Futures at record highs as rally builds on hopes of economic rebound

Futures at record highs as rally builds on hopes of economic rebound

© Reuters © Reuters

By Medha Singh

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures pointed to a record opening for the S&P 500 and the Dow in the first trading session of the year on Monday, building on a rally that has been powered by hopes of a vaccine-driven recovery in the global economy.

Wall Street's major indexes rounded off 2020 with strong gains as a wave of monetary stimulus and promising developments on the vaccine front helped the indexes recover from their sharpest contraction in decades.

Latest surveys showed manufacturers across Europe ended the year on a high, while Asian factory activity expanded moderately, thanks to robust demand in regional giant China.

U.S. factory activity data is expected later in the day.

On the vaccine front, Britain on Monday became the first country to roll out the COVID-19 shot developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN).

However, some investors are cautious about economic growth as U.S. jobless claims remain stubbornly high and a new round of business closures last month as well as the discovery of a new variant of the coronavirus have cast a shadow on the outlook.

All eyes are on the twin U.S. Senate runoff elections on Tuesday in the battleground state of Georgia, which will determine control of the chamber and, effectively, the fate of President-elect Joe Biden's legislative agenda.

The three stock index futures hit all-time highs. At 06:37 a.m. ET, Dow E-minis were up 183 points, or 0.6%, and S&P 500 E-minis were up 20.5 points, or 0.55%. Nasdaq 100 E-minis were up 57.75 points, or 0.45%.

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) Inc shares rose 2.7% in trading before the bell to a record high after the electric-car maker reported better-than-expected vehicle deliveries in 2020, extending a meteoric rally that has seen the stock surge more than 700%.

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