Stock futures open higher, extending gains after record session

Stock futures opened higher on Monday night, building on advances after a record day.

S&P 500 contracts edged up. The blue chip index set an intraday record earlier on Monday, but ended just short of a record close. The Nasdaq outperformed and rose 1.6% to new highs, driven by gains in Big Tech stocks, including Amazon (AMZN). “Reopen” stocks, including airlines and cruise lines, also increased their gains after rising during the normal trading day, with optimism for a broader recovery in leisure and travel after that the United States Food and Drug Administration has granted full approval to Pfizer (PFE) and BioNTech (BNTX) COVID-19 vaccine.

Investors are also eagerly awaiting the Federal Reserve’s Jackson Hole Virtual Symposium which kicks off Thursday. The event is expected to serve as an additional forum for central bank officials to discuss their assessment of economic conditions and provide guidance on when the Fed may announce and possibly begin the process of scaling back its asset purchase program. in a time of crisis.

New economic data released earlier this week disappointed relative to Wall Street estimates, with index tracking activity in the U.S. services sector cooling to an eight-month low as concerns over the Delta variant began to weigh on demand.

Despite the lingering risks of the virus, however, three major factors have helped keep stock markets moving to new all-time highs, according to a strategist.

“The first is extremely low discount rates. The 10-year Treasury yield is just below August lows,” Michael Darda, chief economist at MKM Partners, told Yahoo Finance. “So, all other things being equal, if interest rates are low, if discount rates are low, valuations will tend to be higher due to a lack of competition.”

“On top of that, we have a very high liquidity environment… and earnings have been incredibly strong,” he added. “Usually when long-term interest rates go down, earnings or the economy falter. In this case, earnings have been pretty robust, really historic. So we’re really going to need to see one of these. three pillars disrupted in some fashion for a sharp decline in stock prices. ”

Others offered an equally optimistic view of the trajectory of US stocks.

“We think the main trend is upwards”, Keith Lerner, Truist Wealth’s chief market strategist told Yahoo Finance. “You are only a year away from this economic expansion. Economic expansions last about five years. And the earnings season that we just came out of has been once again phenomenal.”

“Even though this is a peak of growth, we still think it will be strong growth,” he said. “You have earnings going up and then you look at the relative comparison of stocks versus bonds and they’re still attractive… Overall, we think the right position is to overweight stocks.”

6:15 p.m. ET Monday: Stock futures extend gains

Here’s where the markets were trading Monday night:

  • S&P 500 Futures Contracts (ES = F): +5 points (+ 0.11%) at 4,480.50

  • Dow Futures (YM = F): +43.00 points (+ 0.12%) to 35,324.00

  • Nasdaq Futures Contracts (NQ = F): +20 points (+ 0.13%) to 15,324.50

Traders work in the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, United States on August 19, 2021. The S&P 500 Index closed at 4,405.80 points, up 5.53 points, or 0.13%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 34,894.12 points, down 66.57 points, or 0.19%. The Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 14,541.79 points, up 15.88 points, or 0.11%. (Photo by Wang Ying / Xinhua via Getty Images)

Emily McCormick is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @emily_mcck

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