Stock Futures rise ahead of business activity data; Nike shines

September 23, 2020

New York (Sept 23)  U.S. stock index futures rose on Wednesday 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 NKE.N surged 13.2% 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 .DJI 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 U.S. 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 U.S. business activity due later in the day.

At 6:37 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis 1YMcv1 were up 205 points, or 0.76%, S&P 500 e-minis EScv1 were up 15.75 points, or 0.48%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQcv1 were up 42.5 points, or 0.38%.

Facebook Inc FB.O, Apple Inc AAPL.O, Inc AMZN.O, Netflix Inc NFLX.O and Google-parent Alphabet Inc GOOGL.O - 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 TSLA.O, another Wall Street darling this year, tumbled 5.3% after Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk failed to impress with his promise to cut electric vehicle costs at the much awaited "Battery Day" event on Tuesday.

Oracle Corp ORCL.N 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 WMT.N for ByteDance's TikTok.


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