Stock futures tick higher after S&P, Nasdaq record closes

Stock futures opened flat to slightly higher Tuesday evening after a mixed session earlier in the day.

The S&P 500 ended Tuesday’s regular session with a record close, marking the blue-chip index’s third straight settlement at a record level. The Nasdaq also ended at a record for a fourth straight day, as shares of big tech firms Facebook (FB), Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL) and Amazon (AMZN), rocketed to their own highest-ever levels.

The Dow fell for the first time in four sessions, as shares of Exxon Mobil (XOM), Raytheon Technologies (RTX) and Pfizer (PFE) – the three companies set to depart from the index at the beginning of next week – declined. Salesforce (CRM), which is set to replace Exxon Mobil in the Dow, closed at a record high, and extended gains in late trading after topping second-quarter earnings expectations and raising its revenue outlook for the year on increased software demand during the pandemic.

Investors also continued to mull the latest set of new economic data, underscoring growing discrepancy in the pace of recovery in different areas of the economy amid the ongoing pandemic. The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index released Tuesday morning unexpectedly fell in August to a six-year low, extending July’s decline after fiscal stimulus to consumers tapered off and a clouded outlook around the pandemic remained. The weakening in consumer confidence bodes negatively for consumer spending, which comprises more than two-thirds of US economic activity.

But concurrently on Tuesday, new government data on the housing market showed new home sales jump to the highest level in 14 years and extended July’s double-digit monthly increase, in the latest data sign of a booming recovery in the US housing market. The home-building company Toll Brothers (TOL) reported July-quarter home purchase orders that surged 26%, hitting the highest-ever fiscal third-quarter level of new orders for the company, according to its earnings statement.

6:08 p.m. ET Tuesday: Stock futures slightly higher after hitting record closes

Here were the main moves in equity markets, as of 6:08 p.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,444.5, up 1.5 points or 0.04%

  • Dow futures (YM=F): 28,193.00, flat

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 11,735.75, up 10.5 points, or 0.09%

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MARCH 20: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on March 20, 2020 in New York City. Trading on the floor will temporarily become fully electronic starting on Monday to protect employees from spreading the coronavirus. The Dow fell over 500 points on Friday as investors continue to show concerns over COVID-19. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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