S&P 500, Nasdaq to open higher; Amex shares to weigh on Dow

(Reuters) -The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq indexes tracked a firmer open on Friday, while a fall in shares of American Express looked set to weigh on the Dow as investors awaited business activity data to gauge the pace of economic recovery.

FILE PHOTO: The front facade of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is seen in New York, U.S., February 16, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

Wall Street’s main indexes sank nearly 1% in the previous session following reports of U.S. President Joe Biden planning to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans, including the largest-ever increase in levies on investment gains.

“Yesterday was a knee-jerk reaction to the proposal. Right now, there’s nothing definitive on the part of administration,” said Robert Pavlik, senior portfolio manager at Dakota Wealth.

“The focus is still on whether or not this market is in the early stage of correction.”

The benchmark S&P 500 and the blue-chip Dow are on course for weekly declines after four straight weeks of gains as the latest worries over tax hikes and a resurgence in global coronavirus cases dulled sentiment.

American Express Co slid 4.1% after reporting a slump in credit spending and lower quarterly revenue.

Speedy vaccination rollouts and trillions in dollars of economic stimulus have helped the S&P 500 and the Dow clinch all-time highs last week, with technology stocks lagging so-called value stocks expected to outperform as the economy emerges from the coronavirus pandemic.

IHS Markit’s flash reading at 9:45 a.m ET is likely to show business activity in the manufacturing and services sectors improved in April from the prior month.

At 6:35 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 41 points, or 0.12%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 9 points, or 0.22%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 26.5 points, or 0.19%.

With the first-quarter corporate earnings season under way, focus will be on results from tech behemoths Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp, Amazon Inc and Facebook Inc next week.

Honeywell International fell 1.8% in pre-market trading after it missed revenue estimates for its aerospace division, its biggest business constituent.

Cryptocurrency and blockchain-related stocks including Riot Blockchain and Marathon Digital dropped 5.7% and 5.6% after bitcoin suffered hefty losses on fears that plans to raise capital gains taxes would curb investment in digital assets.

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