US stocks are expected to rise on Monday, the first session back following the holidays after President Donald Trump signed-off on a $2.3 trillion spending package and as global investors continued to celebrate a last-minute trade deal clinched between Britain and the European Union on Christmas Eve
Earlier on Monday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index advanced 0.7% and China stocks also rose, helped by strong industrial profit data. UK and Canadian markets are closed on Monday for the carried-over Boxing Day holiday.
Dow Jones futures were up over 140 points, edging nearer record levels, while the S&P 500 – also near record highs – and Nasdaq futures were trading higher, though less prominently.
Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Avatrade commented: “The S&P 500 posted remained almost flat last week, mostly because of the shorter holiday week, and this week isn’t going to be much different as many traders are away for the holiday period.
“Traders are likely to book some more profit before the year-end, and if this happens, it will be no surprise as the Nasdaq is up more than 40% year-to-date. So taking some chips off the table makes perfect sense.”
He added: “Traders are pleased that President Trump has finally given up on his demand, and he has signed the coronavirus aid package bill. Trump wanted to increase the stimulus cheque payment to $2,000 to Americans, but he failed to support lawmakers.”
The rollouts of coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines were also bolstering hopes of more economic normalisation next year, with Europe launching a mass vaccination drive on Sunday.
“Nearly one million Americans have received covid-19 vaccines, and pharma companies like Moderna and Pfizer are trying their best to keep up with demand. Dr Anthony Fauci has already warned that it is highly likely that Coronavirus numbers may spike even more in the US after the Christmas period. If this becomes a reality, it means tougher coronavirus restrictions, which are likely to translate into lower economic activity.
“That for now has offset alarm over a new, highly infectious variant of the virus that has been raging in England and was confirmed in many other countries, including Japan, France and Canada, over the weekend,” Avatrade’s Aslam noted.
On foreign exchange markets, the dollar index fell 0.2% as investors bet on continued recovery in the global economy and a prolonged period of loose US monetary policy. In bond markets, 10-year US Treasuries yields rose to 0.9514%.
Bitcoin, which hit a new record high over the weekend, was up another 2.2% at $26,876, bringing the total value of the cryptocurrency in circulation to over $500 billion.