Futures jump on calmer bonds as inflation worries ease

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(Reuters) – Futures tied to the Nasdaq 100 index jumped on Thursday as U.S. bond yields retreated to one-week lows on ebbing concerns over a strong pick up in inflation, while investors awaited data that is likely to show a dip in weekly jobless claims.

Mega-cap stocks Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL), Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:MSFT), Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) Inc gained between 1.5% and 4.3% premarket as the benchmark Treasury yields dipped below the key 1.5% mark after shooting to a one-year high above 1.6% last week.

High-growth tech stocks, which are attempting to regain their footing after a recent pullback, are sensitive to increasing interest rates as they are valued on earnings expected years into the future.

The Nasdaq is now about 7% below its Feb. 12 record close after falling as much as 12% last week.

The Dow on Wednesday hit a record closing high for the first time since February as tepid inflation numbers allayed fears that the economy is running too hot.

A sweeping $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, which includes $1,400 direct payments, received a final nod from Congress on Thursday and is expected to surpercharge the economic recovery from a pandemic that has killed more than 528,000 people and thrown millions out of work.

The Labor Department’s data at 8:30 a.m. ET is expected to show the number of Americans filing for jobless benefits fell to 725,000 in the latest week from 745,000, amid an improving public health environment.

At 6:35 a.m. ET, Dow E-minis were up 67 points, or 0.21%, S&P 500 E-minis were up 26.5 points, or 0.68% and Nasdaq 100 E-minis were up 233 points, or 1.83%.

Investors will now eye an auction of U.S. 30-year debt later in the day. A weak seven-year auction in late February fuelled inflation concerns and sent yields higher.

JD (NASDAQ:JD).com Inc climbed about 8% premarket after the Chinese e-commerce company reported a jump in fourth-quarter revenue as it benefited from a broader shift to online shopping triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bumble Inc jumped about 10% after it reported a bigger-than-expected rise in fourth-quarter revenue and said it expected pent-up demand from people who had been avoiding dating in person due to the pandemic.

A so-called “meme” stock AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC) Holdings Inc gained 7.5% as the cinema chain said the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines and the release of major movies, including “Black Widow”, would boost sales this year.