U.S. stock futures were higher early Tuesday morning following a rally that lifted the major averages to fresh record highs.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures traded 130 points higher. S&P 500 futures rose 0.4%, and Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 0.5%.
The blue-chip Dow jumped 204 points, or 0.7%, on Monday, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.9% and 0.7%, respectively. All three benchmarks reached new intraday and closing highs in the previous session.
Those gains came after President Donald Trump signed a $900 billion coronavirus relief package into law. The measure includes a direct payment of $600 to most Americans. The signing came days after Trump demanded a $2,000 direct payment. The House passed a bill late Monday to increase the direct payments to $2,000, but the GOP-led Senate is unlikely to pass the measure.
“The combination of vaccine rollouts, fiscal stimulus, and easy monetary policy continues to create a positive backdrop for equities going into 2021,” wrote Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management. “The agreement on a fresh U.S. fiscal stimulus package removes a recent hurdle, and global central banks continue to support the recovery by maintaining (and extending) monetary accommodation.”
Monday’s rally put the S&P 500 up 15.6% for the year and the Dow up 6.5% over that time period. The Nasdaq Composite, meanwhile, has surged more than 43% in 2020 as investors flocked into major tech names such as Apple, Amazon and Facebook.
The number of coronavirus cases keeps rising in the U.S., however, casting doubt over the economic recovery heading into the new year. Over the past week, at least 184,000 new infections have been reported in the U.S. per day, according to a CNBC analysis of Johns Hopkins University data.
“Vaccine distribution has now officially begun … yet the pandemic has reached concerning levels on multiple fronts,” wrote Jason Pride, CIO of private wealth at Glenmede.
“The viral resurgence has induced lockdown measures throughout the country, stunting economic reopening efforts. If the viral spread is not brought under control by year-end, it will likely be a key initiative to do so in early 2021 before a vaccine has become widely distributed,” Pride added.
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