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* Walgreens rises after forecast raise
* U.S. private payrolls increase in March
* Three main indexes headed for quarterly gains
* Apple rises as UBS upgrades to ‘buy’
* Futures: Dow flat, S&P up 0.17%, Nasdaq up 0.68% (Adds comment, details; updates prices)
March 31 (Reuters) – Technology stocks lifted S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures on Wednesday as investors awaited details on President Joe Biden’s massive infrastructure plan, while Wall Street eyed its fourth straight quarterly gain.
The $3 trillion-$4 trillion package will target traditional projects like roads and bridges alongside investments in the electric vehicle market.
The size and scale of the proposal as well as the question of how it would be paid for is likely to set the stage for the next partisan clash in Congress.
Unprecedented stimulus and a swift vaccine rollout in the United States helped the S&P 500 and the Dow hit record closing highs last week.
Even though the Nasdaq 100 futures were higher in premarket trading, the index is 7% off its all-time peak as high-flying tech names have been hit by a surge in U.S. 10-year bond yields.
“The infrastructure plan and the climbing yields just mean that rotation from growth to value is going to continue … over next several weeks,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.
At 08:33 a.m. EDT, Dow E-minis were down 2 points, or 0.01% and S&P 500 E-minis were up 6.75 points, or 0.17%.
Nasdaq 100 E-minis were up 87.75 points, or 0.68%, as Apple Inc rose 1.6% after brokerage UBS upgraded the stock to “buy” on stable long-term demand for iPhones with better authorized service providers.
After leading Wall Street’s rally from the coronavirus-lows of last year, the Nasdaq’s 1.2% gain has lagged the S&P 500 and the Dow this quarter as investors swapped growth-oriented stocks with undervalued shares deemed to benefit most from an economic rebound.
Latest numbers showed U.S. private employers boosted hiring in March as more Americans got vaccinated against COVID-19. The report is in line with recent signs of improvement in the labor market and comes ahead of the more comprehensive monthly jobs report on Friday.
Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc advanced 2.5% after raising its 2021 profit forecast on higher sales at its U.S. retail pharmacy stores.
Chinese e-commerce firm JD.com Inc rose 0.5% after it sold JD Cloud and artificial intelligence business to its financial technology unit for a combined valuation of 15.7 billion yuan ($2.40 billion).
Chewy Inv jumped 11% as brokerages raised their price target on the stock after the online pet product retailer posted fourth quarter profit from year-ago loss. (Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)