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Stock futures little changed after Dow, S&P close at all-time highs

U.S. stock index futures were little changed early on Wednesday, after the Dow and S&P 500 closed at record highs following the Senate passing the $1 trillion infrastructure bill.

Futures contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped just 20 points lower. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures were also just below the flatline.

During regular trading, the Dow gained 162.82 points, or 0.46%, while the S&P 500 advanced 0.1%. Both hit all-time intraday highs while also closing at records. The Nasdaq Composite slid 0.49%, registering its second negative session in the last three. The dip came as treasury yields advanced, weighing on growth-oriented areas of the market.

The Senate passed the infrastructure bill Tuesday, which earmarks $550 billion in new spending for areas including transportation and the electric grid. The bill now heads to the House, although Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has said she will not bring it to the floor until the Senate also passes a budgetary proposal.

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Cyclical areas of the market got a boost during trading, helped by both the bill’s passage and the rise in rates. The energy, materials, industrials and financials sectors all advanced more than 1%.

The march to record highs for stocks comes despite Covid case numbers rising in the U.S. and around the world.

“Widespread vaccine distribution and distancing measures have helped limit the variant’s impact, but we could still see some drag on economic growth as some restrictions are reintroduced and consumers potentially become more cautious,” said Barry Gilbert, asset allocation strategist at LPL Financial. “While we may see an increase in market volatility due to the Delta variant, we believe the S&P 500 is still likely to see more gains through the end of the year,” he added.

On the economic data front, July’s Consumer Price Index reading will be released on Wednesday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expect the index to have risen 0.5% last month, or 5.3% year over year. In June prices jumped 0.9%, which was the biggest monthly increase since August 2008.

Earnings season continues on Wednesday with Wendy’s and Canada Goose among the names set to report prior to the opening bell. Lordstown Motors, eBay and Bumble are on deck for after-hour closes.

Through Friday, 87% of the S&P 500 companies that reported quarterly results have beat earnings estimates. The same percentage of companies beat revenue estimates during that timeframe.

“There’s been a lot to take in these last few weeks; major earnings, a hawkish Fed and some knockout economic readings,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda. “Everything it seems is now pointing towards the Fed tapering its asset purchases in the coming months, with delta the only things potentially standing in its way as it spreads across the US (and many other countries).”

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