© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Dividers are seen inside a trading post on the trading floor as preparations are made for the return to trading at the NYSE in New York
By Medha Singh and Shashank Nayar
(Reuters) – Wall Street’s main indexes were set to open higher on Thursday as U.S. bond yields retreated to one-week lows on ebbing concerns over a strong pick up in inflation, while data showed jobless claims fell more than expected last week.
Mega-cap stocks Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL), Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:MSFT), Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) Inc gained between 1% and 4.5% premarket as the benchmark Treasury yields dipped to 1.5% after shooting to a one-year high above 1.6% last week.
High-growth tech stocks, which are attempting to regain their footing after a recent pullback, are sensitive to increasing interest rates as they are valued on earnings expected years into the future.
The Nasdaq is now about 7% below its Feb. 12 record close after falling as much as 12% last week.
The Dow on Wednesday hit a record closing high for the first time since February as tepid inflation numbers allayed fears that the economy is running too hot.
“The inflation scare that we saw last week has subsided as bond yields calm down,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities in New York.
“The market sentiment is turning more optimistic as we get better results from vaccines that help towards a faster pace of herd immunity.”
A sweeping $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, which includes $1,400 direct payments, received a final nod from Congress on Thursday and is expected to surpercharge the economic recovery from a pandemic that has killed more than 528,000 people and thrown millions out of work.
Fewer than expected Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week as an improving public health environment allows more segments of the economy to reopen.
Investors will now eye an auction of U.S. 30-year debt later in the day. A weak seven-year auction in late February fuelled inflation concerns and sent yields higher.
JD (NASDAQ:JD).com Inc climbed about 6% after the Chinese e-commerce company reported a jump in fourth-quarter revenue as it benefited from a broader shift to online shopping triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bumble Inc jumped about 10.7% after it reported a bigger-than-estimated rise in fourth-quarter revenue and said it expected pent-up demand from people who had been avoiding dating in person due to the pandemic.
A so-called “meme” stock AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC) Holdings Inc gained 6.6% as the cinema chain said the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines and the release of major movies, including “Black Widow”, would boost sales this year.
Oracle Corp (NYSE:ORCL) slumped 6% as the business software maker’s cloud division reported quarterly revenue that missed analysts’ estimates on increased competition from Amazon.com Inc and Microsoft Corp.Wall Street headed higher on calmer bond markets, upbeat jobless claims data