U.S. stock futures opened higher Thursday night, with contracts on the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq each moving to the upside.
U.S. stocks closed Thursday’s session mixed, with technology and retail shares leading the S&P 500 (^GSPC) and Nasdaq (^IXIC) higher while economic data pointed to a recovering labor market.
The Dow (^DJI) slipped 230 points (0.2%), pressured by a drop in shares of Cisco (CSCO). The computer networking company posted quarterly results after the bell Wednesday that fell short of analysts’ expectations due to component shortages and the company issuing weaker-than-expected guidance. The S&P 500 ticked up by 0.3%, while the tech–heavy Nasdaq gained 0.5%, led by gains from Tesla (TSLA) and Nvidia (NVDA). Contracts on both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq ended at all-time closing highs.
The indexes gained momentum early Thursday after new unemployment claims edged down to 268,000 last week, signaling that number of claims is beginning to reach pre-pandemic levels as employers hold on tight to their workers around an uncertain labor market.
Meanwhile, investors are closely watching for the Federal Reserve chair nomination after President Biden told reporters on Tuesday to expect the announcement of a nominee for Fed chair in “the next four days.” Biden will decide whether to reappoint current chair Jerome Powell or Fed governor Lael Brainard.
“The market so far is believing that it will be Powell again, but any sort of a change would mean that they want to hear a reiteration of the monetary policy and forward expectations,” Sonali Pier, Pimco’s Managing Director and Portfolio Manager, told Yahoo Finance Live on Thursday.
“[That means] tapering, being at a pace of about $10 billion in treasuries, $5 billion in agency MBS, then thereafter seeing rate hikes but not a significant shift to be more hawkish,” Pier added.
6:28 p.m. ET Thursday: Stock futures open higher
Here’s where markets were trading Thursday evening:
S&P 500 futures (ES=F): +0.5 points (+0.11%), to 4,706.50
Dow futures (YM=F): and +33 points (+0.09%), to 35,844.00
Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): +22 points (+0.13%) to 16,503.50
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