August 4, 2021

By Sagarika Jaisinghani

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures were muted on Wednesday following a record close for the S&P 500, while focus turned to data on the services sector for cues on whether a domestic economic rebound was stalling.

Technology stocks including Apple Inc, Google-parent Alphabet Inc and Facebook Inc, deemed “stay-at-home-winners” during last year’s COVID-19 lockdowns, were among the few gainers in premarket trading.

Demand for the so-called growth stocks has returned this week, rotating away from economy-linked sectors that include financials, industrials and energy, as signs of a slowing economic recovery and fresh COVID-19 fears hit bond yields and capped gains in riskier Wall Street equities.

Data on Wednesday is expected to show an index that measures services sector activity expanded to 60.5 last month from 60.1 in June, when it had likely been restrained by labor and raw material shortages.

Attention will also be on the ADP employment report for July, due at 8:15 a.m. ET, ahead of the Labor Department’s monthly jobs report on Friday.

At 7:24 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 47 points, or 0.13%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 4.25 points, or 0.1%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 2 points, or 0.01%.

Banking stocks fell between 0.2% and 0.5%, tracking weakness in the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield. [US/]

In the latest batch of strong quarterly earnings reports, BorgWarner Inc rose 0.1% as it beat profit estimates on strong consumer demand for new vehicles.

Kraft Heinz Co also beat market estimates for quarterly net sales, but its shares edged down about 0.5%.

Although second-quarter earnings from S&P 500 firms have so far been much better than expected, their shares have retreated as investors booked profits on lofty valuations.

Robinhood Markets Inc jumped 14.5%, setting up for a fourth straight session of gains after its underwhelming IPO last week, as star investor Cathie Wood’s ARK Innovation ETF bought more shares of the online brokerage.

(Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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