US Futures Move Lower as New Strain Concerns Offset Stimulus Deal


Major US stock index futures were almost flat ahead of the European session despite Trump criticizing the fiscal stimulus deal. President Trump said that the current bill is unsuitable and asked for direct payments to be $2000 instead of $600. Delaying the proceeds of the relief bill will add to the suffering of millions of Americans post Christmas. Meanwhile, his criticism raised the chances of having a bigger package that would benefit the stock market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures hovered near 30000, the S&P500 futures recovered to 3683, and Nasdaq inched higher to 12730.


The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of major currencies, continued to trade above 90 as investors search for more clarity. The Covid19 new strain paused the dollar bleeding, as it affected risk appetite. However, as the focus shifts to other matters, the dollar could surrender gains, similar to what happened during today's Asian session. Market participants are also looking forward to a series of economic indicators, among them the initial jobless claims, which would give an insight into the labor market as Covid19 cases soar.


Precious metals prices inched higher as the dollar lost ground. President Trump is asking for modifications in the stimulus bill, which would raise its value significantly. The price of a gold ounce rose to $1868, the price of a silver ounce rallied to $25.48, and palladium futures edged higher to $2334.


Oil prices continued to weaken as investors fear another drop in oil demand levels due to the ongoing lockdown. The new strain of Covid19 forced additional lockdowns, which could impact oil recovery. The West Texas Intermediate crude February contract dropped to $46.15, and Brent Blend February delivery declined to $49.18. The US Energy Information Administration will publish the oil report later today, which would affect traders' sentiment.

Major Economic Events

GMT Country Event Expectation Previous
13:30 US Core PCE Price Index (MoM) (Nov) 0.1% 0.2%
13:30 US Initial Jobless Claims 900 885
13:30 CA GDP (MoM) (Oct) 0.3% 0.8%
15:00 US Michigan Consumer Sentiment (Dec) 81.4 76.9
15:00 US New Home Sales (Nov) 990 999
15:30 US Crude Oil Inventories -3.186 -3.135
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