U.S stock index futures held near seven-week highs early Tuesday as investors eye key catalysts ahead, such as March employment data and the launch of the first quarter company earnings reporting season. S&P 500 futures ES00, +0.26% rose 12 points, or 0.2%, to 4,165 while Dow Jones Industrial Average futures YM00, +0.09% added 47 points, or 0.1%, to 33,833 and Nasdaq 100 futures NQ00, +0.24% moved 44 points, or 0.3%, higher to 13,314.
The prior session saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.98% climb 327 points, or 0.98%, to 33,601, the S&P 500 SPX, +0.37% close the day 15 points, or 0.37%, higher to 4,125, and the Nasdaq Composite COMP, -0.27% drop 32 points, or 0.27%, to 12,189.
Investors are taking into account several market drivers, such as the economic slowdown in response to banking sector tremors and tighter credit conditions, which may ultimately result in lower interest rates. On the other hand, news of a weakening U.S. manufacturing sector could stymie growth expectations. Similarly, a brief jump in oil prices CL.1, +1.06% at the start of the week was quickly tempered by concerns over slowing activity.
Treasury yields TMUBMUSD10Y, 3.476% were slightly higher early Tuesday and U.S. crude oil prices up less than a dollar per barrel, while JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon warned investors that the crisis in the banking sector is not fully over yet.
Looking ahead, March nonfarm payrolls data will be released on Friday, despite the U.S. stock market being closed for the holiday, followed by first-quarter corporate earnings season. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 index may have reached the top of its 3,800 to 4,200 trading range that it has been restricted in for the past five months, posing a potential barrier.
Cleveland Fed President Mester is due to make comments at 6 p.m. while today is expected to bring data on factory orders and job openings, both for February.
On the stock side, AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. AMC, +2.00% shares are down sharply in premarket trading with shareholder litigation related to a stock conversion, and Virgin Orbit Holdings Inc. VORB, -3.00% shares are off following the space launch company’s announced debt restructuring process.
Company of Note: Virgin Orbit Holdings Inc. (VORB) is a space launch company that seeks to revolutionize access to space by making frequent launches a reality. The company focuses on world-class 3rd stage air-launch systems capable of launching satellites of 400lbs or less. Virgin Orbit works closely with Virgin Galactic, the world’s leading private space tourism company, and is part of the success of their private space exploration projects. Virgin Orbit is located in Long Beach, California and was founded in 2016.
Person of Note: Mester, Loretta J. is an American economist who is the president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. She joined the Fed in 1985 and in 2014 was appointed as one of the first women presidents of a regional Fed. Mester is also a member of the Federal Open Market Committee, which sets monetary policy through interest rate changes and other investment strategies. She is a vocal advocate for continuous learning about economic indicators and regularly speaks on the current economic and financial landscape.