US stocks will be in focus today, the last trading day of the week before the Christmas holiday.
Context: Wall Street recorded modest gains on Wednesday, with markets monitoring the rollout of the covid-19 vaccine and President Donald Trump’s criticisms of the stimulus bill cleared by Congress.
Details: Trump vetoed the defence bill passed by Congress on Wednesday after criticising the $900 billion covid-19 relief package. The President advocated for direct payment cheques of $2,000 per person, much higher than the current proposal of $600.
Investors were concerned about a possible delay in the stimulus package from being implemented, while the US continued to record a massive surge in covid-19 cases and deaths. Meanwhile, Pfizer disclosed that the US government had paid for an additional 100 million doses of its covid-19 vaccine.
Trading volume remained low on Wednesday due to the short Christmas week, despite the country releasing various economic reports and developments on the covid-19 relief bill front.
The US released mixed economic data on Wednesday, with initial jobless claims declining to 803,000 in the recent week, while personal incomes and consumer sending dropped 1.1% and 0.4%, respectively, in November. Consumer sentiment also declined, while durable goods orders rose for a seventh consecutive month.
The Dow Jones index added 114.32 points to close at 30,129.83 on Wednesday, while the S&P 500 index snapped a three-day slide, settling higher by 0.1% at 3,690.01. The Nasdaq 100 bucked the trend and fell by 0.3% to close at 12,771.11 on Wednesday, after notching 54 record closes for the year.
What to watch: Traders will keep an eye on the developments related to the stimulus bill cleared by Congress on Monday.
The rising covid-19 cases will remain a major concern, with the US recording around 3,239 deaths on Tuesday, the third-highest single-day number ever.
Other Markets: European trading indices closed higher on Wednesday, with the FTSE 100, German DAX 30 index and French 40 up by 0.66%, 1.26% and 1.11%, respectively.