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Futures rise as megacap growth stocks bounce; focus on economic data

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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., July 19, 2023. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

U.S. stock index futures edged higher on Monday as most megacap growth stocks steadied after a selloff in the previous session, while investors awaited quarterly reports from U.S. retail giants and economic data later in the week.

After strong gains this year, U.S. equities have lost momentum in August, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq (.IXIC) posting two straight weeks of declines for the first time in 2023 on Friday.

Hotter-than-expected U.S. producer prices data last week fanned concerns that the Federal Reserve could keep interest rates higher for longer, driving up U.S. Treasury yields and weighing on rate-sensitive big technology and growth stocks.

“We’ve been having some intraday swings and so it’s very possible that we’re going to have another. Investors are basically staying on the sidelines until we get the economic news of the week,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities.

On Monday, as the yield on 10-year government treasuries ticked lower, shares of Microsoft <MSFT.O>, Meta Platforms (META.O) and Apple Inc (AAPL.O) rose between 0.2% and 0.5% in premarket trading.

Tesla (TSLA.O), however, fell 1.9% after the electric automaker said it has cut prices in China for some Model Y versions.

Money markets see a nearly 89% chance that the Fed will keep its interest rates unchanged next month, with traders betting the central bank will hold them at that level for the rest of the year, according to CME Group’s Fedwatch tool.

Goldman Sachs expects the Fed to start cutting rates in the second quarter of 2024, but has cautioned that rates could hold steady if inflation does not cool fast enough.

Market focus will be on quarterly earnings from major U.S. retailers including Walmart (WMT.N) and Target (TGT.N) this week. Economic data expected includes retail sales for July as well as industrial production and jobless claims numbers.

Keeping a lid on global market sentiment were concerns about China’s highly leveraged property sector after the country’s top private property developer said it will suspend trading of its onshore bonds from Monday.

At 7:17 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 59 points, or 0.17%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 8 points, or 0.18%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 41.5 points, or 0.27%.

AMC Entertainment common shares (AMC.N) fell 27.8% in premarket trading after a Delaware judge approved the theater chain’s revised stockholder settlement on Friday. The company’s preferred stock surged 27.5%.

Shares of Nikola (NKLA.O) dropped 13.3% after the company said on Friday it was recalling all the battery-powered electric trucks delivered till date and is suspending sales after a probe into recent fires.

Shares of U.S. Steel (X.N) jumped 26.1% after the steelmaker rejected a buyout offer from Cleveland-Cliffs and said it would review its options.