Stocks – U.S. Futures Higher as Recovery Hopes Outweigh Virus Worries

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Investing.com – U.S. stocks are set to open higher Wednesday on continued confidence in a prompt economic recovery, but gains are likely to be limited given worries about a coronavirus resurgence.

At 7 AM ET (1100 GMT),S&P 500 Futures traded 18 points, or 0.6%, higher, and Nasdaq 100 Futures up 56 points, or 0.6%. The Dow Futures contract rose 174 points, or 0.7%. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed Tuesday 2% higher, the S&P 500 gained 1.9%, while the Nasdaq Composite added 1.8%. These indices are on three-day win streaks, while the Nasdaq has posted gains for seven of the last eight sessions. 

Retail sales surged 17.7% in May, rebounding from a record slump in April, suggesting that consumer spending is on the mend.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell also touted signs of a recovery in his virtual testimony to the Senate, which he continues later Wednesday, although he stressed that the outlook remains uncertain amid a lack of visibility about the trajectory of the Covid-19 virus.

There has been a new wave of infections in Beijing, which has forced the Chinese government to impose stricter measures to curb the outbreak, including cancelling around half of all inbound flights to the capital. Additionally, a number of the more populous U.S. states have reported a surge in daily infections.

This comes as researchers in the U.K. released clinical data showing that steroid, Dexamethasone, had reduced deaths among the sickest Covid-19 patients. 

Economic data due for release Wednesday centers around housing starts, at 8:30 AM ET (12:30 GMT), with analysts expecting a recovery to 1.095 million for the month of May, up from 890,000 for April.

In corporate news, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) will also be in the spotlight after a report suggesting that its sales in California fell 37% in April and May.

Additionally, Norwegian Cruise Line (NYSE:NCLH) announced late Tuesday that it was extending the suspension of sailings by some of its biggest brands through September.

Oil prices slipped Wednesday, after the American Petroleum Institute predicted late Tuesday a 3.9 million-barrel build for the week ending June 12.

The Energy Information Administration publishes its weekly crude oil inventories data at 10:30 AM ET (14:30 GMT). Crude inventories are seen falling 152,000 barrels after a build of 5.7 million barrels in the previous week. OPEC will also present its monthly update on the world oil market.

Crude Oil WTI Futures prices fell 1.4% to $37.86 a barrel, while Brent Futures dropped 0.9% to $40.61.

Elsewhere, gold futures fell 0.7% to $1,724.60/oz, while EUR/USD traded at 1.1251, down 0.1%.

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