Dow Futures Rise 176 Pts; Push to Speed up Vaccine Rollout

©  Reuters © Reuters

By Peter Nurse – U.S. stocks are seen opening higher Monday, continuing last year’s positive momentum as investors look to the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines to promote a broad economic recovery.

At 7:05 AM ET (1205 GMT), the Dow Futures contract was up 176 points, or 0.6%, S&P 500 Futures traded 22 points, or 0.6%, higher, and Nasdaq 100 Futures climbed 66 points, or 0.5%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 cash indices closed last week at record highs, having posted gains on five of the last six trading days, boosted in part by unprecedented levels of fiscal and monetary stimulus. The Nasdaq Composite has traded higher on four of the last five days, and lies just below its record high.

Aside from stimulus, progress on the rollout of the various Covid-19 vaccines is generating optimism that a global economic recovery may be just around the corner.

The U.K. started the rollout of the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN) and Oxford University, earlier Monday, while the U.S. government is considering giving some people half the dose of Moderna 's (NASDAQ:MRNA) drug in order to speed vaccinations, a federal official said on Sunday.

Also of interest are Tuesday's runoff elections in Georgia, with control of the Senate at stake. If Republicans win at least one seat, they will maintain a slim majority. If Democrats win both, the chamber would be split 50-50 and the tie-breaking vote would go to Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

President Donald Trump raised the political temperature after he was recorded over the weekend pressuring Georgia's top election official to "find" enough votes to overturn his defeat in the state.

In the corporate sector, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) will be in focus after the electric car manufacturer posted strong delivery numbers late in 2020, pushing it very close to making its ambitious 500,000 target for the year.

The economic data slate is relatively light Monday, with December’s final Markit manufacturing PMI reading due at 09:45 AM ET (1445 GMT). In Europe, activity in the sector increased at its fastest pace since mid-2018, suggesting it was less hard hit by the pandemic than earlier in the year.

Oil prices climbed on expectations that a group of the world’s top producers will agree to continue to curb output next month at a meeting later in the day. OPEC and associated producers including Russia, a grouping known as OPEC+, decided at a meeting last month to raise output by just 500,000 barrels per day in January, still more than 7 million barrels a day below peak levels. Prices were also supported by Iran restarting uranium enrichment and seizing a South Korean tanker in the Persian Gulf.

U.S. crude futures traded 0.8% higher at $48.91 a barrel, at levels last seen in February 2020, while the international benchmark Brent contract rose 2.2% to $52.45, up to March levels.

Elsewhere, gold futures rose 2.2% to $1,931.20/oz, while EUR/USD traded 1.3% higher at 1.2289.

Original Article

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