By Medha Singh
(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures slipped on Friday as energy stocks declined while investors booked profits after a rally on bets of fiscal stimulus and a vaccine-fueled bounce back in the economy.
Chevron Corp (NYSE:), Occidental Petroleum Corp (NYSE:) and Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE:) dipped between 0.9% and 1.2% in premarket trading as oil prices retreated on demand fears. [O/R]
All three major indexes hit record highs this week and were on course for their second straight weekly rise, as a sharp drop in new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations also buoyed hopes of life eventually returning to normal.
U.S. President Joe Biden announced on Thursday the government had bought 200 million more doses of vaccine.
A Reuters poll showed the U.S. economy is expected to reach pre-COVID-19 levels within a year as the proposed $1.9 trillion fiscal package helps boost economic activity, but it’s likely to take over a year for unemployment to fall to early 2020 levels.
Global finance chiefs, including U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and members of the Group of Seven (G7) rich nations, meet on Friday, vowing to rebuild bridges with allies to steer the world economy out of its deep slump.
At 6:30 a.m. ET, Dow E-minis were down 81 points, or 0.26%, E-minis were down 11.5 points, or 0.29% and E-minis were down 30.25 points, or 0.22%.
Largely upbeat earnings update have also supported market sentiment. About 82% of 355 S&P 500 firms have topped analysts’ estimated for fourth-quarter profit, well above the average beat rate of 76% over the past four quarters, per Refinitiv data.
Walt Disney (NYSE:) Co rose 1.2% after the company swung to a surprise quarterly profit as “The Mandalorian” and “Soul” lifted its fast-growing streaming business, outweighing pandemic worries about its hobbled theme park operations.
Economic data at 10 a.m. ET (1500 GMT) is expected to show that a reading on the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index edged up to 80.8 in February from 79 in January.
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