SP 500, Dow Set to Open Higher on Recovery Hopes

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The S&P 500 and the Dow were set to open higher on Friday as investors bought undervalued energy and bank stocks betting on what is expected to be the fastest economic growth since 1984.

The three major U.S. indexes have swung between gains and losses this week as an end-of-quarter rebalancing of investment portfolios led to alternating boost from stocks that stand to benefit from a re-opening economy, and beaten-down technology shares.


The S&P 500 value index which includes energy, banks and industrial stocks, has gained more than 9% this year, easily outperforming growth shares, which are down 0.4%.


“Investors are thinking about an economic recovery over the balance of the year and are taking a step back to evaluate valuations, fundamentals and some of the macro economic drivers,” said Brian Vendig, managing executive at MJP Wealth Advisors in Westport, Connecticut.


“You have people trying to get back to work, you have checks in hand to consumers and you have other policy measures that are coming to support the economic reopening.”


L Brands jumped about 6% after the Victoria’s Secret owner raised its current-quarter profit forecast for the second time this month as it benefits from consumers spending their stimulus checks and relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions.


Wall Street’s main indexes rebounded in late-day rally on Thursday as weekly jobless claims hit their lowest level since the COVID-19 pandemic began and President Joe Biden highlighted the brightening economic outlook.


Big banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co, Bank of America and Citigroup were up between 1.3% and 1.9% as the U.S. Federal Reserve said it would lift income-based restrictions on bank dividends and share buybacks for “most firms” in June after its next round of stress tests.


Oil firms Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Marathon Oil, Occidental Petroleum and Devon Energy rose between 1.5% and 2.8% as crude prices gained 2%.


At 8:36 a.m. ET, Dow E-minis were up 135 points, or 0.42%, S&P 500 E-minis were up 8.25 points, or 0.21% and Nasdaq 100 E-minis were down 37.5 points, or 0.29%.


Nio Inc slumped about 8% as the Chinese electric vehicle maker said it would halt production for five working days at its Hefei plant due to a shortage in semiconductor chips.


Latest data showed consumer spending fell more than expected in February as a cold snap gripped many parts of the country and the boost from a second round of stimulus checks faded, though the decline is likely to be temporary.


Reporting by Devik Jain and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel


Source: Reuters

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