From the wsj's "Stock Futures Rise on Stimulus Bets" posted early Thursday:
U.S. stock futures rose Thursday as investors cheered signs of progress toward a fresh stimulus package that could support the economy through a potential winter slowdown.
Futures tied to the S&P 500 rose 0.5%, suggesting the benchmark stocks gauge may rise for a third-straight day at the opening bell. The S&P 500 closed at its second-highest level ever on Wednesday. Futures tied to the technology-focused Nasdaq-100 also rose 0.5%.
Congressional leaders on Wednesday closed in on a roughly $900 billion coronavirus relief deal that includes another round of direct payments to households. After months of gridlock, the emerging agreement represented a breakthrough at a critical time in the pandemic, with vaccine distribution under way but hospitalizations hitting record highs.
Investors broadly think a new dose of stimulus is necessary to gird the economy until the end of winter and widespread vaccinations have the potential to bring the virus under control in 2021. Rising cases appear to have hit consumer sentiment, weighing on retail sales, and there are new business restrictions in some states.
“The stimulus is key,” said Mary Nicola, a portfolio manager at PineBridge Investments.
My take: Nothing gets done in Congress without a deadline.