Tech Futures Edge Up Ahead of Trade Data

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U.S. stock futures were mixed Tuesday, with technology shares on course to advance at the opening bell as investors awaited data on the scale of the trade deficit.

Futures tied to the broad S&P 500 index ticked up 0.2%. Nasdaq-100 futures rose 0.5%, pointing to a third consecutive day of gains for large technology stocks. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures ticked 0.2% lower. On Monday, the blue-chip index briefly climbed into record territory before ending the session down 0.4%.

Stocks have been range bound in recent sessions, with indexes hovering close to record levels due to a rapidly rebounding U.S. economy and significant levels of support from Washington and the Federal Reserve. The market’s moves in recent weeks have moderated amid inflation concerns. Investors say they are settling in for a period of choppy trading while they await fresh clues on whether a sharp rise in consumer prices will prove to be fleeting.

“There will be constant gut checks from both the bond and the stock markets on whether this is transitory, or is turning into permanently higher inflation,” said

David Donabedian,

chief investment officer at CIBC Private Wealth Management. “I would still put the odds of a higher S&P 500 at the end of the year as better than 50%, but I think there will be more volatility than return to be had in the second half of the year.”

Ahead of the market opening, Tesla rose almost 3% after data from the China Passenger Car Association showed sales of electric cars in China surged by 177% in May. The electric car maker sold over 33,000 vehicles that were made in China last month.

Shares of Clover Health Investments soared 37% after the healthcare company emerged as the latest darling for retail traders on Reddit forums, building on its 32% gain Monday. Other so-called meme stocks like

GameStop

and

AMC Entertainment Holdings

climbed roughly 5%.

Coupa Software

dropped over 9% premarket after the company said it expected to post a loss in its 2022 fiscal year.

Marvell Technology

rose over 5% after the chip maker posted record quarterly sales.

In bond markets, the yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note edged down to 1.545%, from 1.570% Monday. Bond yields drop when prices climb. While worries about a sharp and sustained spike in inflation have abated somewhat, money managers are continuing to assess whether it may erode the returns from fixed-income assets.

“You are beginning to see data which suggest that while elevated inflation might be transitory, the time horizon implied by the word ‘transitory’ is getting longer,” Mr. Donabedian said. “If the inflation data is going to persist on the high side for the next six to nine months, then the Fed is going to have to clarify what it means by transitory.”

U.S. trade data, due at 8.30 a.m. ET, is expected to show the deficit narrowed in April, but remained elevated after hitting a record in March as stimulus measures pushed demand for imports.

Bitcoin prices continued to fall, hovering close to their lowest level since late January. The cryptocurrency fell almost 4% from its 5 p.m. ET level Monday to $33,134.10, according to CoinDesk.

Overseas, the pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.4%, putting it on course to close at a fresh all-time high.

Among individual shares, U.K. asset manager

Intermediate Capital Group

jumped over 6% after reporting a jump in profits and assets under management.

In Asia, stock indexes mostly edged lower by the close of trading. Japan’s Nikkei 225 slid 0.2%. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index was relatively unchanged from the prior day. China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.5%.

NYSE employees eating lunch outside the New York Stock Exchange on Monday.



Photo:

Richard Drew/Associated Press

Write to Will Horner at William.Horner@wsj.com

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