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US STOCKS-Nasdaq, S&P set to open lower as tech shares fall amid rising bond yields

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Devik Jain and Shreyashi Sanyal
·3 min read
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(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window.)

* Jobless claims dip, but still remain elevated

* Best Buy slips on downbeat annual sales forecast

* Big tech stocks fall; banks, energy shares gain

* Futures: Dow up 0.08%, S&P down 0.24%, Nasdaq falls 0.76% (Adds comment, details; Updates market prices)

By Devik Jain and Shreyashi Sanyal

Feb 25 (Reuters) - The Nasdaq and S&P 500 indexes were set to open lower on Thursday as heavyweight technology-related stocks remained under pressure with a rise in U.S. Treasury yields, while data showed weekly jobless claims fell more than expected.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury yields hit a one-year high of 1.45%, triggering profit-taking bids in some high-flying growth companies on concerns about heightened valuations.

Apple Inc, Amazon.com Inc, Microsoft Corp , Alphabet Inc, Facebook Inc and Netflix Inc were down between 0.5% and 0.8% before the bell.

"The higher the yield on bonds, the more we see this push to move out of stocks," said Jeffrey Carbone, managing partner at Cornerstone Wealth, in Huntersville, North Carolina.

"The market is starting to get a bit frothy, so investors are taking some gains off the growth areas of stocks, which had the biggest movements and moving it to more conservative areas for higher yields in the bond market."

The S&P 500 growth index has risen more than 2.5% in February, sharply underperforming the value index, which has gained nearly 9% on optimism related to a post-pandemic reopening of the economy.

Citigroup Inc, Goldman Sachs Group Inc, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo & Co and Bank of America Corp were up between 1.1% and 1.2%.

On the data front, the Labor Department's weekly jobless claims report showed fewer Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week amid falling COVID-19 infections, but the near-term outlook still remained unclear after winter storms wreaked havoc in the South region in the middle of this month.

U.S. stocks ended higher on Wednesday with the blue-chip Dow hitting record levels as Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell continued adding weight to the central bank's promise to get the economy back to full employment, and to not worry about inflation unless prices begin rising in a persistent and troubling way.

The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones are tracking their best monthly performance since November as the United States accelerates its coronavirus vaccination program and plans further fiscal spending to support the world's largest economy.

At 8:38 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 27 points, or 0.08%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 9.5 points, or 0.24%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 100.75 points, or 0.76%.

Tesla Inc fell 2.6% after a media report that the electric-car maker told workers it would temporarily halt some production at its car assembly plant in California.

Best Buy Co Inc slid 7.5% after the consumer electronics retailer missed estimates for holiday-quarter comparable sales and provided a weak full-year forecast.

Moderna Inc gained 3.8% after the drugmaker said it was expecting to post $18.4 billion in sales from its COVID-19 vaccine this year.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd added 3.9% as it hinted at a recovery in demand in 2022 after the cruise operator posted a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss. (Reporting by Devik Jain and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Anil D'Silva)