Futures buoyed by optimism over U.S. economic growth

Futures buoyed by optimism over U.S. economic growth

Futures buoyed by optimism over U.S. economic growth © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Wall St. street sign is seen near the NYSE in New YorkNYSE in New York

By Shashank Nayar and Medha Singh

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures climbed on Monday on optimism over a stimulus-fueled snapback in economic activity ahead of the Federal Reserve's policy-setting meeting this week.

The Dow notched five consecutive record highs last week as approval of one of the largest fiscal stimulus in U.S. history and vaccine rollouts fueled demand for economy-linked stocks such as banks, energy, materials at the cost of tech names with lofty valuations.

The reopening optimism has also raised bets on a rise in inflation and, in response, a tapering of the Fed's easy monetary policy that triggered a spike in U.S. bond yields in recent weeks and roiled equities.

At the end of Fed's two-day meeting on Wednesday, policymakers are expected to forecast that the U.S. economy will grow in 2021 at the fastest rate in decades while reiterating their dovish stance for the foreseeable future.

The yields on benchmark 10-year Treasuries hovered near their 13-month high at 1.61%, slightly lower than its peak of 1.64% hit on Friday. Investors suspect a $1.9 trillion relief package, which amounts to more than 8% of the country's GDP, could stoke inflation.

At 6:36 a.m. ET, Dow E-minis were up 118 points, or 0.36%, S&P 500 E-minis were up 7.5 points, or 0.2%, and Nasdaq 100 E-minis were up 24.75 points, or 0.19%.

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL), Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN), Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX), Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Inc and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) rose between 0.1% and 0.6% in early trade.

Microsoft stands to receive nearly a quarter of COVID relief funds destined for U.S. cybersecurity defenders, sources told Reuters, angering some lawmakers who don't want to increase funding for a company whose software was recently at the heart of two big hacks.

Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) and Co dropped about 5% premarket as analysts said the company's mid-stage trial data for its experimental drug to treat Alzheimer's cast a doubt on the approval timeline.

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