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Stock futures flat as Markets await Airbnb and DoorDash results ,U.S. COVID toll set to cross 500,000



Stock futures held steady in overnight trading on Sunday after the S&P 500 posted its first losing week in of the month. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 20 points. S&P 500 futures gained 0.2% and Nasdaq 100 futures were 0.2% higher.

The move in futures came after the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite snapped a two-week winning streak with a loss of 0.7% and 1.6%, respectively, last week.

The blue-chip Dow eked out a 0.1% gain in the same period, supported by Caterpillar and JPMorgan.

Some equity investors grew concerned about rapidly rising bond yields in recent weeks as they could especially hurt high-growth companies reliant on easy borrowing while diminishing the relative appeal of stocks.

The 10-year Treasury yield jumped 14 basis points last week to 1.34%, near its highest level since February 2020. So far this month, the benchmark rate has moved up 25 basis points.

Many on Wall Street believe that the jump in bond yields reflects a sign of growing confidence in the economic recovery and stocks should be able to absorb higher rates amid strong earnings.

The market is headed into the final week of February with solid gains. The Dow and the S&P 500 have risen more than 5% this month, while the Nasdaq has climbed 6.2%. The small-cap Russell 2000 outperformed with a 9.3% gain this month.

Investors this week are also gearing up to hear from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell in his semi-annual monetary policy testimony before Congress and to receive a set of corporate earnings results from Airbnb and DoorDash —two newly public companies.

Powell’s testimony will take place Tuesday before the Senate Banking Committee and on Wednesday before the House Financial Services Committee. In recent public appearances, Powell has reiterated that the central bank would maintain an easy monetary policy posturing in order to support the economy.

On the pandemic front, U.S. is poised to cross 500,000 Covid-19 deaths, though the pace of fatalities has slowed dramatically. The White House said that it expects to ship out millions of delayed COVID vaccine doses this week after a sweeping winter storm disrupted logistics.

Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday warned Americans to steel themselves against a sense of Covid-19 complacency even as coronavirus infections plummet and some scientists predict that herd immunity is just around the corner.

“The slope that’s coming down is really terrific — it’s very steep, and it’s coming down very, very quickly. But we are still at a level that’s very high,” Fauci, a top pandemic advisor to President Joe Biden, said on Sunday. Fauci said he didn’t want people to think that just because the slope of infections was in sharp decline that “we’re out of the woods now.”

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