Futures rise in pre-Christmas trade; Alibaba falls on China probe

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Charging Bull or Wall Street Bull is pictured in the Manhattan neighborhood of New York City

By Devik Jain and Ambar Warrick

(Reuters) – US stock index futures rose on Thursday ahead of a shortened trading session in hopes of a gradual economic rebound, while Alibaba (NYSE 🙂 fell after China launched a cartel investigation of the e-commerce giant.

The and the Dow ended higher on Wednesday as investors turned to cyclical stocks that have the greatest benefit during a recovery, encouraged by COVID-19 vaccine rollout and coronavirus assistance bill approval.

The so-called rotation weighed on the technologically dominated Nasdaq, which ended lower.

Investors also cheered reports that the UK and the European Union were on the verge of concluding a narrow Brexit trade agreement.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump on Wednesday vetoed a bipartisan defense bill and raised the prospect that the United States could be subjected to a government shutdown during a pandemic.

Alibaba Group crashed 7.3% after China launched an antitrust inquiry into the trading head as part of an accelerating breakdown of anti-competitive behavior.

6:37 ET rose 50 points or 0.17%, rose 7.75 points or 0.21% and rose 17.75 points or 0.14%.

The markets close at 13:00 ET on Thursday and will be closed for Christmas holidays on Friday.

Energy stocks, including Exxon Mobile Corp (NYSE 🙂 and Chevron Corp (NYSE 🙂 rose slightly in the pre-market trade and tracked the strength of the crude market as a drop in US stocks and hints of an impending Brexit deal supported oil prices. [O/R]

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