U.S. stock futures edged lower Friday, putting the S&P 500 on track to end the week with muted gains after notching its ninth record closing high for 2021.
Futures tied to the S&P 500 slipped 0.3%, pointing to a drop after the opening bell. Contracts linked to the Nasdaq-100 Index edged down 0.3%, suggesting that technology stocks may also slip.
Stocks have been choppy this week. Hopes about a fresh round of stimulus spending by President Biden’s administration and the rollout of vaccines has led to a rally in markets for much of this year. The Federal Reserve this week also pledged to continue with loose monetary policy until the economy is on a stronger footing.
At the same time, concerns about the rich valuations of stocks, still elevated coronavirus infection levels, new variants of the virus, and hurdles faced by vaccination programs in many countries is giving pause to some investors.
“In the short term, it remains unclear when lockdowns will end, and whether consumers will rush out to spend on travel and entertainment when they are free to do so,” said Willem Sels, chief investment officer of HSBC Private Banking and Wealth Management.