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Wall Street set for higher open as tech finds respite at end of torrid week

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(Reuters) - U.S. stock indexes were set to open higher on Friday, as technology-related stocks rose after being sold off for most parts of the week, while investors awaited a reading on monthly business activity data.

Shares in Apple Inc, Tesla Inc, Microsoft Corp and Facebook Inc rose between 0.5% and 1.0%, after being subjected to selling pressure in the previous few sessions.

“What we saw (this week) represents a market that is tired and may not do very much. So we are headed for some sort of a pullback, but I don’t think we’re there just yet,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.

“Investors are not really pulling out of the market, but they are becoming more cautious. It already has factored in another good positive earnings season.”

Concerns over higher stock market valuations and a potential snag in inoculation efforts have led to fears of a short-term pullback in equities.

BofA expects a more than 10% pullback in stocks, which are trading at more than 22 times 12-month forward earnings, the most expensive since the dotcom bubble of the late 1990s.

The Dow Jones index was nearly flat for the week, while the benchmark S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq were tracking their first weekly declines this month.

Meanwhile, the IHS Markit’s flash reading on manufacturing and services PMIs, due at 0945 a.m ET (1445 GMT), is expected to show factory activity drifted lower in February.

Strong earnings, progress in vaccination roll-outs and hopes of a $1.9 trillion federal stimulus package helped U.S. stock indexes hit record highs at the start of the week.

At 8:25 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 83 points, or 0.26%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 16 points, or 0.41%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 80.25 points, or 0.59%.

Ride-hailing service Uber Technologies Inc fell 1.8% after Britain’s Supreme Court ruled on Friday that a group of Uber drivers are entitled to worker rights such as minimum wage.

Applied Materials Inc rose 5.5% after it forecast second-quarter revenue above market expectations, as demand for its semiconductor manufacturing tools picked up during a global shortage of semiconductors.

Video-streaming device maker Roku Inc added 2% after it reported quarterly revenue above market expectations, thanks to an influx of cord-cutting subscribers dropping their cable packages for streaming services.

Reporting by Devik Jain and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta

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