Stock Futures Pause After Dow's 30000 Milestone
By Will Horner
U.S. stock futures wavered a day after the Dow Jones Industrial
Average breached 30000 points for the first time, and as investors
looked ahead to a packed day of economic data.
Futures tied to the S&P 500 were flat Wednesday. Dow futures
fell back below the milestone they hit Tuesday, while Nasdaq-100
futures were up 0.3%.
Stocks have been boosted in recent days by hopes that vaccines
for Covid-19 could soon become widely available. The easing of
concerns around the presidential transition have also boosted
investor sentiment. Plus, President-elect Joe Biden's pick of
former Federal Reserve head Janet Yellen for Treasury secretary has
increased hopes of sizable stimulus measures.
Countering that optimism are concerns that the coronavirus
pandemic continues to threaten households and raises the prospect
of further restrictions. As of Tuesday, there were 88,080
hospitalized patients in the U.S., a record high for a 15th
consecutive day, according to the Covid Tracking Project.
"We are certainly in a much more optimistic position than we
were a few weeks ago," said Seema Shah, chief strategist at
Principal Global Investors, stating that investors' major concerns,
from the pandemic to a rocky political transition, have been mostly
"The market is trying to balance itself between the short-term
outlooks of a winter wave of Covid cases and the more positive
medium-term outlook thanks to the vaccine and the recovery that
will follow. But that medium-term outlook is plagued with
uncertainties," she added.
In premarket trading, Gap was down 11% after reporting flat
sales in the third quarter. Executives at the retailer cautioned
that rising virus cases would likely weigh on store visits during
the crucial holiday shopping season.
HP climbed more than 5% before the opening bell after the
computing equipment maker's posted revenue that was better than
Investors await a busy slate of economic data, some of which
have been brought forward due to Thursday's Thanksgiving holiday.
Trading in the U.S. will be closed Thursday and conclude early on
Weekly figures from the Labor Department showed jobless claims
rose for a second consecutive week, a sign that resurging Covid-19
cases are taking a toll on the labor market. Meanwhile, durable
goods orders rose by more than forecast.
Economists are expecting a sixth consecutive monthly rise in
consumer spending data, which is set to be released at 10 a.m.
Consumer spending has been the driving force behind the economy's
recovery and investors will be watching for signs of how Americans
Minutes from the Federal Reserve's last monetary policy meeting
earlier this month are also due at 2 p.m.
In commodity markets, Brent crude, the international benchmark
for oil, rose 0.7% to $48.09 a barrel. Gold prices ticked 0.4%
higher to $1,811.40 a troy ounce.
Overseas, the pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.1%, led by
auto makers and energy companies. Asian benchmarks were mixed, with
the Japanese Nikkei 225 ending the day 0.5% higher, while China's
Shanghai Composite fell 1.2%.
Write to Will Horner at William.Horner@wsj.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 25, 2020 09:07 ET (14:07 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.