Nasdaq futures rise as tech selloff calms

FILE PHOTO: A worker cleans the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)
FILE PHOTO: A worker cleans the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) , U.S., March 20, 2020. (REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)

By Shreyashi Sanyal and Devik Jain

Futures tracking the Nasdaq 100 index rose on Friday as a two-day selloff in technology-related stocks halted, while worries about rising coronavirus cases and a patchy economic recovery weighed on S&P 500 and Dow futures.

Wall Street’s three main indexes bounced earlier this week as investors bet on a loose monetary policy by the Federal Reserve, but gains petered out in the absence of firm details on the central bank’s stimulus plan.

The S&P 500 <.SPX> and the Nasdaq <.IXIC> have also come under pressure from investors rotating out of high-flying tech-related stocks and into industrial and transportation firms.

But premarket gains on Friday were led by Apple Inc <AAPL.O>, Alphabet Inc <GOOGL.O>, Amazon.com Inc <AMZN.O>, Microsoft Corp <MSFT.O>, Facebook <FB.O> and Tesla Inc <TSLA.O>, which have together dominated Wall Street’s recovery from the coronavirus-led slump in March.

“The market’s in a vacuum right now,” said Thomas Hayes, managing member at Great Hill Capital LLC in New York.

“Anytime you have news or perception that things are going to be delayed or (you have a) slow growth economy, those (technology-related) stocks get bid. You’ll get these technical bounce days when coronavirus cases spike up and money will move back into tech.”

At 8:42 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis <1YMcv1> were up 19 points, or 0.07%. S&P 500 e-minis <EScv1> were up 5.75 points, or 0.17% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis <NQcv1> were up 60 points, or 0.54%.

Tesla rose 5.0% as two analysts raised their price targets on the electric carmaker’s shares ahead of its highly anticipated “Battery Day” event next week.

Oracle Corp <ORCL.N> fell 0.4% after Reuters reported the U.S. Commerce Department plans to issue an order on Friday that will bar people in the United States from downloading Chinese-owned messaging app WeChat and video-sharing app TikTok starting on Sept. 20.

Power provider PG&E Corp <PCG.N> shed 0.3% as Chief Financial Officer Jason Wells resigned to join CenterPoint Energy Inc <CNP.N> as its finance chief.

Of the 11 major S&P indexes, industrials <.SPLRCI>, materials <.SPLRCM> and energy <.SPNY> have gained more than 2% so far this week, while communication services <.SPLRCL> and consumer discretionary <.SPLRCD> have posted the biggest declines.

Volatility is likely to be higher on Friday related to a quarterly expiration of U.S. stock options, stock index futures and index option contracts, known as “quadruple witching”.

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