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US stock futures are rising on economic optimism, despite the soaring European COVID case numbers

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Stocks are near record highs at Wall Street.

The US futures rose on Monday amid cautious optimism regarding the recovery.
However, investors were watching Europe closely as coronavrius cases are rising again.
Oil prices rose after falling on Friday, while bitcoin continued its slide.

Monday saw US stock futures rise as investors remain optimistic about the economy’s recovery at the start of a trading day that was cut short by the Thanksgiving holiday.

S&P 500 futures were up 0.27%, after the benchmark index slipped slightly Friday. Futures for the Nasdaq 100 were 0.3% higher and Dow Jones futures were 0.25 percent higher, which indicates a positive start to trading. The US stock markets will be closed Thursday for Thanksgiving Day, and will close early Friday.

The mood was positive in Europe, even though investors were concerned about the reimposition by governments of pandemic restrictions as COVID-19 case soars. In early trading, the Stoxx 600 index rose 0.16% across Europe.

Overnight, China’s CSI 300 stock index climbed 0.46% in Asia, while Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 closed 0.09% better. However, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 0.39%.

Stocks have remained strong despite inflation hitting a 31 year high in the US and rising rapidly in other advanced economies. This has led central banks to consider reducing their stimulus packages.

Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Richard Clarida declared Friday that the US economy was in a “very solid position”. He mentioned the possibility that the Fed could reduce its asset purchases quicker. Investors will closely monitor the minutes of Wednesday’s central bank meeting in November, which is due for release.

The pick of President Joe Biden for Fed Chair is also in focus. It’s believed that the choice will be between Jerome Powell, the incumbent Fed Chair, and Lael Brainard, the noted dove Fed Governor. Biden is expected this week to announce his decision.

Investors are now more concerned about rising coronavirus infections in Europe. They worry that this trend could spread around the globe and affect the global economy. Restrictions that keep people at their homes could affect not only the re-emerging hospitality sector but also holiday shopping and businesses generally.

Germany, Austria and Switzerland will be among the countries to introduce new rules to combat the fourth wave. Austria’s fourth lockdown began Monday and the country plans to make mandatory vaccinations for all citizens.

Read more: David Iben, a veteran investor, triples the returns from his deep value fund this year. He spoke about his top stock picks as well as why he believes gold and crypto can be combined.

Oil futures were somewhat resilient after a sharp drop on Friday. The price of oil was driven lower by concerns over a drop in Europe’s demand and signs that the US might relent on calls to release strategic reserve funds.

Brent crude oil ticked 0.23 percent higher to $79.11 per barrel on Monday, but it remained well below its recent highs at $86 per barrel. WTI crude rose 0.3% to $76.17 per barrel.

The yields on US bonds, which are inversely related to prices, increased slightly. The 10-year Treasury note yield rose 2.7 basis points, to 1.563%. The 2-year yield which is most sensitive to changes in interest rates rose 2.4 basis points, to 0.529%.

The dollar index rose 0.05% to 96.08. It has risen sharply since the Fed publicly discussed raising interest rates in 2022.

After recovering to $60,000 over the weekend, bitcoin rose 2.5% to $57.423 on Bitstamp. Analysts believe that crypto markets were affected by a variety of factors including tax changes in President Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill; renewed negative attention by Chinese authorities; and a natural drawback after hitting record highs.

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