Traders react after the closing bell on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange on March 20, 2024.

Brendan Mcdermid | Reuters

Stock futures are trading near the flatline overnight as the S&P 500 approached its best first-quarter performance in five years.

Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 32 points, or 0.08%. S&P 500 futures inched lower by 0.08%, while Nasdaq 100 futures declined 0.1%.

In extended trading, shares of luxury home furnishings retailer RH jumped 8% after management indicated that demand trends are expected to accelerate throughout fiscal 2024. Nevertheless, the company missed estimates in its latest quarter and issued a weak outlook for the first quarter.

Stocks rallied across the board on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 gaining 0.86% to close at a record high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 477.75 points, or 1.22%, for its best day in 2024. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite, meanwhile, added 0.51%.

“You’ve got a combination of things that are happening with a calendar and a slow news week, with the largest piece of data coming out on Friday when the market’s closed, so you’ve got investors that feel invigorated and a more risk-on attitude seems to be driving markets,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley Wealth.

The major averages are tracking for their second consecutive winning quarter and fifth straight winning month.

For the quarter, the S&P 500 is up about 10%. It is on pace for its best first-quarter gain since 2019, when it rallied 13.1%. The 30-stock Dow, up 5.5% during the period, is tracking for its strongest first-quarter performance since 2021 when it advanced 7.4%. The Nasdaq is up 9.3% in the quarter thus far.

On a monthly basis, the S&P 500 is up 3%. The Nasdaq and the Dow are both pacing for advances of more than 1.9%.

Investors are awaiting data on jobless claims, gross domestic product and consumer sentiment out Thursday.

Although the market will be closed due to Good Friday, economic data tied to personal income, consumer spending and personal consumption expenditures will be released that day.


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