U.S. stocks are seen opening mixed Thursday amid cautious trading as investors await details of additional fiscal stimulus with the political turmoil continuing.
At 7:05 AM ET (1205 GMT), the Dow Futures contract was up 73 points, or 0.2%, S&P 500 Futures traded 4 points, or 0.1%, higher, and Nasdaq 100 Futures dropped 7 points, or 0.1%.
Overnight President Donald Trump became the first president to be impeached by the House of Representatives twice, with all Democrats and 10 Republicans backing the measure to charge him with high crimes and misdemeanors for inciting an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last week.
The action now moves to the Senate, although when the upper chamber starts to discuss this measure is not known at this point, suggesting the impeachment proceedings will drag into President-elect Joe Biden’s term.
Biden has other things on his mind at this point. He is expected to provide more details about his Covid-19 stimulus plans later Thursday. The incoming President last week said the “entire package” would total “trillions of dollars,” and so expectations of substantial additional fiscal aid are running high.
Coronavirus cases have continued to surge, with the United States setting a new record for deaths in one day, with 4,336 fatalities on Tuesday, according to a Reuters tally. More than 384,000 people have died from the Covid-19 virus in the U.S., with over 23 million having been infected.
There was some good news on the subject as Johnson & Johnson’s (NYSE:JNJ) experimental single-dose vaccine generated a long-lasting immune response in an early safety study.
In corporate news, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) will be in the spotlight after U.S. regulators demanded the company recall 158,000 of its electric cars over safety concerns. Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) and asset manager Blackrock (NYSE:BLK) both rose modestly in premarket trade after reporting fourth-quarter earnings.
Turning to economic data, the weekly initial jobless claims figure is due at 8:30 AM ET (1230 GMT), while many investors will also be listening to a speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, given the recent talk about the central bank tapering its bond-buying program.
Oil prices slipped lower Thursday, with traders looking towards the release of the monthly report from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries on the outlook for the crude market later in the session..
U.S. crude oil supply data from the Energy Information Administration released on Wednesday showed a draw of 3.247 million barrels last week, the fifth week in a row of reductions.
U.S. crude futures traded 0.4% lower at $52.70 a barrel, while the international benchmark Brent contract fell 0.6% to $55.73.
Elsewhere, gold futures fell 0.7% to $1,842.70/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% lower at 1.2151.