Futures rise ahead of Yellen speech; spotlight on earnings

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(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures climbed on Tuesday as investors anticipated U.S. Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen to make the case for a big fiscal relief package later in the day, while the next round of U.S. bank earnings were set to trickle in and offer some insight on the health of the economy.

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) gained 0.5% in pre-market trading even after it reported a drop in fourth-quarter profit. Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) added 0.9% ahead of its results.

JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM), Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) & Co posted better-than-expected earnings on Friday, but their shares dropped following a surge in the run-up to their earnings.

Those bank shares also weighed on the S&P 500 and the Dow on Friday as investors booked profits after a rally to record highs last week on hopes of speedy economic recovery fueled by a hefty fiscal stimulus package and vaccine distribution.

Earnings for S&P 500 companies are expected to decline 7.8% in the fourth quarter of 2020 from a year ago, but are expected to rebound in 2021, with a gain of 16.7% forecast for the first quarter, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX) climbed 1.4% ahead of its results expected after the closing bell Tuesday, while Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH), IBM (NYSE:IBM) Corp, Intel Corp (NASDAQ:INTC) and Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB) are slated later this week.

Yellen will tell the Senate Finance Committee that the government must “act big” with its next coronavirus relief package, according to her prepared statement seen by Reuters.

Meanwhile, world stocks got a lift earlier in the day by data showing China’s economy was one of the few to grow over 2020, and actually picked up speed as the year closed. [MKTS/GLOB]

At 06:29 a.m. ET, Dow E-minis were up 200 points, or 0.65%, S&P 500 E-minis were up 29.25 points, or 0.78%. Nasdaq 100 E-minis were up 128.5 points, or 1%.

Boeing (NYSE:BA) Co added 2.7% as Canada said it would lift a near two-year flight ban on its 737 MAX following two fatal crashes involving the model while a final clearance from Europe to resume flying the jet is expected next week.

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) Inc gained 1.8% after Jefferies (NYSE:JEF) raised its earnings estimates ahead of the electric-car makers’ fourth-quarter results next week.

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