U.S. stock futures indicated a powerful open for Wall Street on Tuesday after a long holiday weekend, as investors seized on fresh coronavirus vaccine news and signs that global economies are slowly starting to crawl back from the pandemic shutdown.
How are benchmarks trading?
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures YMM20, +2.01% climbed 513 points, or 2.1%, to 24,940, while S&P 500 futures ESM20, +1.85% rose 56.60 points, or 1.9%, to 3,009.50, while Nasdaq-100 futures NQM20, +1.89% gained 187.75 points, or 2%, to 9,596.75.
On Friday, the Dow DJIA, -0.03% fell 8.96 points, or less than 0.1%, to end at 24,465.16, the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.23% closed 6.94 points higher, or 0.2%, at 2,955.45, while the Nasdaq Composite COMP, +0.42% traded 0.4% higher to 9,324.59, a gain of 39.71 points.
For the week, the Dow climbed 3.3%, the S&P 500 advanced 3.2% and the Nasdaq Composite rose 3.4%. The Russell 2000 notched a 7.8% weekly rise.
What’s driving the market?
A cautious close for markets on Friday, ahead of the Memorial Day holiday weekend, came amid concerns over rising U.S.-China tensions, but investors seemed more focus on signs of life among major economies.
Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced plans for another round of stimulus and said total aid from the two packages would exceed 200 trillion yen ($1.86 trillion)
“As is the financial market’s want these days though, even the slimmest of positive news on the Covid-19 front trigger a bullish immune response and another wave of the peak-virus trade,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst, Asia Pacific, OANDA, in a note to clients.
“U.S. Memorial weekend saw the U.S. out in force enjoying their post lockdown freedoms. Japan in addition to announcing more billions in stimulus, signaled that the final lockdowns over their largest cities are ending,” he said.
Also viewed as a positive, late-stage biotech company Novavax Inc. NVAX, -7.90% said it has started Phase 1 human trials of its vaccine candidate. The first phase of the placebo-controlled study will enroll 130 healthy adults; the first round of data from that study is expected in July.
But those China tensions remained. The country on Monday denounced a U.S. move to expand a so-called entity list of Chinese companies, which are restricted from doing business with U.S. firms, for alleged human rights abuses in the Xinjian Uighur Autonomous region.
Meanwhile, White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien warned Sunday that the U.S. will likely sanction China if it carries through with plans for new national security laws in Hong Kong, where protests have reignited. It adds to of Washington’s unhappiness over how China has handled the coronavirus outbreak. Also Sunday, China’s foreign minister Wang Yi cautioned against some political forces in the U.S. trying to push the two countries toward a “new Cold War.”
Investors will get fresh data on Tuesday, with a pair of home-price indexes, consumer confidence data and new-home sales.
How are other markets trading?
European stocks pointed to a stronger open on Tuesday, while Asian stocks climbed across the board, led by a 2.8% rally for the Nikkei 225 index NIK, +2.55% , while even the Hong Kong Hang Seng Index HSI, +2.02% rose 2%.
The U.S. dollar fell against a basket of its major rivals, with the ICE U.S. dollar index DXY, -0.39% trading down 0.2%. Crude futures CL.1, +3.66% rose 3.5% to $34.40 a barrel, while gold futures GCM20, -0.44% slipped modestly.