Stocks futures climb as new coronavirus relief package emerges

How can you benefit from mega-cap growth or cyclical stocks?

The Leuthold Group Chief Investment Strategist Jim Paulsen discusses mega-cap growth stocks and cyclicals.

U.S. stock futures gained Tuesday morning as investors weighed the latest proposal for COVID-19 relief.

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A group of bipartisan lawmakers put forth two bills, totaling $908 billion, for coronavirus relief. The plan includes a $748 billion package that extends an additional $300 billion for Paycheck Protection Program loans and gives an extra $300 per week in federal unemployment benefits. A second bill, totaling $160 billion, grants aid to state and local governments and provides protections for businesses.

$300 BILLION OF M&A TO BE UNLEASHED BY BLANK-CHECK DEALS

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were higher by 157 points, or 0.53%, while S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq futures gained 0.66% and 0.65%, respectively. The early advance has the benchmark S&P 500 on track to snap its four-day losing streak, the longest since September.

Looking at stocks, Moderna Inc.’s COVID-19 vaccine has no specific safety concerns that would preclude emergency use authorization approval, according to a briefing published by U.S. Food and Drug Administration staff. Data from the vaccine’s clinical study will be reviewed Thursday.

Shares of companies benefitting most from a reopening of the economy, including airlines and cruise operators were broadly higher.

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Elsewhere, Apple Inc. asked suppliers to increase iPhone production by 30% in the first half of 2021 to 96 million units, according to a Nikkei report citing people familiar with the matter.

In mergers and acquisitions, Eli Lily & Co. reached an agreement to buy Prevail Therapeutics for $1.06 billion, or $22.50 per share. The deal represents an 80% premium to where Prevail shares settled Monday.

Energy majors Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. gained as West Texas Intermediate crude oil added 26 cents to $47.25 per barrel, trading near its highest level since March.

Meanwhile, gold climbed $16.20 to $1,848.30 an ounce.

In Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 was trading lower by 0.27% while France’s CAC 40 and Germany’s DAX 30 were higher by 0.29% and 0.73%, respectively.

Asian markets ended lower across the board with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng losing 0.69%, Japan’s Nikkei 225 falling 0.16% and China’s Shanghai Composite slipping 0.06%.

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