S&P Looks Set to Add to Record as Futures Rise



Futures contracts tied to the S&P 500 ticked modestly higher in early morning trading on Thursday, suggesting that Wall Street could extend gains that have propelled the benchmark to record levels this week.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrials added seven points to 33,335.

Futures for the S&P 500 added 13.5 points, or 0.3%, to 4,083.50.

Futures for the NASDAQ Composite index jumped 115 points, or 0.9%, to 13,719.75 Thursday.

The ‘FAANG’ tech shares of Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google-parent Alphabet were all about 1% higher in pre-market trading Thursday. Chip stocks like Nvidia also gained in early trading.

Investors will pore over the U.S. Labor Department’s latest update on the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits for the first time. Economists polled by Dow Jones expect first-time claims to total 694,000 during the week ended April 3.

Investors appeared pacified during Wednesday’s session by the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting minutes, which showed that officials plan to keep the pace of asset purchases the same for some time as the central bank works to support stable prices and maximum employment.

President Joe Biden spoke on Wednesday from Washington about his administration’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan that includes a corporate tax rate hike to 28% and noted that he is willing to negotiate on the proposed tax increase.

The proposed increase to the corporate tax is thought to be a key source of tax revenue for the White House infrastructure plan and is a non-starter for Republicans, who say they are concerned about tax increases as the U.S. economy emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Separately, the Treasury Department said that Biden’s tax proposals would generate about $2.5 trillion over 15 years in an effort to pay for eight years of spending on roads, bridges, transit, broadband and other projects.

Overseas, in Japan, the Nikkei 225 slipped 0.1% Thursday, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index gained 1.2%.

Oil prices dropped 29 cents to $59.48 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices popped $9.20 to $1,750.80 U.S.

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