(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures rose on Wednesday tracking further progress toward a bumper coronavirus stimulus package, while markets hoped for an affirmation of continued easy monetary policy from the Federal Reserve’s last meeting for the year.
U.S. congressional leaders reported substantial progress toward a spending bill late on Tuesday, bolstering hopes of increased liquidity to offset the COVID-19 pandemic’s economic impact.
The Fed is also expected to keep lending rates at near-zero and signal their staying there for the foreseeable future at the conclusion of a two-day meeting later on Wednesday. Markets are anticipating an update on the Fed’s bond-buying program.
The mix of low interest rates and increased liquidity has brightened the outlook for equities, with markets having moved in tandem with any progress toward fresh stimulus in recent weeks.
Wall Street indexes benefited from a rally in technology stocks on Tuesday, with the Nasdaq ending at a record high as investors continued to buy into the sector’s perceived resilience to the pandemic.
Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) rose 3.5% in premarket trade on Wednesday, after J.P. Morgan upgraded its stock to “overweight” as it expects the social media company to stage a significant rebound in online advertising following a pandemic-fueled decline.
Shares of marijuana producers Aphria (NASDAQ:APHA) Inc and rival Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY) Inc jumped 11.8% and 22.0%, respectively, after a report that the two companies had agreed to combine their operations.