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Market Snapshot: U.S. stock futures edge higher as investors shake off Biden tax jitters

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U.S. stock-index futures ticked higher Friday as investors looked ahead to data on activity in the manufacturing and services sectors a day after equities stumbled following reports President Joe Biden would propose a large increase on the capital-gains tax for the wealthiest Americans.

A busy week of corporate earnings reports is also coming to a close.

What are major benchmarks doing?
  • Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average
    YM00,
    +0.01%

    rose 44 points, or 0.1%, to 33,753.
  • S&P 500 futures
    ES00,
    +0.17%

    were up 9.30 points, or 0.2%, at 4,137.
  • Nasdaq-100 futures
    NQ00,
    +0.18%

    rose 28.50 points, or 0.2%, to 13,778.75.

On Thursday, the Dow
DJIA,
-0.94%

tumbled 321.40 points, or 0.9%, for its biggest one-day fall since March 4, while the S&P 500
SPX,
-0.92%

and Nasdaq Composite
COMP,
-0.94%

also fell 0.9%.

What’s driving the market?

Stocks turned south in early afternoon trade Thursday after Bloomberg News and others reported that Biden would propose a hike in the capital-gains tax rate to 39.6% from 20% for individuals making more than $1 million a year. While the reports dented sentiment, analysts noted that the proposal was in line with Biden’s campaign promises and noted expectations a hike would be scaled back in congressional negotiations.

“The 39.6% figure is very much in line with the campaign pledge and shouldn’t shock, but the fact we’ve seen selling of risk suggests the market is far more sensitive to bad news, and this will happen when froth is prevalent,” said Chris Weston, head of research at Pepperstone, in a note.

“Consolidation seems to the order here in the short-term and it feels like we’re at the mercy of a period of choppy price action,” he said.

TaxWatch: Biden has pledged to tax the rich — but precisely how will he do that? Experts consider his options

Markit’s U.S. manufacturing and services purchasing managers index readings for April are due at 9:45 a.m. Eastern. Economists expect the manufacturing gauge to rise to 60.5 from 59.1, while the services index is expected to rise to 61.0 from 60.4. A reading of more than 50 indicates an expansion in activity.

March new-home sales figures are set for release at 10 a.m. Eastern and are expected to rise to an 888,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate from 775,000 in February.

Which companies are in focus?
What are other markets doing?
  • The yield on the 10-year Treasury note
    BX:TMUBMUSD10Y
    fell 1.4 basis points to 1.547%. Yields and bond prices move in opposite directions.
  • The ICE U.S. Dollar Index
    DXY,
    -0.43%
    ,
    a measure of the currency against a basket of six major rivals, fell 0.3%.
  • Bitcoin
    BTCUSD,
    -3.63%

    fell sharply in a move that some observers tied to tax jitters, with the digital asset falling below $50,000.
  • Oil futures rose, with the U.S. benchmark
    CL00,
    +0.28%

    up 0.5% at $61.67 a barrel.
  • Gold futures edged higher, with the June contract
    GCM21,
    +0.58%

    up 0.3% at $1,787.20 an ounce.
  • In Europe, the Stoxx 600 index
    SXXP,
    -0.44%

    fell 0.4%, while London’s FTSE 100
    UKX,
    -0.51%

    was down 0.5%.
  • In Asia, the Shanghai Composite
    SHCOMP,
    +0.26%

    rose 0.3%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index
    HSI,
    +1.12%

    jumped 1.1% and Japan’s Nikkei 225
    NIK,
    -0.57%

    fell 0.6%.

The Tell: ‘Massive helicopter drop of money’ from Fed and Washington raises inflation risk, says manager of $88 billion bond fund

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