Stock futures flat after markets hit records in previous session, Biden takes office


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U.S. stock futures were flat in overnight trading on Wednesday after the major averages hit record highs on inauguration day.

Dow futures rose 24 points. S&P 500 futures ticked 0.05% higher and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 0.15%.

Major U.S. airline United dipped more than 2% in extended trading on Wednesday after missing on the top and bottom lines of its quarterly earnings. The airline warned warned sales would continue to suffer in the early part of 2021 as the coronavirus pandemic drags on.

U.S. equities rose to record highs on Wednesday as the latest batch of strong corporate earnings rolled in, as Joe Biden was sworn in as commander in chief.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose more than 250 points to close at a record. Microsoft had the most positive impact on the Dow, adding 52 points to the index. 

The S&P 500 climbed 1.4%, notching an all-time high.

The Nasdaq Composite surged nearly 2%, closing at a record. The technology heavy index was helped by a 16% jump in Netflix‘s stock on the back of the streaming giants strong earnings and subscriber results.

The small cap benchmark Russell 2000 popped 0.44%.

Biden was sworn in as the 46th U.S. president on Wednesday, succeeding former President Donald Trump. During an inaugural address in which he called on Americans to reject efforts to sow division and pledged to work for the voters who did not support him, Biden declared, “Democracy has prevailed.” Biden is expected to work on his proposed $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill.

Wednesday “might have less to do with the inauguration than it does with the start of a new earnings season and with investors taking advantage of recent performance to lighten up on winners in favor of adding some out of favor new era stocks which may be leading a good earnings quarter,” said Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at the Leuthold Group.

“Perhaps, it simply reflects a globally synchronized economic recovery boosted by unprecedented stimulus and the nearing of vaccinations.  With a backdrop like that, it can go up regardless of who’s President,” Paulsen added.

Earnings season continues on Thursday with Baker Hughes, Union Pacific and Citrix reporting before the bell. Intel, IBM and CSX report after the closing bell on Thursday.

The Labor Department will release last week’s jobless claims data at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday. Economists polled by Dow Jones expect 925,000 Americans filed for unemployment last week, down from the previous week’s 965,000.



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