The Nasdaq is set to extend its record-setting run Monday as heavyweight tech stocks move higher in pre-market trading amid a passive investment drive into the sector that has taken U.S. valuations past the $7 trillion mark and ongoing concerns over a global trade war.
Futures tied to the tech-heavy benchmark jumped 42.75 points higher in after hours trading, indicating an opening bell gain of around 38.8 points, a move that would extend its year-to-date gain past 10%, nearly triple the advance for the broader S&P 500 since the first of January. The Nasdaq 100, a more tight-focused group of the country's biggest tech stocks, has gained 11.5% so far this year while the closely-watch Philadelphia Semiconductor Index closed at a record 1,431.16 points Friday.
The collective valuations of U.S. tech stocks, as well as online retailer Amazon, have now topped $7 trillion, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch, a figures that "dwarfs" emerging market stocks at $5.6 trillion.
Netflix Inc. (NFLX) shares were one of the more active shares in pre-market trading, rising nearly 1% to suggest a record higher opening price of $334.50 per share, a move that would value the online streaming group at just over $145 billion. Action Alerts Plus holdings continue to lead the charge. Facebook Inc. (FB) shares were also on the move, rising 0.23%, while fellow 'FAANG' group members Apple Inc. (APPL) and Amazon Inc. (AMZN) were seen 0.48% and 0.58% higher respectively from their Friday closing prices.
BAML also noted in its Friday "Flow Show" report that tech funds are still attracting cash, and should haul in a record $42 billion in new investment this year.
Some of that cash could be finding its way into the sector as a result of broader investor concern over a global trade war, which was accelerated last week by news of U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to slap a 25% tariff on imported steel and a 10% levy on non-American aluminium to address what he called unfair deficits with the world's largest economies.
Tech stocks also drove solid gains overnight in Asia, with Japan's Nikkei 225 rising 1.65% into the close on the back of notable advances for Tokyo Electron (TOELY) (+3.1%) and chipmaker Sumco (SUOPY) (+2.5%).