Market Snapshot: Dow futures pull back after another round of records

United States

Stock-index futures fell slightly Tuesday, signaling a modest pullback a day after major benchmarks scored another round of all-time highs on optimism over the potential for another large round of aid spending.

What are major benchmarks doing?
  • Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average YM00, -0.25% fell 66 points, or 0.2%, to 31,202.
  • S&P 500 futures ES00, -0.21% were off 6.85 points, or 0.2%, at 3,901.25.
  • Nasdaq-100 futures NQ00, -0.13% declined 18 points, or 0.1%, to 13,665.

Stocks saw moderate gains Monday, pushing the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.76% to its first record close since Jan. 20, while the S&P 500 SPX, +0.74% and Nasdaq Composite COMP, +0.95% each scored a third straight record finish. The small-cap Russell 2000 RUT, +2.53% led gains, rising 2.5% to its own record close.

What’s driving the market?

The equities rally is due for a breather after surging to a series of new highs in recent days helped by good earnings reports, progress in Congress on President Joe Biden’s fiscal relief plan, and the accelerating rollout of coronavirus vaccines, along with declining new case numbers, analysts said.

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The main focus remains on prospects for another large round of aid spending with President Joe Biden and congressional Democrats preparing to push a package through the Senate via a process known as budget reconciliation that would require a simple majority. That likely means a package closer in size to Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion proposal than previously expected.

The focus on additional spending and optimism over vaccine rollouts is seen as a positive for cyclical stocks tied more closely to the economic cycle.

“The brighter outlook for U.S. economic activity likely explains why value and ‘old economy’ stocks are spearheading this latest charge higher, while the stay-at-home tech heavyweights like Amazon, Facebook and Apple have fallen behind,” said Marios Hadjikyriacos, investment analyst at XM, in a note.

Energy shares were among Monday’s market leaders as oil futures continued to push higher, with Brent crude BRN00, +0.02%, the global benchmark, topping the $ 60-a-barrel level for the first time in over a year.

Upbeat expectations around the economic outlook aren’t universal, however.

The optimism index compiled by the U.S. National Federation of Independent Business fell 0.9 in January to 95.0, hitting the lowest level since the onset of the pandemic last spring

Data on U.S. December job openings is due at 10 a.m. Eastern.

St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard is scheduled to deliver remarks at noon Eastern.

Which companies are in focus?
  • Drugmaker Eli Lilly & Co. LLY, +1.98% said chief financial officer Josh Smiley will resign after engaging in inappropriate personal communications with some employees. Lilly said that Anat Ashkenazi, a 20-year veteran of the company, would replace Smiley. Shares were down 0.3% premarket.
  • Shares of videogame publisher Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. TTWO, +2.82% were down 4.6% in premarket trade after reporting a better-than-expected outlook and results late Monday as sales saw a holiday boost during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Shares of DuPont de Nemours Inc. DD, -0.11% rose after the materials and chemicals company reported fourth-quarter profit and sales that beat Wall Street expectations.
  • Shares of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. GT, +1.35% were higher in premarket action after reporting profit and revenue that beat expectations.
  • Coty Inc. COTY, +3.93% shares were lower after the beauty products company reported fiscal second-quarter adjusted profit that declined less than expected, while sales fell a bit shy of forecasts.
What are other markets doing?
  • The yield on the 10-year Treasury note TMUBMUSD10Y, 1.155% fell 0.3 basis pont to 1.155%. Yields and bond prices move in opposite directions.
  • The ICE U.S. Dollar Index DXY, -0.39%, a measure of the currency against a basket of six major rivals, fell 0.4% to 90.61.
  • Oil futures were little changed, with the U.S. benchmark CL.1, -0.19% up 3 cents at $ 58 a barrel. Gold futures GC00, +0.43% edged higher, up 0.5% at $ 1,842.90 an ounce.
  • The pan-European Stoxx 600 Europe index SXXP, -0.26% was down 0.3%, while London’s FTSE 100 UKX, +0.02% was flat.
  • In Asia, the Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, +2.01% rose 2%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI, +0.53% rose 0.5%, and Japan’s Nikkei 225 NIK, +0.40% rose 0.4%.