US pre-open: Futures in the green as Yellen backs $1.9trn stimulus package
Wall Street futures were in the green ahead of the bell on Friday after Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen stated a large Covid-19 relief package would be needed for the US was to stage a full economic recovery.
As of 1230 GMT, Dow Jones futures were up 0.19%, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures had the indices opening 0.29% and 0.41% higher, respectively.
The Dow closed 119.68 points lower on Thursday after this week's initial jobless claims fell well and truly short of expectations.
However, stocks looked set to make an about-face turn on Friday after Yellen stated a $1.9trn stimulus deal would likely assist the US in getting back to full employment in twelve months time.
"We think it's very important to have a big package [that] addresses the pain this has caused – 15.0m Americans behind on their rent, 24.0m adults and 12.0m children who don't have enough to eat, small businesses failing," Yellen said.
"I think the price of doing too little is much higher than the price of doing something big. We think that the benefits will far outweigh the costs in the longer run."
She also stated that inflation should not be the country's biggest concern at the moment, noting that it has been "very low for over a decade" and that the Federal Reserve and others had tools to address it.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday that the US House of Representatives will look to push through Joe Biden's $1.9trn Covid-19 relief plan before the end of the month, with Democratic congressional leaders likely to attempt to pass a package without votes from the Republican Party.
In the corporate space, Deere & Co smashed first-quarter earnings forecasts and boosted its full-year profit outlook, while MoneyGram was also scheduled to update on recent trading before the opening bell.
On the macro front, a flash reading of IHS Markit's February manufacturing PMI was slated for release at 1445 GMT, while existing home sales data for January will follow at 1500 GMT.
Federal Reserve presidents Thomas Barkin and Eric Rosengren will deliver speeches at 1300 and 1600 GMT, respectively.