Inventory futures rise because the strain on tech shares eases

Matteo Colombo | DigitalVision | Getty Images

Futures contracts pegged to major US stock indices rose early Thursday morning after pressure on technology stocks pushed the Nasdaq Composite 2% lower during the regular session.

The Dow futures rose 86 points and the futures contracts linked to the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 were also slightly higher.

The overnight moves came after a spike in late sales of high growth and technology stocks during the regular session.

The S&P 500 fell 0.6% after rising as much as 0.8% during the day, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 2% and closed at its session lows. Apple, Facebook, and Netflix all fell more than 2%, while Tesla fell 4.8%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which had outperformed its peers in positive territory for most of the day, fell into the red in the last few seconds of the session. The Dow industrials were up more than 300 points at their session high.

The Dow’s weakness in the afternoon came as the reopening of businesses such as airlines and cruise lines reversed previous strength. Norwegian Cruise Line fell 4.9% while Royal Caribbean and Carnival fell 1.9% and 2.8% respectively. Delta and United Airlines also ended the day lower.

Pressure on stocks rose as bond yields continued to decline from recent highs. The 10-year government bond yield fell 3 basis points to 1.61% on Wednesday, falling a third day after interest rates hit a 14-month high last week.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell appeared before federal lawmakers for a second day of virtual testimony. Both reiterated their belief that the U.S. economy will see significant growth in 2021, thanks in large part to fiscal and monetary stimulus.

“It will most likely be a very, very strong year,” said Powell. “There are risks to the upside and downside, of course, but it should be a very strong year in terms of growth … In the longer term, we need to increase revenue to support the sustained spending we want to do.”

Powell and Yellen said Tuesday that asset valuations appear to be elevated in certain areas of the market, but the financial sector is healthy and ready to deal with any market turmoil once the incentives wear off.

Investors will ponder the Labor Department’s latest report on unemployment claims on Thursday. The department is expected to report that 735,000 Americans have filed an application

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