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Stock futures trade cautiously ahead of infrastructure plan

Stock futures trade cautiously ahead of infrastructure plan


U.S. equity futures were trading cautiously ahead of the release of President Biden’s proposals for spending perhaps even more than $3 trillion on infrastructure and other measures to help the economy and environment.

Investors will also get to examine the first labor-related report of the week leading to Friday’s release of the monthly employment report.

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The major futures indexes are trading mixed with the Nasdaq showing a small gain.

The payroll processing firm ADP’s National Employment report for March will be released before the opening bell.. Economists are looking for a gain of 550,000 private-sector jobs, significantly above February’s weaker than expected increase of 117,000.

The Institute for Supply Management is out with its Chicago Purchasing Managers’ index for March. The closely-watched gauge of Midwest business activity is anticipated to bounce to 60.7 from a slightly lower-than-expected reading of 59.5 the prior month. Recall that 50 is the dividing line between expansion and contraction.

Finally, the National Association of Realtors will post its index of pending home sales for February.  Economists anticipate a 2.9% mmonth-over-month decline, following a 2.8% slide in January. Note that a sale is pending when a contract to buy a previously owned home has been signed and is awaiting closing.

Asian shares traded lower despite a strong report on the economic recovery in China, but worries lingered about the coronavirus pandemic.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 dipped 0.9%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped 0.4% and China’s Shanghai Composite shed 0.4%.

CHINA MANUFACTURING REBOUNDS IN MARCH AMID TECH, VIRUS RISKS

A survey released Wednesday shows China’s factory activity rebounded in March from a three-month slowdown as export orders rose. The monthly index of manufacturing issued by the China’s statistics agency and an industry group rose to 51.9 from February’s 50.6 on a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 show activity expanding.

On Tuesday, U.S. stock indexes fell as another move higher by Treasury yields pressured big technology stocks. Yields perked higher after a report showed consumers are even more confident than economists expected.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury was at 1.73% on Wednesday morning.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 33066.96 -104.41 -0.31%
SP500 S&P 500 3958.55 -12.54 -0.32%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 13045.394302 -14.25 -0.11%

The S&P 500 slid 0.3% to 3,958.55, its second decline in a row. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.3% from the all-time high it set a day before, to 33,066.96. The Nasdaq composite fell 0.1% to 13,045.39.

Despite the pressure on big tech stocks, most professional investors remain optimistic that the broader market can keep rising. A stronger economy thanks to COVID-19 vaccinations and massive spending by the U.S. government should help boost profits for many companies this year, particularly those like banks, energy producers and industrial companies.

In energy trading, oil prices rose on the eve of a meeting between OPEC and its allies, as investors were betting the producers would largely agree to extend their supply curbs into May.

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U.S. benchmark crude gained 24 cents to $60.80 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, added 46 cents to $64.60 a barrel.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.



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