Futures grind higher after record-setting session
S&P futures vs fair value: +13.60. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +114.50. The S&P 500 futures trade 14 points, or 0.3%, above fair value to grind higher after the benchmark index closed at another record high yesterday. Follow-through buying in many of the mega-cap stocks is making a big difference in the futures trade. The Nasdaq 100 futures outperform and trade 0.8% above fair value. Shares of Apple (AAPL 128.90, +1.00, +0.8%), which are up 4.7% this month, are providing influential support in pre-market action, even as a report from the Nikkei indicated that component orders for MacBook and iPad production has been pushed back from the first half of this year to the second half due to the global semiconductor shortage.The decline in long-term interest rates this month could be restoring interest in the mega-cap/growth stocks after a terrible performance in March. The 10-yr yield is currently down one basis point to 1.64% after starting the month at 1.75%, which has some thinking if rates have hit a short-term peak. Separately, today's docket will include the weekly Initial Claims (Briefing.com consensus 678,000) and Continuing Claims report at 8:30 a.m. ET, followed by Fed Chair Powell's participation in a discussion about the global economy at an event hosted by the IMF at 12:00 p.m. ET. The 2-yr yield is down one basis point at 0.14%. The U.S. Dollar Index is down 0.2% to 92.26. WTI crude futures are down 0.6%, or $0.35, to $59.40/bbl. In U.S. Corporate news:Apple (AAPL 128.90, +1.00): +0.8% despite a report from the Nikkei that MacBook and iPad production has been delayed due to the global chip component shortage. Constellation Brands (STZ 236.02, +1.08): +0.5% after beating top and bottom-line estimates, although STZ also guided FY22 EPS below consensus.Conagra (CAG 37.64, +0.40): +1.1% after beating top and bottom-line estimates. GameStop (GME 185.00, +7.03): +4.0% on news that the Board intends to elect Ryan Cohen as Chairman. Reviewing overnight developments:Equity indices in the Asia-Pacific region ended Thursday on a mostly higher note. Japan's Nikkei: -0.1% Hong Kong's Hang Seng: +1.5% China's Shanghai Composite: +0.1% India's Sensex: +0.2% South Korea's Kospi: +0.2% Australia's ASX All Ordinaries: +1.0%.In economic data:Japan's February Current Account surplus JPY2.917 trln (expected surplus of JPY1.966 trln; last surplus of JPY647 bln). March Household Confidence 36.1 (last 33.9) and March Economy Watchers Current Index 49.0 (last 41.3)Hong Kong's March Manufacturing PMI 50.5 (last 50.2)New Zealand's April ANZ Business Confidence -8.4 (last -4.1)In news:Hitachi may reportedly sell its metals division to a group led by Bain Capital for about $8 bln. The People's Bank of China is reportedly concerned about a boom in housing debt hindering the country's economy. Yonhap reported that South Korea's finance minister hinted at implementing measures aimed at deterring speculation.Major European indices trade near their flat lines. STOXX Europe 600: +0.4% Germany's DAX: UNCH U.K.'s FTSE 100: +0.4% France's CAC 40: +0.4% Italy's FTSE MIB: -0.2% Spain's IBEX 35: -0.4%.In economic data:Eurozone's February PPI 0.5% m/m (expected 0.6%; last 1.7%); 1.5% yr/yr (expected 1.4%; last 0.4%)Germany's February Factory Orders 1.2% m/m, as expected (last 0.8%). March IHS Markit Construction PMI 47.5 (last 41.0) U.K.'s March Construction PMI 61.7 (expected 54.6; last 53.3)France's February trade deficit EUR5.30 bln (last deficit of EUR4.20 bln) and February Current Account deficit EUR2.60 bln (last deficit of EUR2.00 bln)In news:Italy's economy minister said that the country's auto and steel sectors may be protected from falling into foreign ownership. Spain's economy minister said that his government will cut its outlook for 2021. The European Commission hopes for an agreement on a global tax by the summer.