Vaccines and Stimulus Fuel Hopes on Economic Recovery

Vaccines and Stimulus Fuel Hopes on Economic Recovery

U.S. stock index futures advanced on Wednesday with global roll out of vaccines and a new round of stimulus. These boosted bets on a quick economic rebound. Focus is on private employment and service sector reports.

On Tuesday, Texas sweepingly rolled back COVID restrictions. It lifted a mask mandate and said most businesses may open at full capacity next week. Many U.S. states have recorded a sharp drop in new cases. 

President Joe Biden also said they will have enough COVID-19 vaccine for every American adult by the end of May.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate will take up Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package. Democrats will be aiming to get it signed into law before March 14. That is when some current jobless benefits expire.

Dow E-minis were up 202 points, or 0.64% at 06:35 a.m. EST. Moreover,  the S&P 500 E-minis were up 21.5 points, or 0.56%. Also up were Nasdaq 100 E-minis by 86.5 points, or 0.65%.

Futures tracking the small-cap Russell 2000 rose about 1.1%.

Treasury Yield

The U.S. 10-year Treasury yield was last up 1.44%, which was well below last week’s peak of above 1.61%. It triggered a selloff in the equities market on valuation worries. This further aided risk sentiment. 

Investors have moved into sectors that are likely to benefit from an economic recovery, such as financials, energy and industrials.

Stocks on the Move

Before the bell, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley, were up between 1.2% and 1.7%.

ISM’s survey will likely show that the U.S. services industry activity remained at its highest level. That is in nearly two years in February, and unchanged from January.

Furthermore, a separate report is likely to show U.S. private payrolls recovered more in February. That was after the economy shed jobs in December.

Chevron Corp and Exxon Mobil Corp rose about 1.5% each. Oil prices were supported by expectations that OPEC+ producers might decide against increasing output when they meet this week.

Exxon said, however, that it planned to cut its workforce in Singapore. The Asian country is home to its largest oil refining and petrochemical complex. That is by about 7% due to unexpected market conditions resulting from the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Exxon Mobil Corp on Wednesday pitched investors with plans to grow its dividend and curb spending after ambitious growth plans. Last year, the pandemic led the top U.S. oil and gas producer to a historic annual loss.

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