Stock market news live updates: Stock futures open slightly higher

Stock futures opened higher Thursday evening, shaking off an afternoon dip as traders digested a report over temporary supply-chain issues for a key COVID-19 vaccine.

The S&P 500 ended just below Wednesday’s record closing high by the end of trading on Thursday. The index had erased earlier gains after the Wall Street Journal reported that Pfizer (PFE) was contending with supply-chain issues that would impact this year’s deliveries of its COVID-19 vaccine. The drug-maker, along with its German partner BioNTech (BNTX), plans to ship 50 million vaccines by year-end, as opposed to the 100 million it previously expected. It still anticipates handing over more than 1 billion doses in 2021, however.

Despite the apparent setback in the vaccine’s initial roll-out, equities still held up relatively strongly. The Nasdaq ticked up to a fresh record closing high even as each of the Big Tech FAANG names declined, with Facebook’s (FB) drop coming after the U.S. Department of Justice sued the company alleging improper hiring practices that favored H-1B visa holders over American workers. And the Dow advanced as shares of Boeing (BA) outperformed, after Irish airline Ryanair announced it placed an order for 75 of the company’s beleaguered 737 Max jets.

Economic data will take center stage for traders on Friday, with the U.S. Labor Department’s November jobs report due for release at 8:30 a.m. ET. The report is expected to reflect the slowest pace of job growth since April’s record virus-induced drop in employment, as job gains decelerated as COVID-19 cases spiked to record levels last month. Still, other recent jobs data has surprised to the upside: Thursday’s weekly new jobless claims report showed the first drop in new unemployment claims in three weeks.

As traders and economists look ahead to a brighter 2021, strategists have begun to consider which stocks and sectors might pull ahead in a post-virus economy. Many believe the trends seen in November and early December – with cyclical and value names that had been hardest hit earlier on by the pandemic outperforming – will extend into next year.

“As you move into 2021, there will be broader economic growth, it will be more inclusive, you will see continued fiscal stimulus – I do believe we will get a package. You’ll see the Fed continue. You have pent-up demand,” Brent Schutte, Northwestern Mutual chief investment strategist, told Yahoo Finance on Thursday. “In 2021, you have a market that will move higher, but with different leadership that reflects more broad economy growth. Think the rotation that we’ve been talking about … it’s under way right now and it will continue into 2021. Think value, think small-cap, think emerging markets.”

6:03 p.m. ET Thursday: Stock futures tick up as overnight trading kicks off

Here were the main moves in markets, as of 6:03 p.m. ET Thursday evening:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,666.25, up 1.75 points or 0.05%

  • Dow futures (YM=F): 29,940.00, up 8 points or 0.03%

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 12,478.00, up 15.75 points or 0.13%

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