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US stocks on track to hit new highs after Janet Yellen pushes for $1.9 trillion stimulus

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US stocks were set to reach new highs on Monday morning, as the Joe Biden administration stepped up its push for $1.9 trillion of stimulus, while Brent oil rose past $60 as investors looked towards the economic recovery.

S&P 500 futures were up 0.13%, Dow Jones futures were 0.31% higher and Nasdaq futures had climbed 0.33% as of 6.10 am ET. US stock markets closed at record highs on Friday, reflecting optimism about stimulus and vaccines.

The dollar and bond yields rose on Monday morning, reflecting stronger growth expectations. European stocks opened higher after Asian equities climbed overnight.

US Treasury secretary Janet Yellen on Sunday pushed for Congress to pass a $1.9 trillion stimulus package. "If we don't provide additional support, the unemployment rate is going to stay elevated for years to come," she told CNN.

On Friday, official figures showed that the US economy added 49,000 jobs in January, sparking fears that the recovery is faltering. Yet the underwhelming figures have helped lift markets, as investors think they will make a big US stimulus package more likely.

Joshua Mahony, senior market analyst at trading platform IG, said: "Markets are continuing last week's bullish momentum, with Friday's jobs report providing a fresh reminder of the need to push a major stimulus package across the line."

The yield on the 10-year US Treasury note climbed 2 basis points to 1.19% on Monday, with investors figuring that more stimulus will lead to more growth and inflation, causing them to demand higher returns on bonds. Yields move inversely to price. Higher bond yields helped the dollar index climb 0.15% to 91.18.

In Asia overnight, China's CSI 300 climbed 1.48%, as investors bet the solid economic recovery would continue. Japan's Nikkei 225 jumped 2.12%.

Europe's Stoxx 600 index rose 0.47% in morning trading, while the UK's FTSE 100 climbed 0.93%. Italian stocks outperformed the rest of the region as former European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi inched closer to forming a government.

Brent crude oil climbed 1.01% to $60.16 a barrel, while WTI crude was up 1.3% to $57.59 a barrel. Oil prices are trading at around one-year highs as investors bet stimulus and vaccines will power a recovery in demand.

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