Stock futures opened higher Tuesday evening, with the major equity indexes holding near all-time highs heading into the first session of September.
Contracts on the S&P 500 rose. The index closed out a seventh straight monthly gain in August, rising nearly 3% during the month as strong earnings growth, an ongoing economic recovery and a still-accommodative Federal Reserve helped offset fresh concerns over the Delta variant’s spread. Still, the Nasdaq outperformed with a monthly rise of 4%, with investors piling back into technology and growth stocks seen as benefiting from stay-in-place behavior.
Investors are entering a historically more challenging month, with September typically comprising the worst month of the year for stocks, according to an analysis from LPL Financial. And while equities are riding momentum from a seven-month winning streak, they are also extending an atypically long period without a pullback, given the S&P 500 has not had a 5% correction since last October.
“I don’t know that it’s the month to stay on the sidelines, but I do expect that we’ll have volatility,” Michelle Connell, owner of Portia Capital Management, told Yahoo Finance. “I think maybe upside may be limited here through the end of the year, so I think it warrants sitting back and looking at what you own, reevaluating, looking at potential downside.”
Others were also still cautiously upbeat about the path forward for U.S. equities.
“We do think the continued growth of the economy and the reopening trade is going to continue,” Cliff Corso, president and chief investment officer of Advisors Asset Management, told Yahoo Finance. “What we are looking at are things that are more value-oriented, and particularly so where there’s an income component through dividends, because that tends to mute volatility.”
“We think there’s a lot of underpinnings as we look forward, despite some of the new challenges we’re going to be facing, whether it be a tax debate, tapering, inflation — all those headwinds,” he added. “We still have a very accommodative Fed, we still have the potential for a very big fiscal package, and so a lot of those underpinnings are still with us.”
New economic data out Wednesday and later this week is set to help provide a timelier view on the strength of the recovery and path forward for monetary policy. Wednesday morning, ADP will release its closely watched monthly private payrolls report, which is expected to show U.S. private-sector employers added back 638,000 jobs in August after a sharply disappointing 330,000 in July.
6:09 p.m. ET Tuesday: Stock futures rise
Here were the main moves as the overnight session kicked off Tuesday evening:
S&P 500 futures (ES=F): +7.75 points (+0.17%) at 4,529.25
Dow futures (YM=F): +51 points (+0.14%) to 35,391.00
Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): +19 points (+0.12%) to 15,601.50
Emily McCormick is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @emily_mcck