S&P 500, Nasdaq set to open higher after upbeat economic data

(Reuters) – The S&P 500 and Nasdaq were set to open higher on Thursday after data showed domestic economy grew at an unrivaled pace in the third quarter as the government poured out more than $3 trillion worth of pandemic relief.

FILE PHOTO: The New York Stock Exchange is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., October 28, 2020. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

A separate set of data showed weekly unemployment claims fell more than expected in the latest week.

The CBOE volatility index .VIX, however, hovered at a 15-week high as the White House coronavirus task force urged for aggressive measures to curb the spread of the disease and on anxiety over the outcome of the Nov. 3 presidential election.

Democratic challenger Joe Biden holds a comfortable lead over President Donald Trump in national polls, but the race in battleground states that will likely decide the election are tighter than the national surveys.

Stalled efforts in Washington over fresh stimulus and an alarming rise in COVID-19 cases globally have put Wall Street’s main indexes on course for their worst week since March.

“People are worried that the shutdown in Europe is going to spread to the United States although I think the chances of another national shutdown are extremely low,” said Robert Pavlik, senior portfolio manager in New York.

At 8:46 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis 1YMcv1 were down 19 points, or 0.07% and S&P 500 e-minis EScv1 were up 6 points, or 0.18%.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQcv1 were up 63.75 points, or 0.57% as heavyweights Apple Inc AAPL.O, Amazon.com Inc AMZN.O and Alphabet Inc GOOGL.O rose about 1% in premarket trading ahead of their results after the closing bell.

Facebook Inc FB.O, which also reports later in the day, gained 3.7%, riding on Pinterest Inc’s PINS.N upbeat forecast for sales growth that highlighted a rebound in ad spending.

Shares of the image-sharing company soared over 32.8%, also driving gains of 1.3% in Snap Inc SNAP.N and 6.8% in Twitter Inc TWTR.N.

Coach owner Tapestry Inc TPR.N jumped 10% after it beat quarterly results estimates and forecast growth for the year as demand for luxury handbags and apparel rebounds in China from pandemic lows.

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