U.S. equity futures tumbled lower on Friday, putting the S&P 500 on track to end the week with moderate gains after posting its ninth closing record for 2021.
S&P 500 futures fell 0.3%, pointing to a decline after the opening bell. Contracts linked to the Nasdaq-100 index fell 0.3%, suggesting that technology stocks may also fall.
Stocks have been choppy this week. Hopes for a new round of stimulus spending by President Biden’s administration and the launch of vaccines have led to a rebound in markets for much of this year. This week, the Federal Reserve also pledged to continue with flexible monetary policy until the economy is on a stronger footing.
At the same time, concerns about rich stock valuations, still elevated levels of coronavirus infection, new variants of the virus, and hurdles facing vaccination programs in many countries are causing some investors to pause.
“In the short term, it is unclear when closures will end and whether consumers will rush to spend on travel and entertainment when they have the freedom to do so,” said Willem Sels, chief investment officer at HSBC Private Banking and Wealth Management.