The U.S. will sign up again to the Paris Climate Accord while remaining a member of the World Health Organization (WHO). It is reversing two big signature policies of the Trump administration.
Doctor Anthony Fauci outlined a prospect on Wednesday that the U.S. will re-engage with a WHO plan. The plan aims to speed up the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines around the world.
The health organization has been critical of the lack of effort in ensuring access to vaccines in emerging markets. Though poorer, emerging markets occupy a key place in the global economy.
Jobless Claims and Housing Starts Due
At 8:30 AM ET (1330 GMT), weekly jobless claims data will give an immediate reality check on the economy’s state. Initial claims for benefits should come down only slightly from last week’s level of 965,000, the highest since August.
Analysts expect initial jobless claims of 910,000. They also anticipate continuing claims of 5.40 million, up around 130,000 from last week.
Moreover, the first data of the year on housing starts and building permits are due. To also draw attention may be a 10-year Treasury note auction.
Stocks to Open Higher; IBM and Intel
United States stocks should build on Wednesday’s record high closes when they open later. Markets are optimistic about the implications of a free-spending new administration in Washington.
Dow Jones futures gained 42 points or 0.1% by 6:30 AM ET. S&P 500 futures rose 0.2%.
Nasdaq futures enjoyed a strong Wednesday with Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) and other streaming companies, up 0.4%.
After the close, IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) will report earnings. Union Pacific (NYSE: UNP), Travelers (NYSE: TRV), Match Group (NASDAQ: MTCH), and Baker Hughes (NYSE: BKR) all reported earlier.
Meanwhile, at 7:45 AM ET (12:45 GMT), the European Central Bank will announce its latest policy meeting results. No changes to the policy are expected, as ECB already presented a multi-faceted easing package at its last meeting in December.
The public’s attention will focus on President Christine Lagarde’s comments at her virtual press conference. It will be with particular interest anything she might say about Italy.
In recent weeks, Italy’s bond spreads have widened only moderately. Despite the latest political crisis, which has left the country’s government without a majority in parliament.