Futures higher as Nvidia, other megacaps build on gains By Reuters

(Reuters) – Futures for the and the Nasdaq gained on Wednesday as the most heavily weighted stocks rose in premarket trading, while markets awaited comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and key events later in the week for more direction.

Both the S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq notched record high closes in the previous session – the fifth consecutive record high for the benchmark index and the sixth straight one for the Nasdaq.

AI-chip favorite Nvidia (NASDAQ:) rose 1.0%, while Tesla (NASDAQ:) edged up 0.10% in premarket trading after HSBC hiked its price target on the stock. The EV maker clocked its 10th straight session of gains in the previous session.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said on Tuesday that the “U.S. was “no longer an overheated economy”, supporting hopes that the central bank could start cutting interest rates in September.

However, as expected, Powell refrained from committing to a timeline for rate cuts. He is slated to appear before the House Financial Services Committee later in the day for further questioning from lawmakers.

“We believe Powell is happy with keeping markets relatively quiet at this stage as some data starts to go in the right direction, we did read a still modestly dovish bias in Powell’s testimony, as he kept adding emphasis on the risks of unduly weakening activity and employment,” analysts at ING said in a note.

Bets on a 25-basis-point rate cut by September have hovered around 70% for the past week, up from 45% a month ago, according to CME’s FedWatch. Comments from Fed officials Austan Goolsbee, Michelle Bowman and Lisa Cook are also expected through the day.

All the so-called “Magnificent Seven” stocks were trading higher before markets opened, with Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:), Apple (NASDAQ:) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:) gaining between 0.3% and 0.4%.

The group of seven stocks has been the main force behind Wall Street’s banner rally this year, while the broader market has lagged, leading some market watchers to question the sustainability of equity gains and call for more diversification.

Attention will now shift to U.S. inflation data this week, with June’s reading of the Consumer Price Index due on Thursday and the Producer Price Index report on Friday, for clues on the interest-rate path.

Second-quarter earnings kick off this week, with major banks scheduled to report on Friday. The season will be a key test for whether high-flying megacaps can justify expensive valuations and continue their strong runs.

At 5:52 a.m. ET, were up 12 points, or 0.03%, were up 7.75 points, or 0.14%, and were up 48.25 points, or 0.23%.

Among single movers, shares of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company gained 2.3% after a report that Japan’s Yokohama Rubber was in talks to buy its off-road tire business for at least $1 billion.

The U.S. listing of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co rose 1.9% after the world’s largest chipmaker reported 32% year-on-year growth in second-quarter revenue.

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