Dow Futures Up 168 Pts – Vaccine Rollout Accelerates

U.S. stocks are seen opening higher Tuesday, as lawmakers attempt to negotiate another economic relief package while vaccines are rolled out across the country.

At 07:05 AM ET (1205 GMT), the Dow Futures contract rose 168 points, or 0.6%, S&P 500 Futures traded 22 points, or 0.6%, higher, and Nasdaq 100 Futures climbed 63 points, or 0.5%.

The latest proposal for another round of coronavirus stimulus was revealed late Monday, with a previous bipartisan proposal for $908 billion of relief split into two parts, hopefully making at least some of the funding easier to pass through a divided Congress.

The first part will include a $748 billion proposal that has bipartisan support including aid for vaccine distribution and unemployed benefits, while the other is a $160 billion bill for state and local support and temporary Covid-19 liability protection, which may prove more controversial.

These latest steps toward a stimulus deal comes as the U.S. death toll from the pandemic tops 300,000. The most populous state California is already suffering badly, while New York is headed toward a second full shutdown if new infections and hospitalizations continue at their current pace, Governor Andrew Cuomo said Monday.

The rollout of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine is set to gather pace Tuesday, with another 425 locations set to be added to the 145 distribution centers that were authorised on Monday after the Food and Drug Administration granted emergency authorization of the drug.

The Federal Reserve starts its final monetary policy meeting of 2020 later Tuesday, with a policy statement and press conference led by Chairman Jerome Powell scheduled for Wednesday.

On the economic data slate, the Empire State Manufacturing Survey for December will provide investors with a read on that segment of the economy, ahead of November’s industrial and manufacturing production figures.

In the corporate sector, Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) will be in focus as the Food and Drug Administration is set to release its analysis of data from the stage 3 trial of the biotech’s Covid-19 vaccine, a preliminary step toward the granting of emergency use authorization.

Oil prices edged higher Tuesday, despite tighter lockdowns exacerbating worries about a hit to demand even as Covid-19 vaccines began to be rolled out.

With this in mind, traders will look at inventory data from the American Petroleum Institute later Tuesday and the Energy Information Administration on Wednesday for further guidance.

U.S. crude futures traded 0.1% higher at $47.02 a barrel, while the international benchmark Brent contract rose 0.1% to $50.34.

Elsewhere, gold futures rose 0.9% to $1,848.45/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% higher at 1.2157.

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