US stock futures are pointing to a higher open for today’s shortened stock trading session, as vaccine optimism keeps market sentiment on an upbeat tone.
Futures of the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 index (NQ) are leading the uptick today, advancing 0.3% at 12,192 while they accumulate a 2.4% gain since the week started, followed by the E-mini futures of the S&P 500, which are up 0.17% so far in early futures trading activity – also set to end the week with 2.2% in gains based on their current quotation.
Dow Jones futures, on the other hand, are up 2.3% since the week started, while trading 0.2% higher this morning at 29,888 as vaccine optimism keeps the stock market pushing higher.
Today’s trading session will ultimately determine the faith of US stock futures, as the past session took place while markets remain closed during Thanksgiving holidays. Meanwhile, equity markets will close earlier today at 1:00PM ET on the day of the popular ‘Black Friday’ shopping spree.
Markets appear to have shaken off a recent questioning of the results announced by British vaccine developer AstraZeneca by the head of the White House Operation Warp Speed program Moncef Slaoui, who recently expressed his concerns about the relevancy of the firm’s interim analysis, which, according to Slaoui, focused on low-risk age groups.
AstraZeneca (AZN) pushed back these criticisms by warning that these were only preliminary results – same as with the interim analysis conducted by other firms like Pfizer (PFE) and Moderna.
To address these concerns, the company said it is now planning to launch another trial, as during the first one a half dose of the vaccine was given to patients first – by mistake – instead of the full-dose that they were supposed to take – a situation that actually resulted in unexpectedly higher levels of immunity by pure chance.
What’s next for US stock futures?
US stock futures have continue their advance this week on the back of vaccine optimism, with E-mini futures of the S&P 500 trading at all-time highs today on thin volume.
Meanwhile, Dow Jones futures have struggled to stay above the 30,000 all-time high they reached in the past two days, with the benchmark settling below that level in both occasions.
Traders appear to be hesitant to push these indexes any higher in the absence of strong catalysts, as the momentum prompted by vaccine headlines along with the prospect of a peaceful transfer of power in the US appears to be fading.
For now, the short-term outlook for the three major indexes continues to be bullish as the S&P 500 just made a cross above its all-time high after breaking past a consolidation phase that started in September. A similar situation is unfolding for the Dow Jones index.
As for the Nasdaq, although the latest price action seems to point to a bullish break above a symmetrical triangle, the next few sessions will be crucial to see if a reversion to the mean takes place now that sector rotation appears to have started.