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Futures hit new peaks in a big week for Federal Reserve

FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., October 27, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

By Devik Jain

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures hit record highs on Monday, led by gains in Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) and economy-sensitive stocks at the start of a week packed with economic data as well as the Federal Reserve’s potential move to slow down bond purchases.

Tesla Inc rose 3.5% in premarket trading, pointing to a record open after it notched a trillion dollars in market capitalization last week.

Other mega-cap technology stocks Google-owner Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Inc, Meta Platforms, formerly Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:MSFT), (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) traded mixed.

Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) and Chevron Corp (NYSE:CVX) added about 0.7% each as JP Morgan raised its price target on the oil majors following their strong quarterly results last week.

Major Wall Street lenders Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC), Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) & Co, Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM) gained between 0.2% and 0.8%. The broader S&P 500 financials sector slipped last week, breaking a three-week winning streak.

A largely upbeat earnings season has helped investors look past a mixed-macro economic picture, with the benchmark S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq recording their best monthly performance since November 2020 in October.

Focus is now on the Fed’s policy meeting on Nov. 2-3, where the central bank is expected to announce the tapering of its $120 billion monthly bond buying program by $15 billion.

With recent U.S. data showing inflation pressures building, the market has also started pricing in rate hikes next year. November and December tend to be among the strongest months for stocks and any hawkish tilt in the Fed’s message could catch equities by surprise.

At 7:09 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 182 points, or 0.51%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 22.25 points, or 0.48%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 70.5 points, or 0.45%.

On the economic data front, readings on October factory activity data from IHS Markit and ISM are due after market open, followed by non-farm payrolls on Friday.

Harley-Davidson Inc (NYSE:HOG) jumped 8.2% after the European Union removed retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products including whiskey, power boats and company’s motorcycles.


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