U.S. stock futures marginally higher after S&P 500, Nasdaq book new record highs

Wall Street

Futures pointing to a muted session ahead of earnings

Wall Street stocks look set to open flat on Wednesday after the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite ended yesterday’s session at record highs, as market participants cheered full approval of the Pfizer (NYSE: PFE)-BioNTech (NASDAQ: BNTX) Covid-19 vaccine by the FDA.

At around 5:30 a.m. ET, futures for the blue-chip Dow were indicated 11 points, or 0.03% higher to 35,325. Nasdaq 100 futures ticked up 18.25 points, or 0.12% to 15,373.75 while S&P 500 futures were little changed.

On Tuesday, the S&P 500 climbed 6.70 points, or 0.15% to finish at 4,486.23, notching a record closing high. The Nasdaq Composite rose about 77 points, or 0.5%, to close above the 15,000 milestone for the first time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 30.55 points to end at 35,366.26.

Today’s earnings calendar includes Express (NYSE: EXPR), Ulta Beauty (NASDAQ: ULTA), Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), Snowflake (NYSE: SNOW), Dick’s Sporting Goods (NYSE: DKS), Williams-Sonoma (NYSE: WSM), and NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP).

GameStop, AMC in focus as meme stocks boom again

Shares of GameStop (NYSE: GME) moved before the opening bell on Wednesday, a day after the retail trader favorite soared 27.53%, as meme stock mania returned.

GameStop stock was marked $3.19, or 1.52% to $213.48 per share in the premarket trading session. The video game retailer rallied $45.40, or 27.53% to close the regular session at $210.29 per share on Tuesday.

AMC Entertainment Holdings (NYSE: AMC), another popular meme stock, advanced $2.31, or 5.22% to $46.57 per share in Wednesday’s premarket session. The stock closed finished at $44.26, up $7.51, or 20.44% per share.

Other meme-stocks also moved higher on Tuesday, with Robinhood (NASDAQ: HOOD), Clover Health (NASDAQ: CLOV), and Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ: BBBY) rising 9.03%, 9.85%, and 4.49%, respectively.

Goldman Sachs raises odds on Fed taper ahead of annual Jackson Hole symposium

Meanwhile, banking giant Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) has raised the odds that the Federal Reserve will formally announce the start of tapering its pace of asset purchases in November.

Goldman analysts said in a note on Wednesday that it saw an increased probability that a formal taper announcement will come in November to 45% from a previous projection of 25%, and lower the odds tapering announcement would happen in December to 35% from 55%.

“A November announcement coupled with a $15bn per meeting pace would mean that the FOMC would make the final taper at its September 2022 meeting,” the analysts said.

Goldman’s latest forecasts come as Fed Chairman Jerome Powell takes a trip to the mountains on Thursday for the start of the central bank’s annual economic policy symposium in Jackson Hole, WY.

Powell is scheduled to speak Friday morning in remarks titled, “Macroeconomic Policy in an Uneven Economy.”