Investors jittery but tech stocks gain as the US awaits key inflation data

Rebound in tech stocks after the opening of US trading

Shares in Amazon fell significantly on Wednesday (above) but tech shares recovered in early trading on Thursday

Shares in Amazon fell significantly on Wednesday (above) but tech shares recovered in early trading on Thursday


US stock index futures rose on Thursday, as investors await key inflation data and as beaten down technology stocks posted slim gains after a roller coaster week for Wall Street.

The three major indexes are on track to log their worst quarter in more than two years on concerns over a global trade war and interest rates hikes, and Facebook Inc’s data scandal that hit other companies dealing with user information.

Shares of the so-called FANG group - Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Alphabet (parent of Google) - were up between 0.60 and 1.6 percent in premarket trading.

Including Apple the FAANGs are still up 14 per cent so far this year, but privacy concerns in the wake of Facebook’s scandal nearly two week back has wiped $400 billion off their value.

Economic data due includes a report that is expected to show personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index, excluding food and energy, increased 0.2 percent in February, after a 0.3 percent advance in January.

Inflation data

Core PCE, the Federal Reserve’s favored gauge of inflation, is expected to have risen 1.6 per cent on an annualised basis after rising 1.5 per cent in January.

Another report is expected to show consumer spending rose 0.2 percent in February, matching January’s gains. The two U.S. Commerce Department reports are due at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Investors have been jittery that rising inflation will force the Fed to accelerate rate hikes.

Dow e-minis were up 78 points, S&P 500 e-minis rose 9.75 points and Nasdaq 100 e-minis gained 41.75 points.

The S&P 500 is down 2.56 per cent in the first quarter, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average is 3.5 per cent lower - set for their worst quarterly performances in more than two years.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq’s slim 0.66 per cent gain for the quarter is keeping it on course for its seventh straight quarter of gains.

Facebook was up 1.6 per cent. The company said late on Wednesday it would end partnerships with several large data brokers who help advertisers target users.

GameStop shares fell 2.8 per cent after the company reported revenue that beat analysts’ estimates on strong sales of Nintendo Switch consoles.

- Reuters