U.S. Stock Futures Waver Ahead of Data

U.S. stock futures wavered, extending the week's pattern of muted moves ahead of data on the trade deficit and job openings.

S&P 500 futures traded mostly flat and futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.1%. The contracts don't necessarily predict moves after the opening bell.

In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 added 0.1% in morning trade, and it is at its highest level in a year as gains in communication services and financials sectors were offset by losses in materials and consumer discretionary sectors.

Intermediate Capital Group climbed 4.4% and Greggs jumped 2.3%.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 rose 0.1%. Other stock indexes in Europe were mixed as France's CAC 40 gained 0.1% and the U.K.'s FTSE 250 added 0.1%, whereas Germany's DAX was broadly flat.

The Swiss franc, the euro and the British pound lost 0.1%, 0.2% and 0.3% respectively against the U.S. dollar.

In commodities, Brent crude fell 0.8% to $70.94 a barrel. Gold strengthened 0.1% to $1,899.80 a troy ounce.

German 10-year bund yields were down to minus 0.203% and U.K. 10-year gilts yields slipped to 0.803%. The yield on 10-year U.S. Treasury fell to 1.556% from 1.570%. Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions.

In Asia, indexes mostly fell as Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 0.3% after trading higher 0.7% during the session, Japan's Nikkei 225 index was lower 0.2%, and China's benchmark Shanghai Composite shed 0.5% after gaining 0.6% earlier.

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U.S. stock futures paused Tuesday, putting indexes on course for lackluster trading after the opening bell as investors awaited data on the scale of the trade deficit.

Futures tied to the broad S&P 500 index edged down less than 0.1%. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures ticked 0.2% lower a day after the blue-chip index briefly climbed into record territory before ending the session down 0.4%. Nasdaq- 100 futures wavered between gains and losses.

Stocks have been range bound in recent sessions, with indexes hovering close to record levels due to a rapidly rebounding U.S. economy and significant levels of support from Washington and the Federal Reserve. The market's moves in recent weeks have moderated amid inflation concerns. Investors say they are settling in for a period of choppy trading while they await fresh clues on whether a sharp rise in consumer prices will prove to be fleeting.

"There will be constant gut checks from both the bond and the stock markets on whether this is transitory, or is turning into permanently higher inflation," said David Donabedian, chief investment officer at CIBC Private Wealth Management. "I would still put the odds of a higher S&P 500 at the end of the year as better than 50%, but I think there will be more volatility than return to be had in the second half of the year."

In bond markets, the yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note edged down to 1.554%, from 1.570% Monday. Bond yields drop when prices climb. While worries about a sharp and sustained spike in inflation have abated somewhat, money managers are continuing to assess whether it may erode the returns from fixed-income assets.

"You are beginning to see data which suggest that while elevated inflation might be transitory, the time horizon implied by the word 'transitory' is getting longer," Mr. Donabedian said. "If the inflation data is going to persist on the high side for the next six to nine months, then the Fed is going to have to clarify what it means by transitory."

U.S. trade data, due at 8.30 a.m. ET, is expected to show the deficit narrowed in April, but remained elevated after hitting a record in March as stimulus measures pushed demand for imports.

Bitcoin prices continued to fall, hitting their lowest level since late January. The cryptocurrency fell 4.5% from its 5 p.m. ET level Monday to $32,908.05, according to CoinDesk.

Overseas, the pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 was relatively flat after closing at an all-time high Monday.

Among individual shares, U.K. asset manager Intermediate Capital Group jumped over 4% after reporting a jump in profits and assets under management.

In Asia, stock indexes mostly edged lower by the close of trading. Japan's Nikkei 225 slid 0.2%. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index was relatively unchanged from the prior day. China's Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.5%.

Write to Will Horner at William.Horner@wsj.com

By Will Horner

U.S. stocks opened higher Tuesday, with technology shares on course to lead gains.

The broad S&P 500 index opened 0.21% higher. The Nasdaq-100 rose 0.47%, pointing to a third consecutive day of gains for large technology stocks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was relatively flat, up 0.06%. On Monday, the blue-chip index briefly climbed into record territory before ending the session down 0.4%.

Stocks have been range bound in recent sessions, with indexes hovering close to record levels due to a rapidly rebounding U.S. economy and significant levels of support from Washington and the Federal Reserve. The market's moves in recent weeks have moderated amid inflation concerns. Investors say they are settling in for a period of choppy trading while they await fresh clues on whether a sharp rise in consumer prices will prove to be fleeting.

"There will be constant gut checks from both the bond and the stock markets on whether this is transitory, or is turning into permanently higher inflation," said David Donabedian, chief investment officer at CIBC Private Wealth Management. "I would still put the odds of a higher S&P 500 at the end of the year as better than 50%, but I think there will be more volatility than return to be had in the second half of the year."

Ahead of the market opening, Tesla rose almost 3% after data from the China Passenger Car Association showed sales of electric cars in China surged by 177% in May. The electric car maker sold over 33,000 vehicles that were made in China last month.

Shares of Clover Health Investments soared 37% after the healthcare company emerged as the latest darling for retail traders on Reddit forums, building on its 32% gain Monday. Other so-called meme stocks like GameStop and AMC Entertainment Holdings climbed roughly 5%.

Coupa Software dropped over 9% premarket after the company said it expected to post a loss in its 2022 fiscal year. Marvell Technology rose over 5% after the chip maker posted record quarterly sales.

In bond markets, the yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note fell to 1.526%, from 1.570% Monday. Bond yields drop when prices climb. While worries about a sharp and sustained spike in inflation have abated somewhat, money managers are continuing to assess whether it may erode the returns from fixed-income assets.

"You are beginning to see data which suggest that while elevated inflation might be transitory, the time horizon implied by the word 'transitory' is getting longer," Mr. Donabedian said. "If the inflation data is going to persist on the high side for the next six to nine months, then the Fed is going to have to clarify what it means by transitory."

Bitcoin prices continued to fall, hovering close to their lowest level since late January. The cryptocurrency fell 4% from its 5 p.m. ET level Monday to $33,055.55, according to CoinDesk.

Overseas, the pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.4%, putting it on course to close at a fresh all-time high.

Among individual shares, U.K. asset manager Intermediate Capital Group jumped almost 5% after reporting a jump in profits and assets under management.

In Asia, stock indexes mostly edged lower by the close of trading. Japan's Nikkei 225 slid 0.2%. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index was relatively unchanged from the prior day. China's Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.5%.

Write to Will Horner at William.Horner@wsj.com


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  06-08-21 0353ET
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