Stock Futures Wobble With Dow, S&P 500 at Record Highs
By Anna Hirtenstein
U.S. stock futures wobbled, suggesting major indexes will pause
after notching records at the end of last week.
Futures tied to the S&P 500 fell 0.1%. Contracts linked to
the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.2% and Nasdaq-100
futures wavered between gains and losses.
Investors started the week on a cautious note amid concerns that
the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines was facing hiccups. A string of
blue-chip companies are scheduled to report earnings this week, and
will offer a view on businesses' expectations for the pace of
economic revival. Money managers are looking to gauge whether
stocks' high valuations are justified after the Dow and S&P 500
hit closing records last week.
"After a big move, you get a pause of breath and a bit of a
reassessment, " said Caroline Simmons, U.K. chief investment
officer at UBS Asset Management. "People are reassessing, waiting
for newsflow that might indicate that growth and inflation remain
U.S. health authorities decided to recommend pausing the use of
the Johnson & Johnson vaccine due to concerns about improper
treatment of blood clots, The Wall Street Journal reported over the
weekend. Health officials are now looking at limiting the J&J
vaccine to older people, among other options, and could make public
a decision as early as this week.
On the earnings front, Coca-Cola is scheduled to post its
numbers at around 6:55 a.m. ET. International Business Machines is
expected to report after the close.
"I expect the earnings picture is going to remain very buoyant
across the picture and for the momentum to stay very positive,"
said Fahad Kamal, chief investment officer of Kleinwort Hambros.
"As long as earnings meet what are very heightened expectations,
the rally can keep going."
In bond markets, Treasury yields declined sharply toward the end
of last week and continued to edge down Monday. The 10-year yield
ticked down to 1.562%, from 1.571% on Friday. Yields fall when bond
"The slowdown in vaccine rollouts and increased lockdowns could
be having a marginal influence on bond yields," said Ms. Simmons.
"People are seeking safe havens."
In premarket trading, Peloton fell 5.3% after a federal safety
agency said over the weekend that people with young children or
pets shouldn't use the connected-fitness company's treadmills.
Tesla declined 1.4%, after two men died in a Tesla vehicle that
crashed into a tree Saturday.
In currency markets, the Russian ruble weakened 0.4% against the
dollar. U.S. officials warned there would be consequences if
opposition politician Alexei Navalny dies in prison. Calls for mass
protests in cities across Russia also mounted. The ruble has lost
nearly 3% of its value this year.
Bitcoin rose nearly 1.5% to about $57,100, regaining some ground
after plunging almost 12% over the weekend, according to data from
CoinDesk. Turkey's central bank said Friday it would ban the use of
cryptocurrencies as a form of payment.
"The [cryptocurrency market] is really on edge right now," said
Joel Kruger, a currency strategist at LMAX. "There were concerns
over the weekend after Turkey came out with the news of major
regulatory restrictions coming into force."
Some traders were speculating that the U.S. Treasury could make
a similar decision, he said.
Overseas, the pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 edged up 0.2%, on
track to notch a record closing high for the third consecutive
In Asia, most major benchmarks ticked up by the end of the day.
The Shanghai Composite Index climbed 1.5% for its best day in over
three weeks. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.5%. However, India's
benchmark stock index fell 1.8% as Covid-19 cases continued to
Write to Anna Hirtenstein at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
April 19, 2021 06:57 ET (10:57 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.