The Thanksgiving holiday has ushered in a period of calm for markets as U.S. traders take the day off. But, nevertheless, equities around the world were moving higher and U.S. stock market futures got a boost.
The New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq are both closed on Thanksgiving, as are U.S. bond and over-the-counter markets. Stock and bond markets will trade during truncated hours Friday.
But U.S. stock market futures continued to trade Thursday. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were around 60 points, or 0.2%, higher, after the index edged down 9 points Wednesday to close at 35,804. Futures for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq were similarly lifted.
Little has changed on the macro front since Wednesday, when investors absorbed a wave of economic data—including the latest meeting minutes from the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy committee—and sent stocks mostly higher.
“Today will likely prove a quieter one in markets given the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S.,” said Jim Reid, a strategist at Deutsche Bank. “But ahead of that, risk assets eventually climbed a wall of worry yesterday as investors moved to dial up their hawkish bets on the Fed’s policy trajectory, just as the latest Covid wave in Europe further contributed to investor concerns.”
Upbeat economic indicators Wednesday pushed investors to raise expectations that the Fed will move to reduce support from the market and the economy.
Analysts at Deutsche Bank now expect the central bank to double the pace of its taper—the operation of slowing pandemic-era monthly asset purchases—after its December meeting following better-than-expected and employment data.
“By the close of trade investors were fully pricing in a hike by June, and pricing about two-thirds probability of a May hike,” said Reid. “They are still projecting three full hikes in the next calendar year.”
While the landscape is barren for U.S. economic data, in Europe, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde will speak, as will Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey.