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Stock futures are flat after a solid start to May

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Stock futures held steady in overnight trading on Monday after a strong start to May as investors piled into shares that would benefit the most from an economic reopening.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were little changed. S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures were flat as well.

The move in futures followed solid gains for the Dow during regular trading hours. The 30-stock benchmark rallied more than 200 points, while the S&P 500 inched up 0.3%. Retail stocks led the market advance with Gap and Macy’s rallying more than 7%. Dillard’s rose nearly 10%, while Urban Outfitters and Kohl’s both gained more than 5%.

“Buying activity picked up within industrials, Boeing and Delta saw heavy trading activity as investors may be taking advantage of depressed pricing and banking on reopenings,” said Chris Larkin, managing director of trading and investing product at E-Trade Financial.

States continued to relax pandemic restrictions amid the vaccine rollout. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that most capacity restrictions will be lifted across New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, while 24-hour subway service will resume in New York City later this month.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order on Monday that immediately suspends the state’s remaining health restrictions.

The Dow and the S&P 500 just posted their consecutive months of gains, bringing their 2021 gains to more than 11% each.

“Many of the factors driving markets remain in place, including vaccine optimism, the economic reopening, and accelerating earnings, though inflation and valuation concerns remain,” said Mark Hackett, Nationwide’s chief of investment research.

Warren Buffett said Saturday that he is seeing “very substantial inflation” among Berkshire Hathaway’s collection of businesses amid the economic recovery.

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