US stock futures were slightly higher early Wednesday as investors weighed the potential impact of President Joe Biden’s infrastructure spending plan.
The futures linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average remained unchanged. The S&P 500 futures rose 0.2% while the Nasdaq 100 futures rose 0.7%.
Biden will unveil a more than $ 2 trillion infrastructure package on Wednesday. The plan would raise the corporate tax rate to 28% to fund it, an administration official told reporters on Tuesday evening. The White House said the tax hike, combined with measures to prevent profit shifting, would fund the infrastructure plan within 15 years.
“Economic stimulus is no longer 100% positive in the eyes of the market,” Tom Essaye, founder of Sevens Report, said in a note. “That’s because it will bring 1) higher yields, 2) rising inflation expectations, and 3) erosion of the idea that the Fed will be put on hold for all of 2021. Furthermore, all of that incentive is being used to offset and initiate tax increases for individuals, businesses and investments. “
Wednesday is the end of March and the end of the quarter. Investors brace themselves for volatile trade as pension funds and other major investors realign their portfolios.
The Dow and S&P 500 are up 6.9% and 3.9% respectively for the month to date, the fourth positive month in five. For the quarter, the blue-chip Dow and S&P 500 are up 8% and 5.4%, respectively, on their way to fourth consecutive positive quarters.
The Nasdaq was the relative underperformance as technology stocks are particularly sensitive to rising interest rates as they rely on cheap borrowing to invest in future growth. For March, the tech-heavy benchmark fell 1.1% to break a four-month winning streak. For the quarter it is up 1.2%.
Key averages were put under pressure on Tuesday by rising interest rates as 10-year US Treasury yields hit a 14-month high of 1.77%. Bond yields have risen this year due to the strong adoption of Covid-19 vaccines and expectations of a broad economic recovery. The key rate was recently unchanged at 1.73%.
Personal payrolls grew the fastest since September 2020 in March, according to a report by payroll firm ADP on Wednesday. It was a healthy rise from 176,000 in February, but just below the Dow Jones estimate of 525,000.
Investors await the key job report from March on Friday to assess the state of the labor market recovery. Economists estimate that 630,000 jobs were created in March and the unemployment rate fell from 6.2% to 6%, according to the Dow Jones.
The exchange is closed on Good Friday.
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