US futures hover near record highs as investors nervously await key US inflation data

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Wall Street awaited US inflation data on Tuesday.

Futures contracts for the major US stock indices were mixed on Tuesday, hovering near record highs as investors awaited key inflation data from the world’s biggest economy.

S&P 500 futures were edged 0.05% higher after the index finished 0.02% lower on Monday, taking it narrowly below Friday’s all-time high. Dow Jones futures rose 0.1% and Nasdaq 100 futures were roughly flat.

Asian stocks moved broadly higher overnight after data showed Chinese imports and exports rebounded in March. Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.72%, but China’s CSI 300 index slipped 0.16% as a spike in yields on the debt of a major asset manager unnerved investors.

In Europe, the continent-wide Stoxx 600 index rose 0.25%. The UK’s FTSE 100 slipped 0.04% despite data showing the country’s GDP rose 0.4% in February.

Meanwhile, bitcoin soared to an all time high of above $62,000 ahead of crypto exchange Coinbase’s IPO, with renewed institutional interest powering the latest leg higher.

The main event on investors’ radar on Tuesday will be US consumer price index inflation data, due at 8.30 a.m. ET.

Predictions of higher growth and inflation have already caused a spike in bond yields, which have in turn weighed on the fast-growing parts of the stock market like technology shares, which look relatively less attractive when yields rise.

Analysts expect Tuesday’s data to show US CPI inflation rose to 2.5% in March from 1.7% in February.

Inflation “has emerged as a key focal point for markets given the debates surrounding inflation and its implications for monetary policy moving forward,” strategist Jim Reid at Deutsche Bank said.

“Indeed, part of the reason that markets have brought forward their expectations for Fed rate hikes is based around rising inflation expectations that they think the Fed might have to rein in.”

Karen Ward, JPMorgan Asset Management’s chief European strategist, has said she thinks inflation could average 3% over the next 10 years, thanks in part to huge amounts of pent-up savings.

However, Goldman Sachs chief economist Jan Hatzius predicted in a note that underlying US inflation would remain “well below the Fed’s 2% target, consistent with an economy that remains well below full employment.”

Bond yields climbed on Tuesday morning, with the yield on the key 10-year US Treasury note rising 1.5 basis points to 1.691%. Yields move inversely to prices.

Investors will also be keeping an eye on 30-year US Treasury auctions, after 3- and 10-year sales attracted solid demand.

Oil prices edged higher, with Brent crude up 0.4% to $63.54 a barrel and WTI crude 0.3% higher to $59.87 a barrel.

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US stocks mixed as higher-than-expected inflation data spurs concern over reopening

NYSE trader

US stocks were mixed on Friday following the release of producer price index data for the month of March, which showed a jump of 1%, and a year-over-year increase of 4.2%.

The higher-than-expected inflation data sparked a rally in interest rates, with the 10-Year US Treasury yield rising five basis points to 1.68%. The jump in interest rates led to a swift decline in the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100.

A spike in inflation has been a key concern for investors as the US economy begins to reopen, as some worry that a runaway inflation scenario could materialize when considering the trillions of dollars in stimulus unleashed on the economy since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 9:30 a.m. ET open on Friday:

More details are emerging from the epic blow-up of Bill Hwang’s Archegos Capital family office, which reportedly lost $20 billion in just two days.

Auction house Christie’s continues to set its eyes on the budding NFT industry. The firm said it is planning to auction off a set of 9 CryptoPunk NFTs for up to $9 million next month.

Beyond Meat could soon be joined by another alternative meat company in the public markets, with Impossible Foods exploring an IPO at a $10 billion valuation. Beyond Meat is currently worth about $8 billion.

A surge in bitcoin trading volumes is spurring Coinbase rival Kraken to explore going public next year. Coinbase is set to direct list its shares on April 14.

Oil prices were lower. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.08%, to $59.53 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, dropped by 0.3%, to $63 per barrel.

Gold fell 1.2%, to $1,735.90 per ounce.

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S&P 500 hits record amid higher-than-expected jobless claims and continued Fed support

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on December 07, 2018 in New York City
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange .

