Nasdaq Futures at Record High as Economic Concerns Drive Tech Demand

By Reuters
Reuters
Reuters
November 19, 2021 Updated: November 19, 2021

Nasdaq index futures hit a record high on Friday as investors sought economically stable sectors after a small delay in voting on President Joe Biden’s $1.75 trillion spending bill, while rising COVID-19 cases in Europe also dented sentiment.

S&P and Dow futures fell tracking losses in banks, airlines, and other economically sensitive sectors. Uncertainty over rising inflation and the Federal Reserve’s tightening also kept demand for value stocks low.

The U.S. House of Representatives early on Friday delayed an anticipated vote on passage of Biden’s social programs and climate change investment bill, and will instead reconvene at 8 a.m. EST (1300 GMT) to complete the legislation.

In Europe, rising COVID-19 cases saw Austria outline plans for a full lockdown, while Germany could follow suit amid a new wave of infections.

Shares of Alphabet Inc., Amazon.com, and Microsoft Corp.—stocks which have largely persevered through economic shocks since 2020, rose between 0.3 percent and 0.5 percent in premarket trade.

Chipmaker Nvidia also boosted Nasdaq futures, rising 1.7 percent in heavy trade after posting strong quarterly results late Wednesday.

On the other hand, carriers Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and American Airlines, and cruiseliners Norwegian Cruise Line and Carnival Corp. fell between 1.4 percent and 2.3 percent.

Oil firms Exxon Mobil and Chevron Corp. slipped 2.1 percent and 1.8 percent as crude prices sank, while big banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America were down between 0.9 percent and 1.1 percent, tracking a fall in U.S. Treasury yields.

At 6:26 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 145 points, or 0.4 percent. S&P 500 e-minis were down 5.75 points, or 0.12 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 68 points, or 0.41 percent.

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq eked out record highs on Thursday following strong technology and retail earnings. Both indexes were headed for mild weekly gains, while the Dow Jones was set for a second straight week of losses.

Among major premarket movers, Intuit Inc. jumped 10.3 percent as brokerages raised their price targets on the income tax software company after it beat quarterly estimates and raised forecast. The stock was the top S&P 500 gainer in premarket trade.

Applied Materials Inc. dropped 5.7 percent after the chipmaker forecast first-quarter sales and profit below market estimates on supply chain woes.

By Ambar Warrick and Devik Jain

Reuters