October 31, 2020

Stock futures flat as investors await stimulus bill


U.S. stock futures were flat in overnight trading as investors eye any progress from Washington on a new coronavirus stimulus package.

The White House and Democratic congressional leaders have reported some progress in the negotiations, but they remain apart on some issues.

Dow futures rose 14 points. S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100  futures ticked 0.01% and 0.10% lower, respectively. 

“I think the expectation for the market is that we are going to get that stimulus,” Ally Invest’s Lindsay Bell said on CNBC’s “Closing Bell” on Tuesday. “There may be a few weeks of waiting while these folks don’t get their extra benefits or there may be uncertainty around evictions and that uncertainty could lead to some volatility.”

Better-than-expected earnings from Disney helped sentiment on Wall Street. The theme park and media giant earned a profit of 8 cents per share, while analysts expected a loss of 64 cents per share. Disney said it now has 100 million paid subscribers across its streaming services, which include Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+. 

On Tuesday, all three major averages notched gains. the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed more than 150 points, for its third straight day of gains. The S&P 500 rose about 0.35%. 

The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.35%, closing at a record high for its fifth day in a row. 

Earning season continues on Wednesday with CVS Health, Humana and closely-watched Moderna reporting before the opening bell. Following the market close on Wednesday, Etsy, Roku and Square report their quarterly results. 

A slew of economic news comes Wednesday morning that could move stocks. Private payrolls data from ADP will be released at 8:15 am ET and investors will be watching if companies continued to bring back workers from their pandemic furlough in July. Economists polled by Dow Jones are expecting 1 million private workers were added in July, down from the 2.369 million added in June. 

The final read on July Services PMI will be released at 9:45 am ET. Economists polled by Dow Jones are expecting a read of 49.6, the same as June. Finally, the ISM nonmanufacturing survey is set to release at 10:00 ET. Economists estimate a red of 55, according to Dow Jones, down from June’s read of 57.1. 

The Wall Street Journal said Tuesday U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer and Chinese Vice Premier Liu will meet in mid-August to discuss the Phase One trade deal between the U.S. and China. 

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