Stock futures pointing higher ahead of opening bell after ending last week on downbeat note

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U.S. equity futures are pointing higher early Monday hours before the opening bell after ending last week on a downbeat note. Benchmarks pulled further away from their recent highs Friday as prospects for another aid package from Washington faded, while a surge in virus cases is threatening to inflict more damage on an already battered economy.

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TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES30046.37+47.11+0.16%
SP500S&P 5003663.46-4.64-0.13%
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX12377.872143-27.94-0.23%

U.S. equity futures are pointing higher early Monday hours before the opening bell after ending last week on a downbeat note. Benchmarks pulled further away from their recent highs Friday as prospects for another aid package from Washington faded, wh

Treasury yields fell broadly, a signal that traders were seeking to lessen their exposure to riskier holdings. On Monday, the yield on the 10-year Treasury was at 0.91%, up from 0.89% on Friday.

Investors are watching for updates on the rollout of coronavirus vaccines that might help beat back surging infections that threaten to derail recoveries from business shutdowns and other pandemic-related shocks.

CORONAVIRUS VACCINE, CONGRESSIONAL GRIDLOCK TO HERALD STOCK MARKET 'NIRVANA'

The first of many freezer-packed COVID-19 vaccine vials made their way to distribution sites across the United States on Sunday, as the nation’s pandemic deaths approached the horrifying new milestone of 300,000.

Widespread vaccination will take months and the virus pandemic is prompting tighter restrictions on businesses. An already slow economic recovery appears to be stalling in the wake of the latest surge and unemployment is rising.

Wall Street is also waiting for a special election in Georgia in early January, which could potentially switch the balance of power in the U.S. Senate.

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Meanwhile, shares were mostly higher in Asia on Monday, shrugging off a weak close last week on Wall Street as hopes for a new round of aid for American workers and businesses faded.

Benchmarks rose in Tokyo, Shanghai and Sydney. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng declined. U.S. futures were higher.

The quarterly “tankan” survey by the Bank of Japan, released Monday, showed business sentiment has improved sharply with expectations for a recovery from a year-long recession.

The main measure of business conditions of large manufacturers rose to minus 10 from minus 27. It was a marked improvement from the past several quarterly reports as Japan battled the coronavirus pandemic.

The tankan measures corporate sentiment by subtracting the number of companies saying business conditions are negative from those responding they are positive.

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Japan's Nikkei 225 index added 0.3% to 26,732.44. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng shed 0.5% to 26,377.37. The Shanghai Composite index rose 0.7% to 3,369.12 and South Korea's Kospi fell 0.3% to 2,762.20. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.3% to 6,660.20.

In other trading, benchmark U.S. crude oil gained 55 cents to $47.12 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It lost 11 cents to $46.57 per barrel on Friday. Brent crude, the international standard, picked up 60 cents to $50.57 per barrel.

The dollar weakened to 103.97 Japanese yen from 104.03 yen late Friday. The euro rose to $1.2144 from $1.2115.

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