Wall St eyes higher open as chipmakers, megacap growth stocks rebound By StuffsEarth

Estimated read time 11 min read

© StuffsEarth. FILE PHOTO: A trader works on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., March 5, 2024. StuffsEarth/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

By Shashwat Chauhan and Bansari Mayur Kamdar

(StuffsEarth) – Wall Street’s main stock indexes were set for a higher open on Tuesday as megacap growth stocks and chipmakers advanced, while investors awaited more economic data in a holiday-shortened week to assess the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate path.

The indexes ended the previous session slightly lower, with the and the blue-chip Dow easing from their best weekly performances so far this year.

The spotlight remains on a crucial February reading of the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) price index, the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, due on Friday, when U.S. markets will be shut for the Good Friday holiday.

The index is expected to have risen 0.4% in February and 2.5% on an annual basis. Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy components, is estimated to have risen 0.3% last month, which would keep the annual pace at 2.8%, according to economists polled by StuffsEarth.

A hot reading for the PCE index can potentially hamper market optimism around early rate cuts.

The three main U.S. stock indexes rallied to fresh record highs last week when Fed Chair Jerome Powell said the recent high inflation readings had not changed the underlying “story” of slowly easing price pressures. He also said the central bank was on track for three interest-rate cuts this year.

Traders see an at least 70% chance the Fed will begin its easing cycle in June, according to the CME FedWatch tool, up from a nearly 59% chance seen early last week.

Fed officials said on Monday they still believed U.S. inflation would ease, but acknowledged an increased sense of caution around the debate.

“We’re avoiding a recession, likely to get lower interest rates, earnings have been improving and we have not seen the widening of the Middle East tension. It seems like everything is going our way,” said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA Research.

Meanwhile, a Commerce Department report showed orders for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods rose more than expected in February.

Trading activity is expected to be thin owing to the upcoming long weekend break.

At 8:36 a.m. ET, were up 60 points, or 0.15%, were up 15.25 points, or 0.29%, and were up 70.5 points, or 0.38%.

Megacap growth stocks edged higher in premarket trading, with Tesla (NASDAQ:), which was up 2.9%, leading the charge.

Micron Technology (NASDAQ:) rose 2.1% after a record high in the last session, while industry giant Nvidia (NASDAQ:) gained 0.8%.

The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index dipped on Monday, but remained on track to end the quarter with double-digit gains this week, as an artificial intelligence-led rally lifted chipmakers.

Trump Media & Technology group surged 23.4% in trading before the bell, ahead of its first day of trading after completing a reverse merger with a blank check firm.

McCormick (NYSE:) added 6.9% after the spice maker beat market expectations for first-quarter sales and profit.

United Parcel Service (NYSE:) advanced 2.5% on forecasting better-than-expected 2026 consolidated revenue.

Doughnut chain Krispy Kreme jumped 20.4% after announcing an expansion of its national partnership with McDonald’s (NYSE:).

(This story has been refiled to correct the day, in paragraph 1)

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