The market meltup just won't let up, with futures and global stocks reaching new record highs on Wednesday as sentiment was stoked after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin unveiled a surprise $916 billion pandemic-relief package proposal (which was quickly slammed by Pelosi and Schumer) coupled with now daily positive news on COVID-19 vaccines, overshadowing fears about resurgent coronavirus cases while sterling made gains as British and European leaders meet for talks on a Brexit trade deal. Treasuries dropped as did the dollar, while the Chinese yuan surged above 6.50 for the first time in 2 years.
MSCI's index of world stocks rose to a record 635.65, up 0.23%. The index has been on a roll for weeks, gaining 15% since the beginning of last month. Global equities were "energized" after the White House's surprise re-entry into pandemic-relief talks with a $916 billion proposal late on Tuesday that opened a potential new path to a year-end deal.
As of 7:30am Dow e-minis were up 76 points, or 0.28%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 5 points, or 0.14% to a new all time high, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 15 points, or 0.08%. U.S. banks JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup as well as industrial bellwethers Boeing and 3M rose about half a percent. Car-battery producer QuantumScape surges 27% in premarket trading, adding to a 31% jump on Tuesday.
Travel stocks including United Airlines and American Airlines Group Inc gained 1.3% and 2.7% amid new covid hopes: the race for a vaccine narrowed on Tuesday after the FDA raised no new issues about the safety or efficacy of Pfizer's candidate, while Johnson & Johnson reported it could obtain late-stage trial results for a single-dose vaccine earlier than expected. Both drugmakers' shares gained about 1% in early trading, as did Moderna. Joe Biden also vowed that his administration would vaccinate 100 million Americans during his first 100 days in office, push to reopen schools and strengthen mask mandates.
"Momentum will be a little bit less than it has been. There are certain questions to be answered about the logistics of the vaccines, and vaccines don't change the winter picture for the virus, but we are expecting positive returns for next year ... there's a lot going for the global economy," said Seema Shah, chief global strategist at Principal Global Investors.