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Biden Agenda, Intel Profit, Jobless Claims: 3 Things to Watch

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·2 min read
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By Liz Moyer

Investing.com -- Stocks rose as investors looked to the U.S.’s next chapter and the rising certainty that an additional injection of stimulus is not far off.

President Joe Biden was inaugurated at 12:00 PM ET (1600 GMT) on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, which only two weeks ago was the target of an angry mob of Donald Trump supporters.

The outbound President Trump left office with the lowest approval in recent memory and a country still ravaged by a deadly pandemic and the economic fallout.

But corporate earnings are strong and bode well for a recovery. Former Federal Chairwoman Janet Yellen in her confirmation hearing as Treasury Secretary on Tuesday called on lawmakers in Congress to “act big” and support further stimulus to boost the economy. She could be confirmed as early as this week.

Here are three things that could affect stocks tomorrow:

1. New day, new leader

Biden has an ambitious agenda for his first 10 days in office as he has to come to grips with a number of crises, not least of which is the pandemic and the botched vaccine rollout. But he has a few positives working on his side, including a Congress that will have a slightly Blue majority after the swearing in of two Democrats from Georgia, who won their hotly contested seats earlier this month.

A new single-dose vaccine candidate expected to be considered for approval in the coming weeks could alleviate the strain on the vaccine rollout. That candidate, from Johnson&Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), would come more than a month after the approval for emergency use of vaccines by Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) and Moderna Inc (NASDAQ:MRNA)

2. Big company earnings

It’s entering the heart of earnings reporting season, and Wednesday brings results from Intel, IBM and Travelers, among others.

Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC)is expected to report earnings per share of $1.10 on revenue of $17.45 billion. International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM) is seen reporting EPS of $1.81 a share on revenue of $20.6 billion, and The Travelers Companies Inc (NYSE:TRV) is expected to report EPS of $3.16 on revenue of $7.3 billion.

All estimates are by analysts tracked by Investing.com.

3. Treasury nominee hints at stimulus spending

Hints might not be the right word. Janet Yellen, the former Fed Chair who is now nominated to become Treasury Secretary, told the Senate big spending would be necessary to steer the U.S. economy out of its Covid malaise.

On Thursday the weekly jobless claims numbers come out, and the number -- combined with a disappointing jobs report for December -- could help convince lawmakers to act. Initial claims are expected to be 910,000 and continuing claims are expected to be 5.4 million.

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