After ending the previous session modestly lower, stocks may move back to the upside in early trading on Wednesday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a higher open for the markets, with the S&P 500 futures up by 8.50 points.
Early buying interest may be generated in reaction to the details of President Joe Biden’s infrastructure and economic recovery plan.
The plan calls for spending approximately $2 trillion over eight years, with the proposal including investments in transportation infrastructure and accelerating the transition to clean energy.
To pay for the plan, Biden has called for raising the corporate tax rate to 28 percent from 21 percent, which is likely to face intense opposition from Republican lawmakers.
A report from payroll processor ADP showing strong private sector job growth in the month of March may also generate some positive sentiment.
ADP said private sector employment surged up by 517,000 jobs in March after climbing by an upwardly revised 176,000 jobs in February.
Economists had expected employment to jump by 550,000 jobs compared to the addition of 117,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.
The increase in private sector employment in March reflected the strongest job growth since the spike of 821,000 jobs seen last September.
On Friday, the Labor Department is scheduled to release its more closely watched monthly jobs report, which includes both public and private sector jobs.
Economists currently expect employment to jump by 639,000 jobs in March after climbing by 379,000 jobs in February. The unemployment rate is expected to drop to 6.0 percent from 6.2 percent.
Just after the start of trading, MNI Indicators is scheduled to release its report on Chicago-area business activity in the month of March.
The Chicago business barometer is expected to rise to 60.7 in March from 59.5 in February, with a reading above 50 indicating growth in regional business activity.
The National Association of Realtors is also due to release its report on pending home sales in the month of February. Economists expect pending home sales to tumble by 2.6 percent.
After coming under pressure early in the session, stocks regained ground over the course of the trading day on Tuesday. The major averages climbed well off their worst levels of the day but still closed in negative territory.
The Dow slid 104.41 points or 0.3 percent to 33,066.96, giving back ground after ending Monday’s trading at a record closing high. The Nasdaq edged down 14.25 points or 0.1 percent to 13,045.39 and the S&P 500 fell 12.54 points or 0.3 percent to 3,958.55.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Wednesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index slumped by 0.9 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index slid by 0.4 percent.
The major European markets have shown more modest moves to the downside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is just below the unchanged line, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index are both down by 0.1 percent.
In commodities trading, crude oil futures are slipping $0.11 to $60.44 a barrel after slumping $1.01 to $60.55 a barrel on Tuesday. Meanwhile, an ounce of gold is trading at $1,687.70, up $1.70 compared to the previous session’s close of $1,686. On Tuesday, gold plunged $28.60.
On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 110.75 yen compared to the 110.36 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Tuesday. Against the euro, the dollar is trading at $1.1724 compared to yesterday’s $1.1717.
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