  • The S&P 500 stretched further in record highs Thursday as the Federal Reserve signaled it will accommodate conditions for economic growth.
  • Technology stocks tracked on the Nasdaq Composite led gainers.
  • Jobless claims rose to 744,000, pointing to persistently high unemployment levels.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

US stocks hung around record highs Thursday, with the S&P 500 hitting a new high after insight from the Federal Reserve indicated that monetary policy makers will maintain their stance in supporting growth in the world’s largest economy as it continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The S&P 500 index pushed further into record-high territory after reaching a closing peak in the previous session. Technology stocks marched up but blue-chip stocks tracked on the Dow Jones Industrial Average tilted slightly lower.

Stock futures ahead of the open showed little reaction to the Labor Department’s report that weekly jobless claims rose to 744,000, higher than the 680,000 claims expected by economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The report indicated that unemployment remains at persistently high levels, with the previous week’s reading upwardly revised to 728,000 from 719,000.

Here’s where US indexes stood at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday:

Members of the Fed’s rate-setting board expect “it would likely be some time until substantial further progress” on reaching targets of maximum employment and above-2% inflation, according to the minutes from the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee’s mid-March meeting released Wednesday.

“FOMC members were quite positive on short-term growth prospects, but made quite clear that short-term acceleration only goes so far towards their long-term “full employment” goal, suggesting even if growth remains robust through 2Q 2021, we’ll still be in a waiting pattern for Fed policy,” Guy LeBas, chief fixed-income strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott, told Insider in emailed comments.

“On balance, there was nothing material in the minutes which changes my view of a reduction in [quantitative easing] beginning in early-2022 followed by a potential first rate hike in late-2022,” said LeBas. “I view a 2022 QE reduction as much more likely than a 2022 rate hike,” he said. “If anything, the first hike will be later and the path of hikes steeper than what the markets have currently priced.”

Around the markets, GameStop shares rose after the video game retailer said it plans to elect Reddit favorite Ryan Cohen as chairman.

Trading app Robinhood reportedly failed to disclose data on certain stock trades for more than a year.

Billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel warned bitcoin might serve as a Chinese financial weapon against the US – and says it threatens the dollar.

Gold rose 0.6% to $1,753.20 per ounce. Long-dated US Treasury yields fell, with the 10-year yield down at 1.647%.

Oil prices were mixed. West Texas Intermediate crude lost 1% to trade at $59.23 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, dropped 0.6%, to $62.76 per barrel.

Bitcoin rose 2.1% to $57,546.

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US stocks mixed as Fed minutes show policies will remain unchanged

Trader
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on March 16, 2020 in New York City

  • US stocks were mixed on Wednesday after Federal Reserve officials agreed to keep policies in place.
  • While most officials saw developments, they wanted some time to be more convinced of progress.
  • The stimulus package of President Biden forced the Fed to lift its growth and inflation forecast in March.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell

US stocks were mixed Wednesday after Federal Reserve officials agreed to keep policies in place – sticking to near-zero interest rates and monthly bond purchases – during the last meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee in March, even as the economy showed clear signs of a rebound.

Officials, according to the minutes released Wednesday afternoon, indicated that policies will not change simply on forecasts alone. While most of the 18 officials saw developments, they wanted some time to be more convinced of progress, such as stronger employment.

“While generally acknowledging that the medium-term outlook for real GDP growth and employment had improved, participants continued to see the uncertainty surrounding that outlook as elevated,” the minutes said.

The landmark $1.9 trillion stimulus package from President Joe Biden in early March has forced Fed officials to lift their growth and inflation forecast before the meeting.

“The big message from the Fed minutes is that the central bank is as unconcerned in private about inflation as it is in public,” Brad McMillan, chief investment officer for Commonwealth Financial Network, told Insider. “There appears to be no hidden interest in higher rates, suggesting that rates will indeed remain low until unemployment drops down to pre-pandemic levels.”

The US economy has rebounded faster than what most have expected due in large part to President Joe Biden’s landmark $1.9 trillion stimulus package paired with steady vaccine rollout throughout the country, which has helped the labor, manufacturing, and travel sectors recover. The President on Tuesday moved up the timeline for all American adults to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine to April 19 from May 1.

The 10-year Treasury yield has held steady at 1.67% after climbing to the highest levels in over a year in March.

