Stock futures point to another round of records after biggest weekly rise since November


Stock-index futures rose Monday, indicating major benchmarks would build on their strongest week since November as investors pencil in another round of aid spending out of Washington.

What are major benchmarks doing?
  • Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average
    rose 127 points, or 0.4%, to 31,169.

  • S&P 500 futures
    were up 11.95 points, or 0.3%, at 3,892.25.

  • Nasdaq-100 futures
    gained 41 points, or 0.3%, to trade at 13,639.

See: Can America undo the economic wrongs of decades? These strategists say yes

February got off to a strong start for major indexes, which saw their strongest weekly gains since November. The Dow
rose 3.9% last week, while the S&P 500
advanced 4.7% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite
jumped 6%. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq both closed at records on Friday.

What’s driving the market?

Stocks pushed higher last week, buoyed by solid earnings and a focus on progress toward another large round of fiscal aid as congressional Democrats took steps that would allow the Senate to vote on President Joe Biden’s relief plan without Republican support in the Senate via a process known as budget reconciliation.

Read: Individual investors are back — here’s what it means for the stock market

While Biden isn’t expected to see his full $1.9 trillion plan enacted, analysts said momentum appears to be running in favor of another large round of aid. In fact, a weaker-than-expected January jobs reprot on Friday was seen enhancing prospects for bigger spending.

“The story behind the move is simple but strange: ‘bad news is good news,’” said Marshall Gittler, head of investment research at BDSwiss Holding Ltd., in a note.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Sunday said Biden’s plan could fuel strong enough growth to return the U.S. to full employment by next year.

Investors face another busy week of earnings. Companies are now on track to show positive earnings growth of 1.7% for the fourth quarter, with 58% of results already in. That would allow the index to snap out of an earnings recession, which exists when corporate profits post year-over-year declines for two or more quarters in a row.

Which companies are in focus?
  • In a regulatory filing, South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Co. said Sunday that, contrary to multiple reports, it is not in discussions with Apple Inc.
    to develop an autonomous electric car. Apple shares were down slightly in premarket trade.

  • Hasbro Inc.
    shares rose in premarket trade, after the toy maker reported fourth-quarter profit and revenue that topped expectations, as strength in gaming offset a miss in its franchise brands business.

  • Shares of Energizer Holdings Inc.
    were up more than 2% in premarket action after beating profit and revenue forecasts.

What are other assets doing?
  • The yield on the 10-year Treasury note
     rose 2.3 basis points to about 1.192%. Yields and bond prices move in opposite directions.

  • The ICE U.S. Dollar Index,
     a measure of the currency against a basket of six major rivals, was up 0.1%, near 91.14.

  • Gold futures
     rose $8.60, or 0.5%, to trade near $1,821.60 an ounce. 

  • Crude oil for March delivery
    was trading near $57.49 a barrel, up 1.1% or 63 cents.

  • The Stoxx 600 Europe index
      was trading 0.5% higher, while London’s FTSE 100
     was 1% higher.

  • In Asian trade overnight, the Shanghai Composite
     ended 1% higher, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index
     ticked up 0.1% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 NIK jumped 2.1%.

Read next: Can America undo the economic wrongs of decades? These strategists say yes


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