Futures rise after Congress clears infrastructure bill; Tesla falls

Written by on November 8, 2021

November 8, 2021

By Shreyashi Sanyal

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures edged higher on Monday as big industrial firms were supported by the passage of a $1 trillion infrastructure bill, while Tesla fell on Chief Executive Elon Musk’s plan to sell about a tenth of his stake.

Caterpillar Inc, Boeing Co and 3M Co rose between 0.5% and 5.3% in premarket trading after the Congress passed a long-delayed infrastructure bill, hailed by President Joe Biden as a “once in a generation” investment.

Steel and aluminum producers also gained, with Nucor Corp up 5.5% and United States Steel Corp jumping 5.0%.

“I think there is investor interest once again in the industrial and material sectors now that the infrastructure package has been passed,” said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA Research in New York.

“The markets are headed higher between now and year-end. But because we have gone six, seven days with new highs, investors are waiting for some short-term digestion of gains. Right now, seasonally, the market is in an uptrend.”

Mega-cap technology and communications companies advanced, except for Tesla Inc which fell 4.2% after Musk tweeted on Saturday he would sell 10% of his holdings if users of the social media network approved the proposal. Around 57.9% of the people voted “Yes”.

“The majority voted for him to sell, which effectively signals that he is going to dump stock on the market,” said Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.

“Investors may look at the situation and try and sell before he does, potentially then buying back at a lower price if they still like the stock.”

Wall Street’s main indexes hit record highs last week, supported by an upbeat earnings season, strong October jobs data and a positive update on Pfizer Inc’s experimental pill against COVID-19.

Investors last week also shrugged off the Federal Reserve’s decision to start reducing its monthly bond purchases put in place to support the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With nearly 90% of the companies in the S&P 500 index having reported results, earnings are expected to have climbed 41.5% in the third quarter from a year earlier, according to Refinitiv IBES.

At 8:25 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 107 points, or 0.3%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 5.5 points, or 0.12%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were unchanged.

Six Federal Reserve officials are set to give speeches on Monday, with most of the investor attention likely to be on Vice Chair Richard Clarida. Key inflation readings are also due through the week.

Shares of cryptocurrency and blockchain-related firms Coinbase Global, Riot Blockchain, Marathon Digital Holdings and MicroStrategy Inc rose between 3.8% and 6.2%, as ether scaled new peaks and bitcoin neared a record high.

Coty Inc jumped 9.1% after the cosmetics maker raised its forecast for annual organic sales.

(Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Devik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)

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