Market Overview

Stock futures mixed after S&P 500 notches record

Futures contracts tied to the major U.S. stock indexes traded mixed early Friday after the S&P 500 closed at a record high and President Joe Biden signed landmark stimulus legislation. Dow futures added 52 points implying a gain of a similar magnitude when regular trading resumes on Friday. Nasdaq 100 and S&P 500 futures slipped 0.66% and 0.11%, respectively.

U.S. stocks climbed to record highs during Thursday’s regular session as a rebound in tech shares resumed and Biden’s $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief package became law. The S&P 500 jumped 1% and hit a new closing high, surpassing its previous record from Feb. 16. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, the relative laggard, finished up 188.57 points after rallying more than 300 points earlier in the session to an intraday record.

But while the S&P 500 clinched a new closing record, the Nasdaq Composite posted the best gain on the day with a climb of 2.5% amid the pivot back into popular technology equities. Moves that carried that index higher included a 4.7% pop in Tesla and gains of at least 3% in Apple, Facebook, Alphabet and Netflix. The Nasdaq is clawing its way out of a 10% correction it suffered earlier this month and remains 5.48% below its own record that it set in February.

Signs that the U.S. economy may be set for a healthy 2021 were plentiful on Thursday after Biden signed his much-anticipated $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package into law. The plan will send direct payments of up to $1,400 to many Americans, and will also put nearly $20 billion into Covid-19 vaccinations and $350 billion into state, local and tribal government relief. Biden announced Thursday evening that he would direct states to make all adults eligible for the vaccine by May 1 in his first primetime address as president. Investors also cheered a slightly better-than-expected reading on weekly jobless claims that showed a decline in the number of first-time applicants for jobless benefits.

Stock futures mixed after S&P 500 notches record, CNBC, Mar 12

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