“The fact that the bond yields barely changed last week despite a raft of strong economic numbers … indicates that market has already gone a long way to pricing in the economic rebound,” Kathy Jones, Charles Schwab chief fixed income strategist, said in a note. “Also, it is hard to see U.S. yields surge from here since they are so far above those in many other developed markets in both real and nominal terms. With the current wide yield spread, foreign investors should find U.S. yields attractive.”

Mike Owens, sales trader at Saxo Markets, also said the Fed minutes might give better insight on how members envision the economic recovery and when they expect to hike rates.

“If 5-year US Treasury yields break above 1%, they might provoke a squeeze that could send 10-year yields on a fast track to 2%,” he said.

US shares closed lower Tuesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 retreating from record highs reached the previous session. New sell-offs linked to the Archegos Management Capital crisis added to unease in markets even after US data revealed the economic rebound is on track.

Here’s where US indexes stood after the 4:00 p.m. ET close on Wednesday:

Mobile-gaming company AppLovin is targeting a $30 billion valuation for its US initial public offering, with plans to raise as much as $2.13 billion, Reuters first reported. AppLovin, backed by private equity firm KKR, is looking to sell 25 million shares between $75 to $85 each.

The Singapore-based ride-hailing and delivery giant Grab is reportedly set to list in the US via a SPAC merger with Altimeter Growth Corp. The deal values the combined entity at $35 billion, according to The Financial Times.

Oil prices climbed on optimistic economic data.

West Texas Intermediate crude rose by 0.39% to $59.56 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, was also up 0.38% to $62.98 per barrel. Oil prices dropped earlier in the week when the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, said that it will add about two million barrels of oil each day to the market from May to July, easing production cuts.

Bitcoin slipped 4.19% to $55,757.76 as the rally stalls. Sellers outweighed buyers of bitcoin, and the selling spilled over to other cryptocurrencies. Last week, bitcoin flirted with the $60,000-level.

Investor participation in the world’s most popular cryptocurrency soared in the first quarter of 2021 with most of the growth coming from retail investors, according to research from CoinDesk.

Coinbase revenue soared more than 800% year-on-year in the first quarter of this year, the company revealed on Tuesday. This led DA Davidson to reiterate its Buy rating on the company and increase its price target by 125% to $440. Its previous price target for Coinbase was set at $195. Coinbase is set to directly list on the Nasdaq exchange on April 14.

Gold rose to 0.47% to $1,736.50 per ounce.

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US stocks decline as investors digest volatility from Archegos meltdown

NYSE Trader
A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., March 9, 2020.

US stocks ended lower on Tuesday, with the the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 retreating from record highs reached the previous day.

New trades linked to Archegos added unease to markets after US data highlighted an economic rebound.

Companies linked to the Archegos Capital Management meltdown last week were struck by a new wave of volatility after Credit Suisse initiated a block trade worth around $2.3 billion in an attempt to limit further losses.

Stocks including ViacomCBS, Discovery, and Tencent all whipsawed, and were down in premarket trading before recovering throughout the day.

The S&P 500 and Dow hit record highs Monday in the wake of a better-than-expected jobs report and record-high expansion in the services sector last month. Optimism around the economic recovery continues to drive markets.

Here’s where US indexes stood after the 4:00 p.m. ET close on Tuesday:

High valuations and other factors have been driving comparisons between current US stock market conditions and those during the dot-com era, but fundamentals are healthier now, said Charles Schwab’s chief investment strategist Liz Ann Sonders. Meanwhile, Nouriel Roubini, an economist known as “Dr. Doom” for his pessimistic market views, said markets are “extremely frothy” and participants are taking “too much risk” in an interview Tuesday.

Gold rose to 0.8% to $1,742.80 per ounce.

West Texas Intermediate crude rise by 1.24%, to $59.37 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, was down 1% to $62.74 per barrel.

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Dow, S&P 500 close at record highs as strong jobs report boosts economic optimism

trader nyse celebrate happy fist bump

US stocks closed at record highs on Monday as investors cheered Friday’s strong jobs report. The stock market was closed on Friday in observance of Good Friday.

The US added 916,000 jobs in March, beating the projected gains of 660,000 as the US economy begins to fully reopen. COVID-19 vaccinations have surged in recent days, with the US recording multiple days of more than 4 million doses administered.

The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average touched record highs shortly after the opening bell and steadily increased throughout the day, while the Nasdaq 100 continues to recover from its February decline of more than 10%.

