By Peter Nurse
Investing.com – U.S. stocks are seen opening higher Thursday, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq outperforming as the Biden administration’s tax proposals may be watered down.
At 7 AM ET (1200 GMT), the contract was up 10 points, or less than 0.1%, traded 15 points, or 0.4%, higher, and climbed 125 points, or 0.9%.
The broad-based closed at a record high Wednesday, ending up 0.2%, the rose 0.1%, also at an all-time high, while the was down 0.1%.
The S&P and the Dow are on course for their third straight winning week, ahead of next week’s start of what is expected to be a very strong earnings season. According to data from Refinitiv, earnings for the first quarter of 2021 will see the strongest growth since the third quarter of 2018.
Helping the tone were the from the Federal Reserve’s March meeting, in which the policymakers acknowledged progress on the economy, but stated that substantial progress on the recovery will likely take “some time”, i.e. the easy monetary policy is here to stay.
The Fed has made great play that the labor market recovery has much more room to run, and with this mind the weekly unemployment claims data, due later in the session, will be studied carefully.
for last week are expected to be 680,000, an improvement from 719,000 the prior week, while are estimated to be 3.65 million, down from 3.79 million.
Also of interest were comments from that he was prepared to compromise on his $2 trillion infrastructure bill, and the associated tax increases, as the package faces difficulties in passing through Congress.
The tax plan Biden laid out last week was seen hitting the big technology and pharmaceutical companies particularly hard, as it would limit them from using credits for research and development costs.
In the corporate sector, AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:) is likely to be in focus after both the U.K. and European medical regulators stated that the drug maker’s Covid-19 vaccine was still worth the risk, even as they detailed a potential link to rare blood clotting issues.
Gaming companies, like DraftKings (NASDAQ:) and Penn National Gaming (NASDAQ:), could also see interest after New York State, looking to close a hefty funding gap, approved a budget that opens the possibility for online gaming in the state.
Oil prices weakened Thursday after data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, released Wednesday, showed rose by 4 million barrels last week, against expectations of a decline. This raised concerns about demand growth for crude in the world’s largest consumer.
futures traded 0.8% lower at $59.32 a barrel, while the contract fell 0.4% to $62.94.
Elsewhere, rose 0.3% to $1,746.85/oz, while traded 0.1% lower at 1.1864.