Nasdaq set to open lower ahead of big tech earnings

(Reuters) -The Nasdaq index looked set to open lower on Monday as big technology stocks retreated ahead of first-quarter results later this week, while investors awaited clarity on a new tax plan from President Joe Biden.

FILE PHOTO: A trader takes a break outside the New York Stock Exchange amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 16, 2021. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

High-flying firms, including Alphabet Inc, Inc and Microsoft Corp, were flat to 0.3% lower in premarket trading.

Tesla Inc shares gained 1.2% as analysts expect the electric automaker to report a rise in first-quarter revenue when it reports after markets close following record deliveries for the period.

“The market is in a holding pattern waiting for big-tech earnings. We could see a bifurcated result in tech earnings with ad providers like Facebook and Google doing very well, while Apple coming up against very tough comparison year-on-year,” said Thomas Hayes, chairman at Great Hill Capital LLC, New York.

Of the 123 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported so far, 85.4% have topped analysts’ earnings estimates, with Refinitiv IBES data now predicting a 33.9% jump in profit growth.

Investors are also looking forward to the two-day Federal Reserve meeting beginning on Tuesday and the first-quarter gross domestic product numbers later this week to gauge the pace of the economic recovery.

At 8:37 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 45 points, or 0.13%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 1 points, or 0.02%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 31.25 points, or 0.22%.

Market participants are also watching out for any fresh developments on Biden’s tax plan after reports last week said he would seek to nearly double the capital gains tax to 39.6% for wealthy individuals.

Meanwhile, analysts at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank have warned of some turbulence ahead, after a rally that has taken the S&P 500 and Dow to fresh records this year.

Shares of oil companies, including ExxonMobil Corp, Chevron Corp, Occidental Petroleum and Marathon Petroleum, shed between 0.2% and 0.7% as oil prices fell. [O/R]

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