June 16, 2020 / 10:49 AM / in 17 days

US STOCKS-Futures jump on stimulus hopes ahead of retail sales report

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* Futures rise: Dow 1.86%, S&P 1.37%, Nasdaq 1.29%

By Medha Singh and Devik Jain

June 16 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures jumped on Tuesday on hopes that aggressive fiscal and monetary stimulus would kick start an economy crushed by the COVID-19 pandemic, with investors also expecting a record rebound in May retail sales.

Futures got a boost after a report said the Trump administration is preparing a nearly $1 trillion infrastructure proposal to spur the economy. It comes a day after the Federal Reserve announced details of a program to financially aid companies hit by the pandemic.

The Fed will also start purchasing U.S. corporate debt on Tuesday as part of its recently launched emergency facilities to improve market functioning.

Investors will be keeping a close watch on a live telecast of Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s two-day testimony before the Congress which is expected to begin at 10 a.m. ET.

Powell’s remarks follow the grim outlook from the U.S. central bank last week that brought back volatility into stock markets after bets of a swift economic rebound helped the Nasdaq confirm a bull market.

The benchmark S&P 500 index is now about 9% below its record high hit four months earlier after coming within 5% of that level early last week.

U.S. stocks ended a volatile session higher on Monday with the S&P 500 closing above its 200-day moving average, a key technical indicator of long-term momentum.

At 6:26 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 479 points, or 1.86%. S&P 500 e-minis were up 42 points, or 1.37% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 126.25 points, or 1.29%.

Data at 8:30 a.m. ET is likely to show U.S. retail sales experienced a record rise in May, as 2.5 million Americans went back to work. However, any rebound will retrace only a fraction of the historic drops in March and April amid the coronavirus lockdowns.

Travel-related stocks jumped with Delta Air Lines Inc , United Airlines Holdings Inc, Carnival Corp , Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd jumping between 8% and 10% in premarket trading. (Reporting by Devik Jain and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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