Tech Stocks May Help Lead Early Advance On Wall Street

After showing a significant advance in the previous session, technology stocks are likely to see further upside in early trading on Thursday. The Nasdaq futures are jumping by 1.1 percent, while the Dow futures are showing a much more modest move to the upside.

Micron Technology (MU) may help lead the tech sector higher, with the chipmaker surging up by 5.2 percent in pre-market trading.

The advance by Micron comes after the company reported better than expected fiscal second quarter results and provided upbeat guidance for the current quarter.

Positive sentiment may also be generated in reaction to news that Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) unveiled capacity expansion plans amid rising chip demand.

Tech stocks may also benefit from a pullback by treasury yields, with the yield on the benchmark ten-year note moving notably lower after ending the previous session at its highest closing level in over a year.

Traders are also reacting to President Joe Biden’s speech regarding his $2 trillion infrastructure and economic recovery plan.

The massive proposal, which would partly paid for by higher corporate taxes, is likely to face intense opposition from Republicans.

In U.S. economic news, the Labor Department released a report showing first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits rebounded from their lowest level in a year in the week ended March 27th.

The report said initial jobless claims rose to 719,000, an increase of 61,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 658,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to edge down to 680,000 from the 684,000 originally reported for the previous week.

The downwardly revised number of claims in the previous week was the lowest since the week ended March 14, 2020, just before the start of the coronavirus lockdowns.

Shortly after the start of trading, the Institute for Supply Management is scheduled to release its report on manufacturing activity in the month of March.

Economists expect the ISM’s manufacturing PMI to inch up to 61.3 in March from 60.8 in February, with a reading above 50 indicating growth.

The Commerce Department is also due to release its report on construction spending in the month of February. Construction spending is expected to slump by 1.0 percent.

Stocks came under pressure going into the close of trading on Wednesday but managed to end the day mostly higher. The tech-heavy Nasdaq posted a particularly strong gain amid a rally by technology stocks.

The Nasdaq jumped 201.48 points or 1.5 percent to 13,246.87 and the S&P 500 rose 14.34 points or 0.4 percent to 3,972.89 after reaching a record intraday high. Meanwhile, the narrower Dow fell 85.41 points or 0.3 percent to 32,981.55.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Thursday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index advanced by 0.7 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index spiked by 2 percent.

The major European markets have also moved to the upside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index has risen by 0.4 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index and the German DAX Index are both up by 0.5 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are climbing $0.47 to $59.63 a barrel after tumbling $1.39 to $59.16 a barrel on Thursday. Meanwhile, after spiking $29.60 to $1,715.60 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are rising $2.70 to $1,718.30 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 110.69 yen versus the 110.72 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Thursday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1743 compared to yesterday’s $1.1730.

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