Dow, S&P futures perk up with eye on Biden's stimulus plan

Dow, S&P futures perk up with eye on Biden's stimulus plan
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NEW YORK (Jan 14): Futures tracking the S&P 500 and the Dow edged higher on Thursday, as investors awaited details on President-elect Joe Biden's proposals for stimulus and data on a labour market that is struggling to recover.

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits increased to 795,000 last week from 787,000, the Labor Department's report is expected to show, which could underscore the impact of resurgent Covid-19 infections on the job market.

However, Wall Street's main indexes are near record highs and the S&P 500 has risen in six of the past seven sessions, as investors count on President-elect Joe Biden to unveil a stimulus plan on Thursday evening that could exceed US$1.5 trillion to jump-start the economy.

Analysts have said near-term political uncertainties in Washington, a relentless rise in coronavirus cases and a slower than expected rollout of vaccines could impede gains for equities in the short-term.

President Donald Trump became the first president in US history to be impeached twice when the House voted 232-197 on Wednesday to charge him with inciting riots at the Capitol. The impeachment proceedings threaten to hang over the beginning of Biden's term.

At 6:51 a.m. ET, Dow E-minis were up 77 points or 0.25% and S&P 500 E-minis were up 4.25 points or 0.11%.

Nasdaq 100 E-minis were down 19 points or 0.15% as heavyweight Tesla Inc dropped 1.3% premarket, after the electric-car maker was asked to recall 158,000 Model S and Model X vehicles for touchscreen failures that could lead to safety risks.

US-listed shares of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd rose 3.1% after it posted its best-ever quarterly profit and hiked revenue and capital spending estimates to record levels, as it forecast "multiple years of growth opportunities".

Attention is shifting to the earnings season with results from JPMorgan and Citigroup and other big banks slated for Friday.

First-quarter and 2021 corporate guidance will be key for investors, as new lockdowns threaten to push back a recovery in corporate earnings, according to investment banks.