US STOCKS-Wall St poised to jump on Biden transition, rebound hopes

Shriya Ramakrishnan and Shivani Kumaresan
·3 min read

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* S&P 500 on track for best November since 1980

* Investors await consumer confidence data for November

* Tesla set to breach $500 billion in market cap

* Futures up: Dow 1.10%, S&P 0.82%, Nasdaq 0.44% (Adds comments, updates prices)

By Shriya Ramakrishnan and Shivani Kumaresan

Nov 24 (Reuters) - Wall Street's main indexes were set to open higher on Tuesday as the formal go-ahead for President-elect Joe Biden's transition to the White House ended weeks of political uncertainty and added to hopes of an economic recovery next year.

Boeing climbed 3.2% in premarket trade after European regulators gave draft approval to the planemaker's 737 MAX jets, paving the way for a formal flight clearance in January.

Futures linked to the blue-chip Dow jumped 1% in early trading, outperforming Nasdaq 100 futures as investors set up to again rotate out of the technology heavyweights that were seen as safe bets during the recession.

"Today, the market is going to largely focus on the new administration's steps going forward," said Robert Pavlik, senior portfolio manager at Dakota Wealth in New York.

After weeks of legal challenges by the Trump campaign to overturn the election result, the U.S. federal agency that must sign off on the presidential transition told Biden on Monday that he can formally begin the hand-over process.

Sentiment was also boosted on reports that Biden planned to nominate former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen as Treasury Secretary, which could shift the focus heavily toward progressive efforts to tackle growing economic inequality.

Shares of Tesla Inc, the world's most valuable automaker, rose 4.6% premarket, putting the company on track to hit $500 billion in market value at the opening bell.

By 8:53 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 324 points, or 1.1%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 29.25 points, or 0.82%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 52 points, or 0.44%.

Signs that a working COVID-19 vaccine could be available before the end of the year have put the benchmark S&P 500 on course for its best November since 1980 and rekindled demand for cyclical sectors such as industrials and financials after a virus-led crash earlier this year.

BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, on Monday upgraded U.S. equities to "overweight", turning bullish on quality large-cap technology companies and small cap firms that tend to perform well during a cyclical upswing.

"There are still a lot (of) questions about how the coronavirus is going to affect the economy between now and the time that we get the vaccine distributed to people," Pavlik said.

"(But) there is a lot of interest in industrials, basic materials, financials - that's what you are supposed to buy for the text books when the economy is indicating that it's going to enter into a rebound or an expansion cycle."

Apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch Co's shares surged 9.1% after the company beat expectations for quarterly sales as more consumers working from home shopped online.

Investor attention will be on consumer confidence data for November due later in the day, although trading volumes are expected to be light in a week shortened by the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday. (Reporting by Shriya Ramakrishnan and Shivani Kumaresan in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V and Sagarika Jaisinghani)