Stock futures rise as traders weigh rising coronavirus cases, U.S. stimulus talks

Finance

A passenger wears a protective mask at the Wall Street subway station in New York, on Monday, March 30, 2020.

Michael Nagle | Bloomberg via Getty Images

U.S. stock futures rose on Sunday night as the number of newly confirmed coronavirus cases continues to rise while lawmakers remain at an impasse over a new stimulus deal.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 77 points, or 0.3%. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures also gained 0.3% each.

A CNBC analysis of Johns Hopkins University data showed Covid-19 cases were growing by 5% or more in 38 states as of Friday. Nationwide, the daily case average has risen by more than 16% on a week-over-week basis to nearly 55,000. New coronavirus infections in Europe are  rising by about 97,000 per day, up 44% from the prior week.

In Washington, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office said Saturday evening that she is giving the Trump administration 48 hours to reach an aid deal before the Nov. 3 election. Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin continued their discussions over the weekend. They agreed to speak again Monday.

“The 48 only relates to if we want to get it done before the election, which we do,” Pelosi told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. “We’re saying to them, we have to freeze the design on some of these things — are we going with it or not and what is the language? I’m optimistic, because again we’ve been back and forth on all this.”

Pelosi’s comments came as hope among market experts for a deal being reached ahead of the election dwindles. This, along with the apparent new wave in coronavirus infections, contributed to a choppy trading action last week.

The S&P 500 and Dow fell for three straight days last week before closing slightly higher on Friday. The Nasdaq Composite posted its first four-day losing streak since September.

“The many cross-currents we have been fretting over in recent weeks remain omnipresent,” said Sherif Hamid, a strategist at Jefferies, in a note. “The US elections are close at hand, fiscal stimulus remains a key near-term potential catalyst, and developments on the virus front remain critical to the longer-term outlook.”

“A lot is very likely to happen over the next several weeks, and the broader macro picture could thus change pretty massively depending on developments along all of those fronts,” Hamid added.

On the earnings front, IBM is slated to release its latest quarterly results after the bell on Monday. Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is scheduled to speak Monday morning.

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