* Biden declared the winner Trump to challenge the results
* S & P 500 2% from September high
* Important averages for the best week in 7 months
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Nov. 8 (Reuters). US stock index futures rose on Sunday after President-elect Joe Biden was named the winner in a highly controversial election.
Biden’s win in Pennsylvania on Saturday put him above the 270 electoral college votes needed to secure the presidency four days after election day, though President Donald Trump has no plans to admit anytime soon. S&P 500 E-Mini Futures rose 34.5 points, or 0.99%, Dow E-Minis rose 277 points or 0.98%, and Nasdaq 100 E-Minis rose 147.25 points, or 1.22%.
The stocks in Asia were slightly higher. MSCI’s broadest index for stocks in the Asia-Pacific region outside Japan rose 0.36% after up 6.2% in the previous week, its best weekly performance in 5 months.
US stocks closed little on Friday, but each of the three major indexes saw their largest weekly percentage gains since April, partly due to a belief that Congress will remain divided even if control of the Senate is undecided .
“Although the president did not concede and there were concerns about legal challenges, prominent Republicans, including former President (George W.) Bush, publicly called the election and the market accepted the election results,” said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial in Newark, New Jersey.
“The market is on the up and it looks like we will continue.”
With the S&P 500 just 2% off its September 2 closing record, headwinds remain for stocks, including a surge in coronavirus cases that could lead to renewed state bans, with U.S. cases totaling 10 million approach.
A fiscal stimulus package to combat the economic damage caused by the coronavirus is also less comprehensive. While US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated last week that he wanted a bill by the end of the year, he said Friday that economic statistics show Congress should pass a smaller plan. (Additional reporting by Alden Bentley; editing by Sam Holmes)