Here is what we observe before the trading action begins on Friday.
– –US stock futures were mixed, with technology stocks poised for losses and the Dow Jones Industrial Average on its way to a new record.
Nasdaq 100 futures fell 1.6%. Futures linked to the S&P 500 fell 0.4% and contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.2%.
– –The University of Michigan’s preliminary consumer sentiment index March, due at 10 a.m., is expected to rise from 76.8 at the end of February to 78.9.
Watch market movers
– Novavax NVAX 8.07%
Shares shot up 17% before the bell after the biotech drug maker said after Thursday’s close of trading that studies show its Covid-19 vaccine is highly effective.
– The main banks are on the rise. Citigroup,
Bank of America BAC 1.88%
and Wells Fargo WFC 2.80%
were all up more than 1% before entering the market, yet another sign of a shift in investors from growth to value.
– Ulta Beauty ULTA -8.45%
declined 9.6% prior to market entry after a change in leadership was announced and the revenue forecast was more easily set than analysts expected.
An Ulta beauty salon on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, Nov. 19, 2020.
Charles Rex Arbogast / Associated Press
– DocuSign DOCU -6.61%
fell 3.2% ahead of the market. The electronic signature company beat revenue and earnings expectations for the last quarter while delivering a better-than-expected outlook. But it was already a big winner from the pandemic, with shares rising 200% over the past year.
– Vail Resorts MTN 3.12%
was 7% ahead of market entry. The resort operator’s earnings report beat forecasts, saying it made some progress during the ski season in the US and Canada.
The Nasdaq Composite is now just 4.9% off its record high on February 12 after slipping into correction territory on Monday – a decline of at least 10% from its recent high.
Chart of the day
As Covid-19 vaccine rollout accelerates and the economy recovers from last year’s stalemate, portfolio managers are snapping up stocks of cyclical companies.
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