Stock index futures are trading mostly higher Thursday ahead of a speech by President-elect Joe Biden that is expected to outline the details of an aggressive spending round designed to help the economy recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Dow Jones YM00 industrial average futures, + 0.26%, were up 62 points, or 0.2%, to 31,021. S&P 500 ES00 futures, + 0.15%, rose 1.2 points, or less than 0.1%, to 3,805. Nasdaq-100 NQ00 futures, -0.01%, fell 34.75 points, or 0.3%, to 12,937.50. The Dow DJIA, -0.03% fell less than 0.1% on Wednesday just before the House vote to impeach President Donald Trump for inciting the Jan.6 Capitol riots, while the S&P 500 SPX, + 0.23% and Nasdaq Composite COMP, + 0.43% finished slightly higher. What drives the market? CNN reported that Biden, who is due to speak in Wilmington, Delaware, is prepared to outline a spending package that would include more direct payments to American families and significant state and local funding.
Dow futures rise ahead of Biden’s stimulus plans
Another round of large direct payments to households could be the trickiest part of the package, Hussein Sayed, FXTM’s chief market analyst, said in a note, because most Republicans and some Democrats in the Senate are against ” go too big. ” “On the other hand, going for a small package will disappoint investors and lead to profit-taking in the equity markets,” he said. “Finding the right balance will not be easy.” Investors will also be on the lookout for bond yields, which rose last week and earlier this week in a move attributed to concerns that an aggressive round of spending could fuel inflation. That could spell trouble for stocks, as higher returns make higher stock market valuations harder to justify. Investors may also worry that a spike in inflation will cause the Federal Reserve to reduce its aggressive monetary stimulus measures faster than expected. Investors will pay close attention to Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s speech at 12:30 pm ET. Weekly data on claims for unemployment benefits is due at 8:30 a.m., which is expected to show that claims for first-time benefits rose to 800,000 last week from 787,000. The December Import Price Index will also be released at 8:30 a.m. M. What companies do you focus on? BlackRock Inc. BLK shares, + 0.26%, rose 2% in pre-market trading, on track for a seventh consecutive record close, after the asset manager, with $ 8.7 trillion in assets under management, reported fourth quarter earnings and revenue that beat expectations. Shares of Tesla Inc. TSLA, + 0.59% were lower. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sent a letter to the electric vehicle manufacturer requesting a voluntary recall of 158,000 Model X units from model years 2016, 2017 and 2018 due to a possible defect affecting safety functions, including the rear view camera operation.