Stock-index futures pointed mostly higher Friday, putting the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 on track to bounce from a selloff in the previous session triggered by a continued drop in Treasury yields.
What are major indexes doing?
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average
rose 226 points, or 0.7%, to 34,520.
S&P 500 futures
were up 17.60 points, or 0.4%, at 4,330.50.
lost 9 points, or less than 0.1%, to trade at 14,703.25.
On Thursday, stocks retreated but ended the day off session lows. The Dow
closed 259.86 points lower, off 0.7%, at 34,421.93, after dropping more than 500 points at its session low. The S&P 500
ended 0.9% lower, while the Nasdaq Composite
gave up 0.7% a day after both indexes closed at their latest in a string of records.
What’s driving the market?
Stocks were attempting to regain their footing after worries over the global growth outlook was blamed — along with myriad other factors — for a Treasury market rally that sent long-term yields down sharply this week.
Yields, which move in the opposite direction of debt prices, were bouncing Friday, with the 10-year rate
up 5 basis points at 1.342%. The yield hit a five-month low below 1.25% on Thursday.
Concerns about the spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 were cited as part of the reason behind the worries over the global economic outlook. But analysts questioned whether the backdrop would be enough to derail the equity market rally.
In the end, falling yields should be a positive for stocks, argued Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote, in a Friday note. Falling yields hint that inflation and the potential for a more aggressive than expected response from the Federal Reserve are a fading cause for concern, she said.
“The market rhetoric is clearly shifting from transitory inflation to transitory recovery, and that’s probably what keeps the inflows in U.S. Treasurys elevated, combined with a seasonally low issuance of Treasurys in July and Fed coming back to the market after the July 4 break,” the analyst said.
“ As such, falling Treasury yields and rising equity prices is the most reasonable market reaction, although it’s worth noting that this time, the rising COVID concerns are also accompanied by rising COVID cases,” Ozkardeskaya wrote.
Meanwhile, virus-related restrictions were tightened in Asia and Europe. Seoul’s pandemic alert was lifted to its highest level, the Netherlands announced new steps and social-distancing rules were tightened in Sydney, a day after Japan declared a state of emergency that will effectively rule out spectators at the 2020 Olympics.
Market bulls have argued that the kickoff of second-quarter earnings season next week could also underpin markets. Companies in the S&P 500 are expected to see a 63.6% increase in earnings in the second quarter from a year before, which would mark its highest 12-month climb since the fourth quarter of 2009, according to FactSet analysts.
The Biden administration on Friday was set to announce a new executive order to crack down on anticompetitive practices in the tech industry, CNBC reported. the order includes 72 actions and recommendations across a dozen federal agencies, the report said.
The economic calendar is light, featuring only May wholesale inventories at 10 a.m. Eastern. Economists expect it to show a 1.1% rise.
Which companies are in focus?
Philip Morris International Inc.
announced plans to buy Vectura Group PLC, a U.K. pharmaceuticals business specializing in inhaled medicines, for $1.24 billion in cash, part of its push to expand beyond tobacco and nicotine. Philip Morris shares edged up 0.2% in premarket trade.