(Reuters) – Futures tracking the Nasdaq 100 index hit a record high on Wednesday with investors razor focused on business activity data after Federal Reserve officials sought to calm fears of a sharp tapering of monetary stimulus.
IHS Markit’s flash reading on manufacturing and services PMI data, due at 0945 am ET (1345 GMT), is expected to show a slight easing in business activity this month, compared with May.
In a hearing before a U.S. House of Representatives panel, Fed Chair Jerome Powell reiterated the central bank will not raise interest rates too quickly on inflation fears alone and will encourage a “broad and inclusive” recovery of the job market.
Powell’s comments follow the Fed’s projection of an increase in interest rates as soon as 2023, sooner than anticipated which sparked a sharp profit booking in the so called “reflation” stocks and triggered a move into tech-heavy growth names.
However, market participants have swung between value and growth stocks this week, with the Nasdaq notching a record close on Tuesday, lifted by Amazon.com, Microsoft Corp and other top-shelf tech companies.
The S&P growth index has risen 3.9% in June, closing the gap between its value counterpart, which has fallen 2% this month but is still up more than 14% on the year.
At 6:31 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 61 points, or 0.18%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 4.25 points, or 0.1%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 21.25 points, or 0.15%.
Rate-sensitive JPMorgan Chase & Co, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America added between 0.4% and 0.7% in premarket trading as yield on the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.5%. [US/]
Energy stocks Occidental Petroleum Corp, ConocoPhillips and Exxon Mobil gained about 1% as oil prices jumped to a more than two-year high. [O/R]
Among so-called meme stocks, software firm Alfi Inc dropped 10.1% after more than doubling in value in the prior session, while Torchlight Energy Resources Inc slumped 8.6% for the second day after announcing an upsized stock offering.
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