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 4:00 p.m. ET close on Monday:

Read more: RBC says to buy these 30 high-conviction stocks that represent its analysts’ top global ideas for 2021 amid an economic reopening and rising inflation expectations

Tesla soared 7% on Monday following its better than expected first-quarter deliveries of 185,000 vehicles. The strong quarterly sales led Wedbush to upgrade the company and increase its price target to $1,000, representing potential upside of 51% from Thursday’s close.

GameStop declined by as much as 18% after announcing plans to sell up to $1 billion worth of shares to fund its e-commerce growth initiatives. A prospectus filed with the SEC marked the first time GameStop has acknowledged the wild short-squeeze that captivated the country in late January.

Palantir jumped higher on Monday by about 3% after it secured a five-year contract with the National Nuclear Security Administration, a US federal agency that is tasked with safeguarding national security through the military application of nuclear science.

Oil prices were lower as global COVID-19 cases continued to rise. West Texas Intermediate crude fell as much as 6%, to $58 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, dropped by 4%, to $62.24 per barrel.

Gold rose 0.2%, to $1,729 per ounce.

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US stocks edge higher as traders mull impact of Biden’s infrastructure plan

trader Gregory Rowe

US stocks edged higher on Wednesday investors brace themselves ahead of President Joe Biden’s unveiling of a multi-trillion dollar spending plan.

The bill will include major investments into a range of sectors, and investors are absorbing its potential impact on both inflation and earnings as a large part is to be funded with tax hikes on corporations. The bill is part one of two in Biden’s overall infrastructure plan, with the second to be announced in mid-April.

Rising Treasury yields, meanwhile, continue to put pressure on stocks, especially high-growth tech names that soared during the year of the pandemic. The benchmark 10-year US Treasury yield rose to its highest in 14 months on Tuesday, as investors priced in expectations of higher inflation and a stronger US economy.

The US private sector added 517,000 jobs in March, according to ADP’s monthly employment report Wednesday. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg held a median estimate of 550,000 payroll additions. This climb is the third straight monthly gain since payrolls shrank in December. The March gains are also the largest seen since October.

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 9:30 a.m. ET open on Wednesday:

Stocks affected by the Archegos-linked selloff that roiled markets rallied. ViacomCBS and Discovery were both higher, as well as American depositary receipts of Chinese companies.

Bitcoin edged lower by 1.50% to $58,159.09.

Goldman Sachs on Wednesday said it could begin to offer bitcoin and other digital-asset-related investments to its private wealth-management clients, CNBC first reported.

Ethereum developers defended a decision to destroy ether tokens and cut the fees paid to miners ahead of major changes this summer. The developers said the changes could boost the cryptocurrency’s price.

West Texas Intermediate crude climbed as much as 0.12%, to $60.48 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, also rose by 0.42%, to $63.87per barrel. Both benchmarks are on track for weekly losses.

Gold slipped 1.47% to $1,687.47 per ounce. The precious metal slipped below $1,700 on Tuesday for the first time in three weeks, under pressure as long-dated Treasury yields and the US dollar both rise.

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US stocks gain as lowest weekly jobless claims since the pandemic boost recovery optimism

trader nyse celebrate happy fist bump

US stocks gained on Thursday after weekly jobless claims hit their lowest levels since the COVID-19 pandemic began last year.

Jobless claims of 684,000 beat economist expectations of 730,00 and continued claims fell to 3.9 million for the week that ended March 13.

Stocks were initially off to a rocky start Thursday morning after Fed Chairman Jerome Powell told NPR that the Fed will gradually roll back its monthly bond purchases as the economy continues to improve. The Fed currently purchases $120 billion in bonds per month.

“We will very gradually over time and with great transparency, when the economy has all but fully recovered, we will be pulling back the support that we provided during emergency times,” Powell said.

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 4:00 p.m. ET close on Thursday:

The blockage of the Suez Canal continues to disrupt global trade and supply chain issues, and it could take days to unground the Evergreen ship that became stuck due to high winds.

GameStop recovered its post-earnings decline and jumped as much as 53% as the stock found technical support at its 50-day moving average.

Shares of ViacomCBS extended its two-day decline to nearly 30% after it launched a $3 billion equity offering to fund investments in its new streaming platform, Paramount+.

