U.S. stock futures rose today, adding to Friday’s record closes for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq. The U.S. stock market was closed Monday for Presidents Day. All three stock benchmarks finished higher last week, in a continuation of February’s strength.
For the year, as of Friday’s close, the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq were up nearly 2.8%, 4.8% and 9.4%, respectively. The 30-year Treasury yield held above 2% early Tuesday as investors watched for progress on President Joe Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion Covid stimulus package on Capitol Hill and the push for wider distribution of coronavirus vaccines across the U.S. The 10-year Treasury yield rose to more than 1.26%.
Bitcoin reached a new record high Tuesday, going over $50,000 per unit for the first time ever, before paring some of those gains. Major firms announced support for digital currencies last week. Bitcoin more than quadrupled in 2020 and it’s up over 60% this year.
More than 3.8 million households in Texas were in the dark Tuesday morning, as record low temperatures boosted demand for power for heat that pushed the state’s electric grid to its limits. Rolling blackouts, typical on hot summer days, were imposed in Texas. The frigid weather was part of a massive winter blast that brought snow, sleet and freezing rain to the southern Plains, across parts of the Ohio Valley and the Northeast.
The scarcity of power was so great that spot prices of wholesale electricity on the Texas power grid spiked more than 10,000% on Monday. Natural gas futures jumped more than 6% on Tuesday morning. However, RBC analysts said, “Certain regional natural gas spot prices have shot up 10- to 100-fold in a matter of days.” U.S. oil prices also climbed to a pandemic-high above $60 per barrel as drilling and refineries closed down due to the cold.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday that Congress will establish an independent, 9/11-style commission to look into last month’s deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Investigations into the riot were already planned, with Senate hearings scheduled for later this month in the Rules Committee.
Trying to move beyond Trump’s acquittal in last week’s impeachment trial, Biden is set to make his first official domestic trips of his presidency, starting with a CNN town hall in Wisconsin on Tuesday and a tour of a Pfizer (PFE) Covid vaccine facility in Michigan on Thursday.
Marriott International (MAR( announced Tuesday the death of its CEO Arne Sorenson, who had been undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer. Two weeks ago, Marriott said Sorenson would temporarily reduce his schedule to facilitate more demanding treatment. Sorenson became the third CEO in Marriott’s history in 2012, and the first without the Marriott surname.