Stocks are likely to move to the upside in early trading on Wednesday, adding to the modest gains posted in the previous session. The major index futures are currently pointing to a higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 141 points.
Traders seem committed to continuing to push stocks to new record highs despite concerns about the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
While China’s National Health Commission reported 2,015 new confirmed coronavirus cases and 97 additional deaths, a recent slowdown in the rate of growth in new infections has led to optimism the outbreak is being contained.
With traders consistently shrugging off concerns about the outbreak and a lack of major U.S. economic news to drive the markets, the path of least resistance for stocks still seems to be the upside.
Shortly after the start of trading, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is scheduled to begin his testimony before the Senate Banking Committee.
Powell’s prepared remarks are likely to mirror those he delivered before the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday, although traders are still likely to keep an eye on the Q&A portion of his testimony.
In his remarks on Tuesday, Powell said the Fed is closely monitoring the coronavirus outbreak but also highlighted the resilience of the U.S. economy.
Stocks showed a notable move to the upside in early trading on Tuesday but gave back some ground over the course of the session. The major averages pulled back well off the record intraday highs set early in the session, although the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 still ended the day at new record closing highs.
While the Nasdaq edged up 10.55 points or 0.1 percent to 9,638.94 and the S&P 500 rose 5.66 points or 0.2 percent to 3,357.75, the Dow spent the latter part of the session bouncing back and forth across the unchanged before closing down 0.48 points or less than a tenth of a percent at 29,276.34.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Wednesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index climbed by 0.7 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index advanced by 0.9 percent.
The major European markets have also moved to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index has risen by 0.8 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index are up by 0.5 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.
In commodities trading, crude oil futures are jumping $1.11 to $51.05 a barrel after rising $0.37 to $49.94 a barrel on Tuesday. Meanwhile, an ounce of gold is trading at $1,568.80, down $1.30 compared to the previous session’s close of $1,570.10. On Tuesday, gold slid $9.40.
On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 109.98 yen compared to the 109.79 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Tuesday. Against the euro, the dollar is trading at $1.0912 compared to yesterday’s $1.0916.
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