Here are the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:
- Dow set to add to Wednesday's record despite Capitol turmoil
- 10-year Treasury yield above 1%; bitcoin above $38,000
- Congress confirms Biden as next president
- U.S. trade group asks Pence to 'seriously consider' invoking 25th Amendment
- Democrats win the majority in the Senate
1. Dow set to add to Wednesday's record despite Capitol turmoil
U.S. stock futures rose Thursday, a day after the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at a record high despite the turmoil at the Capitol. Early Thursday, outgoing President Donald Trump said in a statement there "will be an orderly transition" of power, shortly after Congress confirmed President-elect Joe Biden's win.
The Labor Department said Thursday that initial jobless claims totaled 787,000 last week, fewer than estimates for 815,000. However, those numbers compared to pre-pandemic levels are still historically elevated, with the seven-day average of new daily U.S. Covid infections spiking to a record high.
Ahead of Friday's government employment report, the ADP's look at December jobs trends at U.S. companies showed a contraction in private-sector positions for the first time since the early days of the coronavirus. Throughout most of the pandemic, the ADP estimates have been below the final government count.
2. 10-year Treasury yield above 1%; bitcoin above $38,000
The 10-year Treasury yield remained above 1% on Thursday morning after projected wins for Democrats in both Senate runoff elections in Georgia. Lightening up on bonds, pushing prices down and yields up, investors bought riskier assets like stocks and bitcoin.
The world's largest cryptocurrency smashed through the $38,000 mark to hit a record high on Thursday as it continued its massive rally. Bitcoin has been up about 29% in the first days of 2021 and is up 380% over the past 12 months.
3. Congress confirms Biden as next president
Congress early Thursday confirmed the Electoral College vote for Biden, a day after Trump supporters breached the Capitol in a chaotic effort to avoid the formal recognition that the president lost the election. Shortly after the confirmation, White House spokesman Dan Scavino tweeted Trump's statement, which promised "an orderly transition on January 20th," the day of Biden's inauguration, but also perpetuated the baseless claim that he actually won.
Congress' process of counting Electoral College votes was interrupted Wednesday afternoon when rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol building. A woman who was among the invaders was shot and killed by Capitol Police. Three other people died from medical emergencies.
4. U.S. trade group asks Pence to 'seriously consider' invoking 25th Amendment
The National Association of Manufacturers, a trade organization representing 14,000 U.S. companies, called on Vice President Mike Pence to "seriously consider" invoking the 25th Amendment of the Constitution to remove Trump from office. Jay Timmons, CEO of the manufacturers group, is a former executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Two Democratic U.S. representatives worked on a letter to Pence requesting he invoke the amendment.
Members of Trump's Cabinet issued harsh rebukes of the violence that unfolded at the Capitol. The officials, however, stopped short of criticizing the president, who had urged his supporters to take action at a pro-Trump rally Wednesday morning.
An administration official confirmed to CNBC's Eamon Javers that National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien was considering resigning over the insurrection. O'Brien's deputy, Matthew Pottinger, has reportedly resigned. Stephanie Grisham, chief of staff for first lady Melania Trump, and Sarah Matthews, White House deputy press secretary, resigned Wednesday.
Mick Mulvaney, Trump's former chief of staff, announced on CNBC on Thursday he is resigning as special envoy to Northern Ireland. "Those who choose to stay, and I have talked with some of them, are choosing to stay because they're worried the president might put someone worse in," Mulvaney said. But he added that other officials may resign after Wednesday's riot at the U.S. Capitol.
5. Democrats win the majority in the Senate
During the Capitol siege, Democrat Jon Ossoff was projected as the winner of the second of two Senate runoff elections Tuesday in Georgia. The defeat of Republican David Perdue, whose Senate term expired Sunday, coupled with Democrat Raphael Warnock's projected victory over Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler, splits the 100 Senate right down the middle. However, Democrats take over the majority as Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would be the tie-breaking vote. After Biden's inauguration, Democrats will control the Senate, House and the White House.