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Futures Rise Ahead Of Business Activity Data; Nike Shines

US stock index futures rose today ahead of data that would throw light on the pace of an economic recovery from a coronavirus-driven recession, while Nike was set for a record open after a stunning quarterly earnings report.

Shares of the world’s largest athletic shoe maker surged 13.2 per cent in premarket trading as its digital sales, especially in North America, helped offset a fall in sales at traditional brick-and-mortar stores.

The Dow constituent was set to drive the blue-chip index higher for a second straight day, clawing back more of the sharp declines from Monday that were driven by fears of another round of lockdowns to contain a global surge in Covid-19 cases.

Doubts about more US fiscal stimulus and growing political uncertainty in the run-up to the Nov. 3 presidential elections have also kept investors from making big stock market bets.

“If we get a second (Covid-19) wave, it could have a significant impact on the election itself and that’s why markets have been wobbly in the last few days,” said Andrea Cicione, head of strategy at TS Lombard in London.

After data in Europe showed euro zone business growth ground to a halt this month, all eyes will be on flash readings of a survey on US business activity due later in the day.

At 6:37 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 205 points, or 0.76 per cent, S&P 500 e-minis were up 15.75 points, or 0.48 per cent, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 42.5 points, or 0.38 per cent.

Facebook Inc, Apple Inc, Amazon.com Inc , Netflix Inc and Google-parent Alphabet Inc – known as the FAANG group of stocks – edged higher before the bell. The group has borne the brunt of the declines this month after fuelling a Wall Street rally since March.

Tesla Inc, another Wall Street darling this year, tumbled 5.3 per cent after Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk failed to impress with his promise to cut electric vehicle costs at the much awaited “Battery Day” event yesterday.

Oracle Corp headed lower after a report by a state-backed Chinese newspaper said Beijing was unlikely to approve a proposed deal by the software maker and Walmart for ByteDance’s TikTok. — REUTERS

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