US pre-open: Futures mixed as traders await details on Biden's stimulus plans
Wall Street futures were mixed ahead of the bell on Thursday as market participants awaited details on president-elect Joe Biden's planned economic stimulus package and mulled over some more positive vaccine news.
As of 1230 GMT, Dow Jones futures were up 0.26%, while S&P 500 futures were 0.14% firmer and Nasdaq-100 futures had the index opening 0.05% weaker.
The Dow closed 8.22 points lower on Wednesday after the House of Representatives voted to impeach Donald Trump for a second time.
Thursday's main focus will be this week's jobless claims report from the Labor Department at 1330 GMT, with economists expecting to see a print of 795,000 new claims for the week ended 9 January.
In addition to that, Biden was expected to unveil his stimulus plan later in the day, one that will include a boost to the recent $600 direct payments, an extension of increased unemployment insurance and support for state and local governments in a package rumoured to be as big as $2.0trn.
Also in focus, trial data from yesterday revealed that Johnson & Johnson's one-dose Covid-19 vaccine was both safe and capable of generating a beneficial immune response.
IG's Chris Beauchamp said: "A more positive tone in markets has developed ahead of the expected stimulus announcement from Joe Biden, investors hoping that the president-elect will move quickly and in substantial form to secure a new package that will bolster the US economy as the vaccine programme moves into a higher gear.
"The week has seen little real movement across most markets, the small bounce in the dollar notwithstanding, and the hope for traders will be that the Biden news will at least inject some more excitement into what has been a dull few days for markets. The impeachment of the sitting president has been mostly ignored, investors remembering that an actual Senate trial is unlikely to start before Biden's inauguration, although the risk of civil unrest cannot be discounted."
On the macro front, import and export prices for December will be published at 1330 GMT, while the Federal Reserve's Jerome Powell, Raphael Bostic and Robert Kaplan will all deliver comments throughout the course of the day.
In the corporate space, Delta Air Lines and BlackRock will both update on recent trading on Thursday.