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Dow futures up nearly 400 points as stocks election week rally extends to fourth day

Dow futures up nearly 400 points as stocks election week rally extends to fourth day 2

U.S. stock-index futures rose further Thursday, with the market looking to extend an election week rally on expectations the result will be divided government, as Democratic challenger Joe Biden moves closer to clinching an electoral college victory over President Donald Trump and Republicans appeared likely to maintain control of the Senate.

The continuing tallying of election results was likely to overshadow a policy statement by the Federal Reserve when it concludes its policy meeting later Thursday.

What are major benchmarks doing?

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average

rose 366 points, or 1.3%, to 28,101, while S&P 500 futures

were up 61.35 points, or 1.8%, to 3,496.25. Nasdaq-100 futures

jumped 303.75 points, or 2.6%, to 12,066.75

The Dow

on Wednesday rose 367.63 points, or 1.3%, to close at 27,847.66, while the S&P 500

advanced 74.28 points, or 2.2%, to end at 3,443.44. The Nasdaq Composite

surged 430.21 points, or 3.9%, to finish at 11,590.78. The gains for the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq marked the biggest jumps for the day after Election Day on record.

What’s driving the market?

The bullish reaction to the results so far “may have been due to the fact that Republicans appear likely to retain a majority in the Senate, something that will make it hard for Biden to proceed with the tax increases and stricter regulations he promised,” said Charalambos Pissouros, senior market analyst at JFD Group, in a note.

Biden won Michigan and Wisconsin on Wednesday, putting him six votes away from the 270 needed in the electoral college for victory, while the ability of Democrats to take control of the Senate continued to fade.

Heading into the election, analysts had argued that a “blue wave” or Democratic sweep of both the White House and Congress was being priced into the market which rallied on expectations that such a result would clear the way for another large round of financial aid to support the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. However, investors appeared far from disappointed with the prospect of a divided government.

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve is expected to leave policy on hold when it delivers a statement on its meeting at 2 p.m. Eastern, followed by Chairman Jerome Powell’s news conference at 2: 30 p.m.

Read: Overshadowed by election, Fed aims to keep it that way

Powell and other Fed officials have previously pushed for more fiscal action to backstop the economy.

In U.S. economic data Thursday, the Labor Department reported first-time jobless claims fell 7,000 to from a revised 751,000 last week.

Which companies are in focus?
  • Shares of Qualcomm Inc.

    jumped more than 15% in premarket activity after the chip maker’s quarterly results and outlook breezed past Wall Street estimates as it benefited from 5G product rollouts.

  • Expedia Group Inc.

    shares were up more than 6% after the travel company late Wednesday said third-quarter sales were slashed by more than half but that it managed to pare losses compared with the earlier stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Shares of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

    were lower in premarket trade despite the Chinese e-commerce giant delivering stronger-than-expected earnings Thursday morning.

  • Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.

    shares were up after the drug company easily topped estimates for the third quarter and said it had shared data from its Phase 2/3 COVID-19 vaccine candidate trial with regulators.

  • Shares of Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.

    were up around 2% after the drugmaker largely beat expectations for the third quarter.

  • Cigna Corp.

    shares edged higher after the health insurer reported third-quarter profit and revenue that beat expectations, while providing a full-year outlook that offered no surprises.

  • General Motors

    shot up 6.6% in premarket trading Thursday, after the auto maker reported a third-quarter profit that was well above expectations, as sales in the U.S. and China recovered from COVID-19-related weakness faster than expected. 

What are other markets doing?

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note

was down 1 basis point at 0.758%.

The Stoxx 600 Europe Index

were up 0.8%, while London’s FTSE 100

rose 0.4%.

Oil futures lost ground, with the U.S. benchmark

down 0.8% to $38.83 a barrel, while gold

rallied, rising 1.8% to $1,930 an ounce.

The ICE U.S. Dollar Index
a measure of the currency against a basket of six major rivals, slumped 1%.

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