U.S. stock futures were little changed in early morning trade on Wednesday, following a big rally in the previous session that was fueled by growing belief the worst may be over for the world’s largest economy.
Dow futures dipped 18 points, but implied a gain of about 23 points at the open on Wednesday. Meanwhile, S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures pointed to a slightly higher Wednesday open for the two indexes.
Stocks were also helped by a Bloomberg News report that the Trump administration is preparing a near $1 trillion infrastructure bill. Positive trial results showed dexamethasone — a widely available drug — can help critically ill coronavirus patients, which also boosted equities. The treatment reportedly reduced Covid-19 deaths in hospitalized patients by up to one third.
On Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 526 points, or 2.04%. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite rallied 1.9% and 1.75%, respectively. Stocks tied the economy reopening — including airlines, cruise lines and retailers — led the rally.
“It’s hard to keep a ‘well supported’ stock market down,” Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at the Leuthold Group, told CNBC. “Against a backdrop of widespread caution after a swift 7% decline in the recent days, the stock market was simultaneously bombarded by major pillars of support.”
Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell’s semiannual two-day testimony to the Senate banking committee started on Tuesday. The Federal Reserve’s announcement to beef up monetary stimulus with direct purchases of corporate bonds on Monday boosted sentiment.
Markets and bond yields fell from their highs following Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s comments that the central bank would arrange its corporate bond buying based on market conditions and it doesn’t want to “run through the bond market like an elephant.” Powell will have his second day of testimony on Wednesday.
Stocks also pared gains amid reports saying Beijing will shut down all schools amid a resurgence in coronavirus cases. Investors, for now, are largely shrugging off the uptick in coronavirus cases at home and abroad against the backdrop of better-than-expected economic data.
“The attitude of many Americans seems to be that they are done with the coronavirus, but the coronavirus is not done with us,” Marc Odo, portfolio manager at Swan Global Investments, told CNBC. “The large run up in the market was predicated upon everything going right and a return to normal in short order. However, the regional spikes in infections is challenging that optimism.”
After last week’s drop in stocks, the major average are all well in the green so far this week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 2.7% week to date. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite have gained 2.7 and 3.2%, respectively, since Monday.
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