Stock futures point to fresh records on Wall Street

What to expect from markets in 2021

Hodges Funds portfolio manager Eric Marshall shares his three stock picks going into the New Year.

U.S. stock futures were pointing to gains at the opening bell as investors expressed enthusiasm that the aid from Congress will provide a boost to the economy.

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Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 130 points, or 0.43%, while S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq futures were higher by 0.42% and 0.41%, respectively.

All three of the major averages finished in record territory Monday after President Trump signed a bill that gave $900 billion for COVID-19 relief and another $1.4 trillion to fund the government through 2021.

The House of Representatives voted in favor of Trump’s proposal for direct payments in the bill to be increased to $2,000 from $600. Timing of a Senate vote is uncertain.

Looking at stocks, Boeing Co.’s 737 Max aircraft is set to return to the skies Tuesday when an American Airlines flight from Miami International Airport to New York’s LaGuardia Airport takes off. The jet was grounded in March 2019 after two crashes killed all 346 people aboard.

Elsewhere, Apple Inc. shares were looking for a second straight close in record territory. Recent gains have been fueled by reports of an Apple Car coming as soon as next year.

Ant Financial, the world’s largest financial technology company which started as a payments service on Alibaba Group’s e-commerce platform, is drafting plans to set up a financial holding firm. News that Ant was under regulatory scrutiny in China sent Alibaba shares down 13% on Thursday.

The lockup on Lemonade Inc. shares expires Tuesday, meaning approximately 44 million shares owned by early investors are eligible to be sold. Shares have been hit hard ahead of the lockup’s expiration, plunging 20% over the prior two trading sessions.

Looking at commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil climbed 54 cents to $48.16 per barrel and gold ticked up $1.60 to $1,882 per ounce.

Britain’s FTSE 100 was trading up 2.1% in its first session since a Brexit deal was reached, while Germany’s DAX 30 advanced 0.29% and France’s CAC 40 was higher by 0.4%.

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 rallied 2.66% to its highest level since August 1990, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index added 0.96% and China’s Shanghai Composite fell 0.54%.

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