Rite Aid fell 20% after cutting its full-year forecast as the drugstore chain saw fewer customers buying its cough and cold medicine amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bitcoin fell more than 7% and traded just above $51,000 as analysts said the expiration of $5 billion in bitcoin options contracts may be causing volatility.

The SEC said it’s looking into Wall Street’s SPAC craze and is seeking voluntary information from market participants.

Oil prices were lower. West Texas Intermediate crude was down 4.4%, to $58.49 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, dropped by 4%, to $61.84 per barrel.

Gold fell 0.4%, to $1,726 per ounce.

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Nasdaq surges on tech-stock strength as Treasury yields cool from 14-month high

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock exchange
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock exchange

Tech stocks led the broader rally on Monday as investors eye pullback in Treasury yields and resumed buying after last week’s volatility.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 closed higher by over 1% as the 10-year US Treasury note tumbled from a 14-month high.

Bank of America revised its forecast from 1.75% to 2.15% for the 10-year US Treasury note by year-end, adding that “curves appear headed steeper but not uniformly.”

“Our prior forecasts identified the likely drivers and magnitude of the move, although we underestimated the speed of the adjustment. Our forecasts are in-line with fair value implied by our US economist projections,” the bank said in a note on Monday.

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 4 p.m. ET close on Monday:

On Friday, tech stocks rebounded after Treasury yields stabilized. However, the Fed’s announcement earlier that day that it would not extend the temporary regulatory relief it granted banks after March 31 sent bank stocks lower.

Kansas City Southern surged 14% following the railway operator’s deal to be purchased by Canadian Pacific Railway for $25 billion. The transaction set to create the first rail network that spans North America.

RLX Technology sank as much as 45% on the Chinese government said it is looking to increase regulations on e-cigarette manufacturers.

Morgan Stanley Investment Management is “extremely bullish” on value stocks, especially after the Federal Reserve’s decision to keep its policy in place until the US economy rebounds last week. Continued liquidity and no change in policy mean sustained performance for value stocks, Andrew Slimmon, managing director and senior portfolio manager, explained.

In the crypto space, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey sold his first-ever tweet for $2.9 million dollars as a non-fungible token, or NFT, on Monday. Hours after the news broke, the executive donated the sum to a nonprofit’s Africa response.

Bitcoin fell 2.97% to $55,782 as of Monday 4 p.m. ET, after scaling above the $57,000-level earlier in the day.

Oil prices rose modestly. West Texas Intermediate crude was up 0.8%, to $61.47 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, was up 0.2%, to $64.54 per barrel.

Gold slipped as much as 0.32%, to $1,739.79 per ounce.

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Nasdaq falls 3% as jump in bond yields hurts technology stocks

trader nyse pray

A decline in US stocks on Thursday was led by the Nasdaq 100, which fell 3% following a surge in interest rates.

The 10-year US Treasury yield hit 1.75% on Thursday, representing a new cycle-high for the treasury note. Yields haven’t been that high since January 2020, just two months before the COVID-19 pandemic led to widespread lockdowns across the globe.

Investors’ inflation fears weren’t quelled by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s speech on Wednesday, as he committed to his resolve in maintaining ultra-low interest rates, as he sees current inflation concerns as transitory.

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 4:00 p.m. ET close on Thursday:

Weekly jobless claims moved higher on Thursday to 770,000, which was higher than economist estimates of 700,000 and also above last week’s revised number of 725,000.

AMC Entertainment jumped nearly 5% after the company said 98% of its movie theater locations would be open by this Friday.

Bitcoin moved higher on Thursday and flirted with the $60,000 level as Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s commitment to continue supporting the economy with easy monetary policy fueled inflation concerns, which some investors say bitcoin is a hedge against.

Penny stock trading volume has soared 2,000% in the past year as a surge in retail investors has led to speculative investing in risky trading vehicles.

The recent launch of the “BUZZ” social sentiment ETF, which was promoted by Barstool Sports’ Dave Portnoy, has been a success as it passed the $500 million mark in assets under management.

Oil prices plunged on Thursday as investor fear over rising inventory builds, a strengthening US dollar, and lower demand prospects amid an uneven global vaccine rollout.

West Texas Intermediate crude fell over 8%, to $59.07 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, dropped by 8.3%, to $62.37 per barrel, at intraday lows.

Gold jumped as much as 0.3%, to $1,732 per ounce.

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