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19 Jan 2021 | 11:20

US pre-open: Futures higher following MLK Day break

(Sharecast News) - Wall Street futures had stocks opening higher ahead of the bell on Tuesday ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration tomorrow. As of 1220 GMT, Dow Jones futures were up 0.58%, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures had the indices opening 0.68% and 0.91% firmer, respectively.

The Dow closed 177.26 points lower on Friday, while major indices took a break from trading on Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr Day.

In focus on Tuesday, Janet Yellen, Biden's nominee for Treasury Secretary and former chair of the Federal Reserve, will address the Senate Finance Committee later in the day, with her prepared remarks set to call on the federal government to enact a large stimulus package in order to help the US economy.

"Neither the president-elect nor I, propose this relief package without an appreciation for the country's debt burden. But right now, with interest rates at historic lows, the smartest thing we can do is act big," Yellen will say. "I believe the benefits will far outweigh the costs, especially if we care about helping people who have been struggling for a very long time."

Looking at the Covid-19 pandemic itself, the US has now reported a total of 24.62m cases of the coronavirus, claiming the lives of more than 408,623 Americans along the way.

SpreadEx's Connor Campbell said: "The Dow Jones is heading for a half a percent - or 140 point - increase when it returns from its MLK Day break this afternoon.

"Those gains would mean investors are currently willing to ignore the alarming Covid-19 numbers coming out of the States, where deaths are rising in nearly two-thirds of the country. As well as reports of further restrictions in Germany. And 100 new cases in China. In other words, if Tuesday's gains are to last the day, the market's pandemic blinkers are going to need to be strapped on nice and tight."

On the macro front, Yellen's confirmation as Treasury Secretary will take place at 1500 GMT, while foreign bond investment and overall net capital flows figures will be published at 2100 GMT.

In the corporate space, Bank of America posted fourth-quarter profits that beat expectations on the Street as it released some of the cash that had been squirrelled away for loan losses.

Still to come, Goldman Sachs will report shortly, while Netflix will post earnings after the close.
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