Stock futures rise slightly as market enters shortened holiday week
A trader during Sweetgreen’s Initial Public Offering (IPO) outside the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York on Thursday, November 18, 2021.
Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Stock futures edged up in overnight trading on Sunday ahead of the shortened holiday week, a historically strong period for Wall Street.
Futures contracts on the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 55 points. S&P 500 futures edged up 0.1% and Nasdaq 100 futures edged up 0.2%.
US markets will be closed Thursday Thanksgiving Day. The stock market closes early at 1 p.m. ET on Friday.
Stocks have a habit of posting gains during Thanksgiving week, which could potentially set the stage for a year-end Santa rally.
Since 1950, the last five trading days in November have been traditionally positive, according to Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA. Meanwhile, there is a two-third chance that the market will be up the day before Thanksgiving Day and a 57% chance the day after the holiday, the strategist said.
One of the big market events this week will be the appointment of President Joe Biden for the next head of the Federal Reserve.
Biden is expected to announce his choice in the coming days, with current President Jerome Powell and Governor Lael Brainard seen as the most likely candidates. Many expect a more accommodating central bank if Brainard wins, which means it would take longer to tighten policies, including raising interest rates.
“I think the shortened week is likely to be the main driver of market action,” said Jeff Schulze, investment strategist at ClearBridge Investments. “If Brainard is named Fed chairman, it wouldn’t be a surprise to me to see some near-term volatility. Usually the market tests a Fed chair.”
The S&P 500 had a winning week, up 0.3%, thanks to a plethora of stellar profit reports from large retailers and strong US retail data. The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite jumped 1.2% last week. The blue chip Dow Jones fell 1.3% during the period, however.
Since the start of the month, the S&P 500 is up 2%, on track to post its second consecutive positive month. The benchmark equity index gained more than 25% in 2021.
— CNBC’s Patti Domm contributed reporting.