Dow, S&P futures perk up with eye on Biden's stimulus plan

(Reuters) – Futures tracking the S&P 500 and the Dow edged higher on Thursday as investors awaited details on President-elect Joe Biden’s proposals for stimulus and data on a labor market that is struggling to recover.

FILE PHOTO: A Wall Street sign is pictured outside the New York Stock Exchange in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., October 2, 2020. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits increased to 795,000 last week from 787,000, the Labor Department’s report is expected to show, which could underscore the impact of resurgent COVID-19 infections on the job market.

However, Wall Street’s main indexes are near record highs and the S&P 500 has risen in six of the past seven sessions as investors count on President-elect Joe Biden to unveil a stimulus plan on Thursday evening that could exceed $1.5 trillion to jump-start the economy.

Analysts have said near-term political uncertainties in Washington, a relentless rise in coronavirus cases and a slower than expected rollout of vaccines could impede gains for equities in the short-term.

President Donald Trump became the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice when the House voted 232-197 on Wednesday to charge him with inciting riots at the Capitol. The impeachment proceedings threaten to hang over the beginning of Biden’s term.

At 6:51 a.m. ET, Dow E-minis were up 77 points, or 0.25% and S&P 500 E-minis were up 4.25 points, or 0.11%.

Nasdaq 100 E-minis were down 19 points, or 0.15% as heavyweight Tesla Inc dropped 1.3% premarket after the electric-car maker was asked to recall 158,000 Model S and Model X vehicles for touchscreen failures that could lead to safety risks.

U.S.-listed shares of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd rose 3.1% after it posted its best-ever quarterly profit and hiked revenue and capital spending estimates to record levels as it forecast “multiple years of growth opportunities”.

Attention is shifting to the earnings season with results from JPMorgan and Citigroup and other big banks slated for Friday.

First-quarter and 2021 corporate guidance will be key for investors as new lockdowns threaten to push back a recovery in corporate earnings, according to investment banks.

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