Stock futures rise after record-setting session, with S&P 500 pacing toward weekly gain

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Stock futures opened higher Thursday evening at the end of a technology-led session on Wall Street, with Big Tech shares propelling the broader market to yet another record high. 

Contracts on the S&P 500 rose after the index reached an all-time closing high of 4,097.17 at the end of the regular trading day. The blue-chip index was on track to end the week higher for a third straight week. Dow and Nasdaq futures also added to regular-session gains. 

Traders considered more reassurances from Federal Reserve Jerome Powell, who reiterated in remarks Wednesday that the Fed was looking for “actual progress” rather than “forecasts” for progress toward the central bank’s employment and inflation goals. He also underscored the distance still left for the economy to go before reaching these targets and prompting a policy shift, with the recovery in the labor market especially still “uneven and incomplete” to date. A disappointing jobless claims report earlier on Thursday, with new claims unexpectedly climbing for a second straight week, appeared to affirm these sentiments. 

Treasury yields have come back down as fears over a near-term Fed policy shift deflated, prompting investors to circle back to growth stocks and large-cap tech names in particular that would benefit from a lower-rate environment. Microsoft, Alphabet and Facebook each notched record intraday and closing highs during Thursday’s session. 

These moves back into tech stocks, however, have come at the expense of some of the cyclical and value names that had been outperforming earlier this year. The S&P energy and financials sectors have lagged over the past month, though they remain the two top outperforming sectors when looking back over 2021 to date. 

“We’ve seen this rotation into more value-oriented names from growth to value, but as we enter into earnings season, we anticipate growth names to see somewhat of a rebound because we expect strong earnings coming out of the growth names,” Colleen MacPherson, Penobscot Investment Management portfolio manager, told Yahoo Finance. “But overall, I think the trend into value, small caps, more cyclical names will continue as the economy reopens and more people are inoculated and we get back to normalcy.” 

6:00 p.m. ET Thursday: Stock futures rise after tech-led session 

Here’s where markets were trading Thursday evening:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 4,096.75, up 7.75 points or 0.19%

  • Dow futures (YM=F): 33,446.00, up 56 points or 0.17%

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 13,785.50, up 37.75 points or 0.27%

Emily McCormick is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @emily_mcck

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