Dow, S&P futures rise as Fed stays dovish course; Ford jumps

(Reuters) – Futures tracking the Dow and the S&P 500 rose on Thursday as comments from the Federal Reserve that the U.S. economic recovery was on track lifted economically sensitive stocks, while Ford jumped after raising its profit outlook for the year.

FILE PHOTO: A Wall Street sign is pictured outside the New York Stock Exchange in New York, October 28, 2013. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo

The automaker was up 4.8% in premarket trading and on course to open at a two-week high as it also reported a rise in revenue and operating profit in North America — its largest market.

Industrials Boeing Co and Caterpillar Inc, and banks, including JPMorgan Chase & Co, Bank of America Corp and Citigroup Inc, gained between 0.7% and 1.4% a day after the Fed said it was not yet time to start withdrawing its massive pandemic-era monetary stimulus.

Wall Street’s main indexes had come off record highs this month on fears of a sooner-than-expected tapering in monetary policy as well as concerns that a rise in cases of the Delta variant of the novel coronavirus would hurt a U.S. economic rebound.

Data later in the morning is expected to show the U.S. economy gained steam in the second quarter, with the pace of growth probably the second-fastest in 38 years, as massive fiscal aid and vaccinations against COVID-19 fueled spending on travel-related services.

In its quarterly report on Thursday, hotel chain Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc also forecast sustained growth in the second half of the year on the back of a recovery in leisure travel. Still, Hilton shares edged down about 0.1%.

At 7:13 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 148 points, or 0.42%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 8.25 points, or 0.19%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 24.75 points, or 0.16%.

Facebook Inc fell 3.6% as it warned revenue growth would “decelerate significantly” following Apple Inc’s recent update to its iOS operating system that would impact Facebook’s ability to target ads.

Share moves in the other so-called “FAANG” stocks — Apple, Amazon.com Inc, Netflix Inc and Google-parent Alphabet Inc — were muted.

The group has tended to underperform the broader market during times of economic optimism, when investors prefer stocks such as mining and energy, which are expected to benefit more from a steady business recovery.

China’s Didi Global jumped 16.5% after a report said it was considering going private to placate Chinese authorities and compensate investor losses since the ride-hailing firm listed in the United States. Didi denied what it called a “rumor” that it could go private.

Focus later in the morning will be on shares of Robinhood Markets Inc, which is scheduled to start trading on Nasdaq under the ticker “HOOD” after the company raised $2.1 billion in its initial public offering on Wednesday.

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