U.S. stock indexes were set to open lower on Monday as most big technology stocks were pressured by an uptick in Treasury yields, while Tesla shares rose after reporting a record number of electric vehicle deliveries.
U.S. Treasury yields have been supported by recent data showing increased consumer spending, accelerated factory activity, and elevated inflation growth, fuelling bets that the Federal Reserve could start tightening its accommodative monetary policy sooner than expected.
High-flying growth companies including Apple Inc., Facebook Inc., Microsoft Corp., Alphabet Inc., and Amazon.com Inc. fell between 0.2 percent and 0.9 percent in premarket trading.
“In the rising rate environment, historically you’ve been rewarded being in the economically sensitive value and cyclical stocks, relative to tech. That’s not to say tech will collapse, it’s just to say that the cyclicals should do better in coming months,” said Thomas Hayes, managing member at Great Hill Capital LLC in New York.
“Markets are really focused on Washington and the uncertainty of their being unable to come to an agreement on the infrastructure bill, social spending plan, and raising the debt limit.”
Wall Street’s main indexes were battered in September, hit by worries about the U.S. debt ceiling, the fate of a massive infrastructure spending bill, and the meltdown of heavily indebted China Evergrande Group.
Trading in shares of debt-laden Evergrande were halted on Monday, unsettling markets further about any fallout from its troubles even as media reports said the company would sell a stake in its property management unit for over $5 billion.
Markets also awaited U.S. President Joe Biden’s new plan on China trade strategy, with U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai set for new talks with Beijing later in the day over its failure to keep promises made in a “Phase 1” trade deal struck with former President Donald Trump.
At 8:24 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 86 points, or 0.25 percent, S&P 500 e-minis were down 13.25 points, or 0.31 percent, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 63.25 points, or 0.43 percent.
Tesla Inc. rose 2.5 percent after it had delivered a record electric cars in the third quarter, beating Wall Street estimates on Saturday.
Merck & Co. added 3.5 percent, building on gains from Friday after developing an experimental antiviral pill that could halve the chances of dying or being hospitalized for those most at risk of contracting severe COVID-19.
Shares in 3M Co. fell 1.5 percent after J.P. Morgan cut its rating on the industrial conglomerate’s stock to “neutral” from “overweight”.
The first trial of four large pharmacy chains over the deadly U.S. opioid epidemic was set to begin on Monday, pressuring shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., CVS Health Corp., and Walmart Inc. down between 0.1 percent and 0.6 percent.
By Shreyashi Sanyal