US STOCKS-Wall St headed higher on recovery hopes after Thanksgiving holiday

Shivani Kumaresan
·3-min read

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* Trump says will leave if Biden wins Electoral College vote

* Tech stocks lead premarket gains, banks dip

* Volatility dips to levels last seen in February

* U.S. stock market to close early; trading to remain thin

* Futures up: Dow 0.26%, S&P 0.34%, Nasdaq 0.67% (Adds comments, details; updates prices)

By Shivani Kumaresan

Nov 27 (Reuters) - Wall Street's main indexes were set to open higher on Friday as optimism around an economic rebound next year outweighed concerns around an expected surge in coronavirus infections following the Thanksgiving holiday.

Sentiment was also lifted by President Donald Trump saying he will leave the White House if the Electoral College votes for President-elect Joe Biden, the closest he has come to conceding the Nov. 3 election, market participants said.

"While it was certainly the expectation of the vast majority of traders that there would be an easy transfer of power, at the end of the day it gives a little bit of confidence," said Rick Meckler, a partner at Cherry Lane Investments in New Jersey.

The three main U.S. stock indexes have gained more than 10% this month as investors were encouraged by signs that COVID-19 vaccines were on track to be rolled out in the weeks ahead, setting the S&P 500 for its best November ever.

Although European bourses were subdued by doubts around the effectiveness of AstraZeneca's vaccine, Meckler said it would not affect the U.S. stock market with traders betting on candidates being developed by Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc .

Reopening after the Thanksgiving holiday, Dow e-minis were up 0.26% by 8:55 a.m. ET. S&P 500 e-minis were up 0.34% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 0.67%.

A rotation into sectors deemed to benefit from an economic recovery, such as industrials and financials, has also powered the Dow to record highs and put it on track for its biggest monthly gain since 1987.

Market volatility, as measured by the CBOE volatility index , also slipped to pre-pandemic levels on Friday.

But gains were capped by U.S. hospitalizations for COVID-19 reaching a record of more than 89,000 on Wednesday and experts warning that holiday gatherings could lead to another spike in cases and deaths.

Stay-at-home stocks including Apple Inc and Inc rose about 1% in premarket trading, while the big U.S. banks such as JPMorgan Chase & Co and Morgan Stanley Inc headed lower.

Trading volumes are expected to be light as the U.S. stock market closes early on Friday.

U.S. listed shares of online entertainment services company iQIYI Inc fell 4.2% after Reuters reported Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Tencent Holdings Ltd had put on hold talks to buy a controlling stake in the video streaming service.

Next week, investors will get the latest economic snapshot, including the monthly employment report. Economists polled by Reuters expect the Dec. 4 jobs report to show unemployment dipped to 6.8% from 6.9% but still well above the 4.5% rate in March, before much of the U.S. economy went into lockdown. (Reporting by Shivani Kumaresan in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)