Traders work the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
U.S. stock futures were mostly flat on Wednesday evening following a strong session for tech stocks.
Futures contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 30 points, or 0.1%, and those for the S&P 500 saw a similar gain. Futures for the Nasdaq 100 were flat.
The move in futures after the market bucked its recent trend on Wednesday, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite leading while cyclicals and small caps lagged. The Dow slipped 23 points after adding nearly 1,100 in the two previous sessions.
The rally earlier in the week for stocks dependent on an economic recovery was sparked by an announcement from Pfizer and BioNTech that the companies’ Covid-19 vaccine candidate appeared to be more than 90% effective in its phase three trial.
More positive news on the vaccine front could come soon, as Moderna announced on Wednesday evening that its phase-three trial had accrued enough cases of the coronavirus to submit the preliminary results to an independent safety monitoring board.
The positive news for vaccines comes amid a worrying rise in Covid-19 cases across the country. The United States has now confirmed more than 10 million cases of the virus and some areas, including New York City and San Francisco, have announced new economic restrictions in an attempt to slow the spread.
The rally for equities after the Pfizer news followed a strong election week for stocks, which saw the S&P 500 rise more than 7%. Rick Rieder, head of the global allocation team at BlackRock, said on “Closing Bell” that he expected stocks to continue to rise through the end of the year, though he expected trading to be choppy.
He also said he expected the economic recovery to continue despite the rise in Covid-19 cases.
“The Fed is going to stay in this accommodative mode for a period of time,” Rieder said. “When you put that much stimulus in, you put that much liquidity in, and then you add fiscal stimulus … the economy will actually do pretty well.”
Investors will also be looking at new data on the economic recovery on Thursday morning. The Labor Department is slated to release jobless claims data for last week before the opening bell, and economists surveyed by Dow Jones expect 740,000 claims. New inflation data will also be released before the markets open in New York.