S&P 500, Nasdaq aim for record highs at open

(Reuters) -The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were on pace to open near record levels as tech-related growth stocks edged up, while investors awaited data on the health of a U.S. labor market recovery and corporate earnings later in the week.

FILE PHOTO: Dividers are seen inside a trading post on the trading floor as preparations are made for the return to trading at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), May 22, 2020. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 40 points, or 0.28%, with Microsoft Corp, Amazon.com Inc and Facebook Inc adding about half a percent in premarket trading.

The S&P 500 on Friday logged its best weekly performance in 20 following a bipartisan agreement on a $1.2 trillion infrastructure spending deal and waning concerns about a sooner -than-expected policy tightening from the Federal Reserve.

Both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq hit a series of record highs last week. But the tech-heavy Nasdaq’s 4.4% gain is outpacing its peers in June as investors pile back into tech-oriented growth stocks on waning worries about runaway inflation.

“It’s encouraging that investors are willing to rotate, rather than retreat, meaning to sell out everything. Value stocks are not dead, especially if we do end up getting an infrastructure package,” said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA.

With the S&P 500 up almost 14% as the first half of 2021 draws to a close, activity in some areas of the market indicates concern over potential volatility, with some investors suggesting the market may be overdue for a significant pullback.

At 8:21 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 47 points, or 0.14% and S&P 500 e-minis were up 1.75 points, or 0.04%.

Quarterly results from Micron Technology, ConocoPhillips and Walgreens are slated for this week. On the economic front, attention will be on consumer confidence data, a private jobs report and a crucial monthly employment report.

“The Fed is looking at the nonfarm payrolls number. If we end up with a number that is close to Wall Street estimates of 700,000, or more, then that could end up increasing the hawkish fed rhetoric,” Stovall added.

Boeing Co fell 1.4% after the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration told the planemaker that its planned 777X is not yet ready for a significant certification step and warned it “realistically” will not certify the airplane until mid- to late-2023.

U.S-listed shares of Chinese tech giant Baidu rose 1.0% after its smart electric vehicle venture with automaker Geely, Jidu Auto, hired Frank Wu, formerly at Cadillac, to lead its design studio.

Virgin Galactic jumped 6.5% after Bernstein hiked its price target on the spaceship company’s stock.

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