US stock index futures were higher on Thursday as stable bond yields continued to give investors the green light to buy stocks after the market fell on Monday.
Futures contracts pegged to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 73 points, or 0.2%, suggesting a third day of earnings for the blue chip average after Monday’s pullback. S&P 500 futures rose 0.2% and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 0.1%.
The Dow is now up 0.3% for the week, less than 1% off a record high. The 10-year Treasury yield rose slightly to 1.29% on Thursday after falling to 1.17% earlier in the week that startled stocks.
Names closely tied to the economic reopening were higher in pre-market trading. Royal Caribbean was up 1%. Energy stocks were higher as oil rallied back above $ 70 a barrel. Bank stocks displayed higher in early trading with stable returns.
A strong reporting season for the second quarter continued. AT&T shares rose 1% after earnings and sales surpassed analyst estimates. CSX rose 2% after railroad profits more than doubled in the second quarter.
However, Texas Instruments should weigh on technology stocks as they fell more than 4% in early trading. The chipmaker beat expectations for the second quarter, but cautioned that third-quarter results could fall short of analysts’ estimates.
On Wednesday, the Dow gained 286 points, or 0.83%, while the S&P rose 0.82%. The Nasdaq Composite was the relative outperformer with a gain of 0.92%. Energy was the top performing S&P group, gaining 3.5% as oil prices rebounded.
Wednesday’s gains built on Tuesday’s strong session, and large averages have now offset losses from Monday’s sell-off. The Dow lost more than 700 points earlier in the week as rising Covid cases worldwide depressed sentiment. The 10-year Treasury yield fell to a five-month low at the beginning of the week, which also led investors to sell stocks. On Wednesday, the 10-year yield rose 8 basis points to 1.29%.
“The truth is that investors have been very spoiled by recent stock market performance,” said Ryan Detrick, LPL Financial’s chief market strategist. “Incredibly, we haven’t seen more than a 5% decline since October. While we firmly believe this bull market is alive and well, we shouldn’t delude ourselves that trees will grow forever. The risk undoubtedly increases when we in the difficult months of August and September. “
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A busy week of earnings continues on Thursday. AT&T, DR Horton, Southwest Air, American Airlines, Abbott Labs and Union Pacific are among others on deck before the opening bell. Intel, Twitter, Snap and Capital One will post quarterly updates after the market closes.
So far, according to Refinitiv, 15% of the S&P 500 have reported gains, with 88% beating earnings estimates. Of the companies that reported, 84% exceeded sales expectations.
Investors will also watch the Labor Department’s weekly number of jobless claims on Thursday. Economists polled by Dow Jones expect the number of initial filings to be 350,000, up from the previous figure of 360,000. Existing home sales figures are also published.
“We expect the sloppy trade to continue in the seasonally weak summer months; however, our baseline scenario remains that the primary trend remains higher for the next 12 months, ”wrote Keith Lerner, Chief Market Strategist at Truist, in a customer announcement. “The S&P 500, which hit a new record high last week, has had one of the longest periods in the past decade without a 5% decline,” he added.
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