NEW YORK – U.S. equity futures are pointing to a continued rally as stay-at-home guidelines ease and economic activity resumes.
The major futures indexes are indicating a rise of 1.5 percent when the Wednesday trading session begins on Wall Street.
Stocks began the holiday-shortened week on Tuesday, closing at the highest level in nearly three months on hopes the global economy might be recovering from its deepest slump since the 1930s as more countries reopen factories, shops and other businesses.
In another confidence-boosting development on Wall Street, the New York Stock Exchange reopened its trading floor Tuesday for the first time since mid-March, when it closed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The S&P 500 rose 1.2 percent to 2,991.77. It is 12 percent below its all-time high in February. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 2.2 percent to 24,995.11. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.2 percent to 9,340.22.
Asian stock markets were mixed Wednesday as U.S.-Chinese tension over Hong Kong competed with optimism about recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
Benchmarks in Shanghai and Hong Kong retreated after the White House said a proposed national security law might jeopardize the Chinese territory’s status as a global financial center.
The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong tumbled 0.4 percent, China’s Shanghai Composite lost 0.3 percent and the Nikkei in Tokyo recovered from early losses to gain 0.7 percent.
In Europe, London’s FTSE added 1.3 percent, Germany’s DAX rose 1.7 percent and France’s CAC gained 1.8 percent.
Fresh optimism about the development of potential vaccines for COVID-19 have also helped lift stocks. Investors are focused on the process of reopening the U.S. economy, which is likely to accelerate over the summer.
The Commerce Department said sales of new U.S. homes inched up 0.6 percent last month, a surprising gain that hints at the relative health of many consumers.
In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude lost 34 cents to $34.01 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $1.10 on Tuesday to settle at $34.35. Brent crude, used to price international oils, declined 48 cents to $35.69 per barrel in London. It rose 64 cents the previous session to $36.17.
The Associated Press contributed to this article. Get updates on this story from foxbusiness.com.