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S&P 500 futures inch higher as benchmark makes another attempt at a record

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The S&P 500 futures rose slightly on Tuesday as the benchmark makes another record attempt.

Futures on the S&P 500 climbed 0.2% and Dow Jones Industrial Average futures gained 10 points. Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.6%

Tesla, which was down 10% in the last month, rebounded 3% in pre-market trading to accelerate Nasdaq stocks. The electric automaker shipped 33,463 Chinese-made vehicles in this market in May, up 29% from April. Delta Air Lines grew 1.5% after upgrading from Jefferies on optimism about international and business travel.

Boeing shares rose more than 1% after Southwest Airlines announced it would add nearly three dozen aircraft to its order for the smallest 737 Max model amid an improvement in travel demand.

Several global websites went out of business early Tuesday, but the extent of the problem and its spread were unclear. Futures, especially those for the tech-heavy Nasdaq, appeared to give way as the news of the default spread, but quickly made up for most of those losses. It was unclear at the time whether the move was related to this.

On Monday the S&P 500 fell 0.08%. However, the benchmark is only 0.27% away from its intraday record high in early May. Since its May 7th record, the S&P 500 has been grappling with inflation concerns and has been trading mostly sideways.

The Dow fell 126 points, or 0.36%, in Monday’s regular session for its worst daily performance since May 19.

The Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.5% on Monday, boosted by shares in Biogen. Biopharmaceutical stocks rose 38% after the FDA approved their groundbreaking Alzheimer’s drug.

Meme stocks continued their rally Monday. AMC Entertainment’s shares were up 14.8%, and shares of BlackBerry and GameStop were also up double-digit. The US Securities and Exchange Commission said Monday it is monitoring the continued volatility in the market and pledging to protect retail investors.

AMC was up slightly in pre-trading on Tuesday.

Investors are waiting for new inflation signals later this week following Friday’s job report. While fewer jobs were created than expected in the US in May, the unemployment rate fell from 6.1% to 5.8% and the markets reacted positively to the results.

“The reflation trade is taking a back seat, although the Goldilocks ‘payroll report on Friday served to allay some concerns that the economy might be doing a little too well,” Goldman Sachs’ Chris Hussey said in a statement Monday. “Today’s market moves show that these concerns may persist.”

The consumer price index for May is due to be published on Thursday. According to the Dow Jones, economists expect the consumer price index to increase by 4.7% year-on-year. In April the CPI rose 4.2% on an annual basis, the fastest increase since 2008.

All eyes are on the next meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, which is scheduled for May 15-16. June is slated as investors watch what Fed officials say about inflation and monetary policy. Recent comments from officials suggest the Fed is beginning to prepare markets to slow down its asset purchases.

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Robert Dunfee