied to the S&P 500 climbed 0.4%. The broad market
index closed at its 18th record for this year on Wednesday.
Nasdaq-100 futures advanced 0.8%, pointing to gains in technology
Stocks have started the second quarter on strong footing, with
the S&P 500 rising 2.7% this month. The largest tech companies
have surged ahead as the bond market calmed, easing concerns about
the high valuations of growth stocks. Fed policy makers' comments,
released on Wednesday, highlighted their intention to continue with
easy monetary policies until the economy has recovered more.
"The dynamic remains supportive for stocks," said Adrien
Pichoud, a portfolio manager and chief economist at SYZ Private
Banking. "The Fed and central banks in general are perceived to be
in no rush to raise rates."
The latest data on jobless claims, due at 8:30 a.m. ET, are
likely to add to evidence that layoffs are easing as an economic
revival gathers force. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street
Journal expect worker filings for initial jobless claims, a proxy
for layoffs, to have fallen to 694,000 last week, from 719,000 the
At 12 p.m., Mr. Powell will be speaking about the global economy
at the International Monetary Fund's virtual spring meetings.
In bond markets, the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note was
relatively unchanged from 1.653% on Wednesday. It had climbed as
high as 1.749% at the end of last month. Yields rise when bond
The cooling off in bond yields has led to a revival in the
largest technology stocks' rally. Apple, Microsoft, Amazon.com and
Google's parent Alphabet -- which are the largest companies by
market value on the S&P 500 -- have each climbed over 4% this
month after stumbling in March.
"We consider bond yields to be close to the top, so one of the
barriers to tech has begun to come down," said Seema Shah, chief
strategist at Principal Global Investors. "If there ever was going
to be a test for tech, it would be this environment, with rising
bond yields and the work-from-home trade starting to fade, but tech
has remained really resilient in the face of that."
Overseas, the pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 ticked up
The European Central Bank will release the minutes from its last
policy meeting at 7:30 a.m. The notes of policy makers' comments
are expected to reflect views similar to the Fed's on a
continuation of loose monetary policy, according to Carsten
Brzeski, chief economist for the eurozone at Dutch bank ING.
"However, this can change very quickly once the recovery becomes
more sustainable," Mr. Brzeski said.
In Asia, most major benchmarks climbed. The Shanghai Composite
Index added less than 0.1%, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose
Write to Anna Hirtenstein at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
April 08, 2021 05:15 ET (09:15 GMT)
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