Wall Street set for muted open after record rally on recovery hopes

(Reuters) – Wall Street’s main indexes were set for a muted open on Tuesday as investors paused after the S&P 500 and the Dow closed at record highs on renewed recovery hopes.

FILE PHOTO: A U.S flag is seen on the New York Stock Exchange in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., November 6, 2020. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo

The S&P 500 has risen for three straight sessions with volatility index retreating to pre-pandemic lows, driven by scores of fiscal stimulus and swift vaccinations in the United States.

“The reasons for optimism are the COVID winter is coming to an end and with the vaccines we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. There seems to be a spring in the economy,” said Darren Schuringa, chief executive officer of ASYMmetric ETFs in New York.

“We’re seeing broad-based strength and that’s a positive. This trend that economically sensitive sectors outperform broader markets will continue if the economy continues to expand.”

Tech and other growth stocks have awakened after lagging in recent weeks behind so-called value stocks expected to outperform as the economy emerges from the coronavirus pandemic.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq is now about 3% from its February record high after falling as much as 12% from that level.

Progress in President Joe Biden’s new infrastructure proposal and the start of the earnings season in the coming weeks could dictate the course of stock markets, analysts said.

Later in the day, investors will turn to a reading of U.S. job openings for February. The data follows blowout employment as well as service sector reports for March.

Oil firms Exxon Mobil, Marathon Oil, Occidental Petroleum and Devon Energy rose between 0.44% and 1.34% premarket as crude prices gained. [O/R]

At 8:31 a.m. ET, Dow E-minis were down 42 points, or 0.13%, S&P 500 E-minis were down 4.5 points, or 0.11% and Nasdaq 100 E-minis were up 2.75 points, or 0.02%.

Snap Inc rose 2.8% after Atlantic Equities upgraded its rating on the photo-messaging app owner’s shares to “overweight” from “neutral”.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd added 2.6% as it said it would begin sailing outside the United States from the Caribbean and Greek Isles in July, restarting trips after a year-long hiatus brought on by the pandemic.

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