Market Futures Rise As COVID-Sensitive Economic Sectors Recover

@reuters
Market Futures Rise As COVID-Sensitive Economic Sectors Recover

By Ambar Warrick and Devik Jain

(Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures rose on Monday as energy and bank stocks recovered slightly from last week's losses, although anticipation of several economic readings this week kept gains in check.

Nasdaq futures hit a record high as demand for technology stocks remained strong. Heavyweights, including most tech majors, rose in premarket trade.

Tech had largely outperformed other sectors last week, helping the Nasdaq to close over the 16,000 level for the first time as concerns over rising COVID-19 cases in Europe drove up safe-haven demand.

Bank stocks were set to recover from steep losses last week, when safe-haven demand sent Treasury yields down sharply. Yields were steady on Monday.

Travel and energy stocks, which were among the worst performers last week, also marked small gains before the open.

Still, gains in most sectors were constrained as investors awaited a slew of economic readings this week, including IHS business activity readings, personal consumption expenditure, and minutes of the Federal Reserve's last meeting.

Along with an eye on the Fed's plans for tightening policy, investors are also watching for an announcement from President Joe Biden on his pick for the next Fed chair.

Investors expect current chair Jerome Powell to stay on for another term, although Fed Governor Lael Brainard is also seen as a candidate for the position.

At 6:29 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 154 points, or 0.43%. S&P 500 e-minis were up 17.5 points, or 0.37% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 56.75 points, or 0.34%.

Wall Street indexes had hit record highs this month as a strong third-quarter earnings season showed that most corporate profits were yet to be dented by rising inflation and supply chain issues.

Among other premarket movers, Tesla Inc gained 2.8% after Chief Executive Elon Musk tweeted that Model S Plaid will "probably" be coming to China around March.

Activision Blizzard slipped 1.1% after a media report that the video game publisher's top boss, Bobby Kotick, would consider leaving if he cannot quickly fix culture problems.

(Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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