Stock Futures Tick Lower After S&P 500’s Record Close

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U.S. stock futures ticked down Tuesday, suggesting that the major indexes may pause after closing at record highs.

Futures tied to the S&P 500 edged 0.2% lower, after the benchmark gauge posted its eighth all-time closing high of 2021 on Monday. Futures for the technology-focused Nasdaq-100 index also slipped almost 0.2% and contracts for the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.2%.

Investors said markets are taking a breather following a broad advance in stocks and commodities. The recent rally has been fueled by expectations of a new dose of stimulus spending in the U.S., which could add impetus to the economic revival. That has helped pare expectations for turbulence in U.S. stocks, sending the Cboe Volatility Index down this week to less than 22, after the gauge surged to over 37 at the end of January.

“Very small downsized moves are a symptom of low volatility,” said Trevor Greetham, head of multiasset at U.K. investment firm Royal London Asset management. “Low and falling volatility is a bull market phenomenon. You do get quiet days.”

Expectations that the economy will revive this year have prompted money managers to bet stocks will continue to power higher, driven by sectors such as energy, banks and consumer companies that are sensitive to growth.