Wall St set to open higher ahead of key economic data this week

(Reuters) -The latest leg of a surge in so-called “meme stocks” stood out in early moves on Wall Street on Wednesday, while futures tracking the main stock indexes were flat to slightly higher ahead of closely watched economic data this week.

FILE PHOTO: Morning sunlight falls on the facade of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) building after the start of Thursday’s trading session in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., January 28, 2021. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo

A weekly unemployment report and May private payrolls data on Thursday will be followed by monthly jobs numbers on Friday.

Investors are closely tracking the labor market’s recovery after an unexpected slowdown in jobs growth in April fanned inflation worries.

The benchmark S&P 500 has recovered most of its losses following a more than 4% pullback in mid-May on fears over rising prices and a subsequent tightening of policy from the Federal Reserve. The index is now just about 1% from its peak.

The blue-chip Dow and the tech-heavy Nasdaq are about 1.5% and 3.0% from their respective all-time highs.

“The speed of the economic recovery has caused some dislocations and makes it hard for investors to get a proper hold on whether the inflationary patterns are transient or persistent,” said Rob Sechan, managing partner and co-founder of NewEdge Wealth.

“However, we think the reopening (of the economy) will overpower these concerns.”

The S&P 500 slipped after three straight days of gains on Tuesday as losses in healthcare and technology stocks offset gains in economically sensitive financials and energy sectors after upbeat U.S. factory activity data.

At 8:20 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 36 points, or 0.1%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 3.25 points, or 0.08%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 6.75 points, or 0.05%.

AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc surged 19.4% to $38.24 in premarket trading as individual traders on social media forums were unfazed by a hedge fund flipping its stake in AMC, calling it overvalued.

Zoom Video Communications Inc gained 1.5% after it forecast current-quarter revenue above estimates.

Etsy Inc rose 1.1% after the company said it would acquire Depop, a privately held fashion marketplace, for $1.63 billion, as the online seller looks to attract Gen-Z consumers.

Later in the day, investors will turn to the Fed’s “Beige Book” report, a summary of the state of business across the central bank’s 12 regional districts.

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