Stock futures are flat after muted start to June

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U.S. stock index futures were little changed during overnight trading on Tuesday, following muted action on the first day of June.

Futures contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 13 points. S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures were slightly lower.

During regular trading, the Dow gained 47 points, or 0.14%, after rising more than 300 points at one point. The S&P broke a 3-day win streak to close down just 2 points. The Nasdaq Composite was the relative underperformer, shedding 0.09% for its second negative session in three.

Despite the muted action, there were some gainers during the session, notably in stocks connected to the reopening. Airline and cruise operator companies saw their stocks jump as Covid cases in the U.S. continue to decline.

Inflation fears, and the ways in which the Federal Reserve might respond, have weighed on sentiment recently, although the major averages are still hovering around all-time highs.

“Markets remain strong,” said Cliff Hodge, chief investment officer for Cornerstone Wealth. “Economic growth is robust, monetary conditions remain extremely easy and consumers are flush with cash from stimulus as virus cases fall and the economy reopens.”

The S&P 500 and Dow are down 0.8% and 1.5%, respectively, from their May records. The Nasdaq has a little more ground to make up following a rotation out of growth-oriented areas of the market. The tech-heavy index is currently 3.3% from its April all-time high.

Looking forward, strategists at Morgan Stanley said to favor defensive and reasonably priced quality names during the mid-cycle transition.

“We think superior execution during the reopening phase and earnings stability are traits the market will reward,” the firm wrote in a note to clients.

Energy was the top-performing S&P 500 group on Tuesday following a jump in oil prices that sent West Texas Intermediate crude futures to the highest level in more than two years.

Shares of AMC were another notable mover, jumping 22% after the company said in a filing that it raised $230.5 million through a stock sale.

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