S&P, Nasdaq futures hit record high on easing taper fears

(Reuters) – Futures tracking the S&P 500 and Nasdaq hit all-time highs on Monday as dovish remarks from the Federal Reserve last week bolstered optimism in an economic rebound and eased fears of a sudden tapering in monetary stimulus.

FILE PHOTO: The floor of the the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is seen after the close of trading in New York, U.S., March 18, 2020. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

Technology-related stocks including Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp, Amazon.com, Google-owner Alphabet Inc and Tesla Inc were among the biggest gainers in premarket trading.

Wall Street’s main indexes have consistently hit record highs this month, putting the benchmark index on course for its seventh monthly gain in a row, even as U.S. economic growth showed signs of slowing and rising cases of the Delta variant raised fears of more lockdowns.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell on Friday reaffirmed a steady economic recovery and explained why there was no rush to tighten policy as the central bank tries to nurse the economy to full employment.

All eyes this week will be on the Labor Department’s monthly jobs report, which could set the stage for the Fed’s Sept. 21-22 policy meeting.

At 7:17 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 16 points, or 0.05%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 4.25 points, or 0.09%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 20 points, or 0.13%.

Economically sensitive energy stocks shrugged off a slip in oil prices, with Chevron Corp, Exxon Mobil and Halliburton rising between 0.3% and 0.8% after leading sectoral gains last week.

Schlumberger NV and Occidental Petroleum, however, slipped between 0.1% and 0.3%.

U.S.-listed shares of Chinese gaming firm NetEase Inc slumped 7.8% as Chinese regulators slashed the amount of time players under the age of 18 can spend on online games to an hour on Fridays, weekends and holidays.

Shares of satellite transporter startup Astra Space Inc plummeted 24.6% after the test launch of its rocket LV0006 ended prematurely about two-and-a-half minutes after liftoff.

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