Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange
Stock futures rose slightly in overnight trading on Monday after worries about slowing growth sparked a sell-off on Wall Street.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 45 points. S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures both edged up 0.1%.
The spread of the delta coronavirus variant continued to keep investors on edge. The seven-day average of daily coronavirus cases in the U.S. reached 72,790 on Friday, surpassing the peak seen last summer when the nation didn’t have an authorized Covid-19 vaccine, according to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“The delta variant of the virus is now rapidly spreading in the U.S. and a modest pullback in activity can’t be ruled out,” Solita Marcelli, CIO Americas at UBS, said in a note. “But any potential slowdown should be somewhat muted.”
The concern about slowing growth triggered a drop in Treasury yields on Monday. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell as much as 8 basis points to 1.15%. Monday’s slide in bond yields followed data showing the U.S. manufacturing sector expanded at a slower pace than a month ago.
A late-day sell-off in economically sensitive stocks like materials and industrials eventually pushed the Dow and the S&P 500 into the red. The blue-chip Dow climbed 250 points to touch an all-time high at one point, but ended Monday nearly 100 points lower.
Investors are closely monitoring progress in Washington as lawmakers move toward a bipartisan infrastructure bill that would devote $550 billion to U.S. infrastructure. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer aims to rush the 2,702-page legislation through the chamber before a planned monthlong recess starting Aug. 9.
Meanwhile, the second-quarter earnings season continues with Under Armour, Lyft, Eli Lilly and Amgen among the companies to report on Tuesday.
So far, 88% of S&P 500 companies have reported a positive earnings surprise for the second quarter, which will mark the highest percentage since FactSet began tracking this metric in 2008.
“Rising earnings are providing valuation support,” Terry Sandven, U.S. Bank Wealth Management chief equity strategist, said in a note. “Rising revenue and earnings, generally restrained inflation, relatively low interest rates, ongoing monetary and fiscal stimulus policies and COVID-19 medical progress support our outlook for rising U.S. equities in 2021’s second half.”