Stock futures battle higher as bond yields steady

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U.S. stock futures were pointing to a higher open Wednesday as bond yields stabilized ahead of a key report on U.S. manufacturing.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were trading up 90 points, or 0.28%, while S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq futures advanced 0.28% and 0.68%, respectively.

The outperformance by the tech-heavy Nasdaq comes as the 10-year yield slipped 1.6 basis points to 1.622%, a one-week low, a day after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell assured lawmakers that inflation will rise, but won’t spiral out of control. Both Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will return to Capitol Hill for a second day of testimony on the economy’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.


Investors will get the latest reports on the health of the U.S. economy as durable goods orders are due out at 8:30 a.m. ET and Markit manufacturing and services PMIs will be released at 9:15 a.m. ET.

Looking at stocks, Dow component Intel Corp. said it will build two new chip manufacturing facilities in Arizona as it renews efforts to produce chips for others amid a global shortage. The company’s plan also includes outsourcing the production of key components to other manufacturers.

Meanwhile, GameStop Corp. reported net sales declined 3.3% from a year ago despite a 175% increase in e-commerce revenue. The video-game retailer, which declined to discuss its digital transformation, is considering selling new shares to help fund the shift.

Elsewhere, ViacomCBS Inc. priced a $3 billion offering of 20 million shares of Class B common stock at $85 apiece. The stock plunged more than 9% on Tuesday on news of the offering.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said U.S. customers can now purchase his company’s vehicles with bitcoin. The electric-car maker will continue to hold the cryptocurrency and not convert it into U.S. dollars or other fiat currency.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil climbed $1.49 to $59.25 per barrel after a cargo ship temporarily blocked the Suez Canal and gold rose $3.80 to $1,728.90 an ounce.


Overseas markets were lower across the board.

Germany’s DAX 30 paced the decline in Europe, down 0.55%, while Britain’s FTSE 100 and France’s CAC 40 were both down 0.3%.

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 lost 2.04%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 2.03% and China’s Shanghai Composite index slid 1.3%.

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