Equity Futures Dip as Wall Street Navigates Unchartered Territory

Markets Reuters

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) April 4, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid (Reuters)

U.S. stock index futures dipped slightly on Thursday, as investors looked for fresh catalysts to keep up Wall Street's record-setting run as the outlook for the economy brightened.

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The rally was sparked by President Donald Trump's vow last Thursday of a 'phenomenal' tax announcement. Robust economic data has also been a boost, while bank stocks have risen on prospects of an upcoming interest rate hike.

The S&P 500 on Wednesday closed up for the seventh session in a row, its first such streak since September 2013. The S&P, Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq have hit record intraday highs and closing highs for five straight sessions.

Trump tweeted: "Stock market hits new high with longest winning streak in decades. Great level of confidence and optimism - even before tax plan rollout!"

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said rates may need to be raised at an upcoming meeting, putting a possible move in March on the table. The odds of a hike next month stand at 26 percent, compared with 13 percent earlier, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Economic data on tap includes two reports at 8:30 a.m. ET. One is expected to show jobless claims rose slightly last week, while Commerce Department data is expected to show housing starts were little changed in January.

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Among stocks, Dow component Cisco rose 1.46 percent to $33.30 premarket after the network equipment maker reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit.

NetEase rose 5.6 percent to $276.55 following the Chinese online game developer's revenue beat.

Molina Healthcare dropped 16.5 percent to $50 after the health insurer reported a fourth-quarter loss and forecast 2017 profit far below estimates.

Valeant was up 2.6 percent at $17.30 after the FDA approved its drug to treat plaque psoriasis.

 

Futures snapshot at 6:45 a.m. ET:

Dow e-minis were down 35 points, or 0.17 percent at 8:57 a.m. ET, with 17,850 contracts changing hands.

S&P 500 e-minis were down 4.25 points, or 0.18 percent, with 102,628 contracts traded.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 2.75 points, or 0.05 percent, on volume of 16,685 contracts.

 

(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)