U.S. Stocks May Open Higher As Trump Signs Relief Bill

Following the long holiday weekend, stocks are likely to move to the upside in early trading on Monday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 158 points.

Early buying interest may be generated in reaction to news that President Donald Trump has finally signed a $2.3 trillion government spending bill that includes approximately $900 billion in coronavirus relief funds.

Trump had previously resisted signing the legislation, calling for $600 in direct payments to individuals to be increased to $2,000.

House Democrats are set to vote on an increase in the direct payments later today, while Trump has called on the Republican-controlled Senate to do the same.

Trading activity is likely to be relatively subdued, however, with many traders likely to remain away from their desks ahead of the New Year’s Day holiday on Friday.

A lack of major U.S. economic data may also keep traders on the sidelines, although reports on home prices, pending home sales, and weekly jobless claims may attract attention in the coming days.

After moving to the upside early in the session, stocks fluctuated over the course of a holiday-shortened trading day on Thursday. The major averages bounced back and forth across the unchanged line before eventually closing modestly higher.

The major averages all ended the day in positive territory after closing mixed for two straight days. The Dow rose 70.04 points or 0.2 percent to 30,199.87, the Nasdaq rose 33.62 points or 0.3 percent to 12,804.73 and the S&P 500 climbed 13.05 points or 0.4 percent to 3,703.06.

For the holiday-shortened week, the major averages turned in a mixed performance. The S&P 500 dipped by 0.2 percent, while the Dow inched up by 0.1 percent and the Nasdaq rose by 0.4 percent.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Monday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index climbed by 0.7 percent, while South Korea’s Kospi inched up by 0.1 percent.

The major European markets have also moved to the upside on the day, with the U.K. markets closed for Boxing Day. The German DAX Index has surged up by 1.5 percent and the French CAC 40 Index has jumped by 1.1 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are rising $0.23 to $48.36 a barrel after inching up $0.11 to $48.23 a barrel last Thursday. Meanwhile, after climbing $5.10 to $1,883.20 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are advancing $5.10 to $1,888.30 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 103.62 yen versus the 103.43 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Thursday. Against the euro, the dollar is trading at $1.2216 compared to last Thursday’s $1.2193.

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