U.S. stock indexes on Monday looked poised to advance sharply to start the week as investors brace for a period in which the race for the White House and the state of the economy may come into greater clarity.
How are stock indexes performing?
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average
rose 348 points, or 1.3%, to reach 27,391, those for the S&P 500 index
advanced 43.70 points, or 1.3%, while Nasdaq-100 futures
climbed 1.7% to reach 11,325.50, a rise of 189 points.
Last week, the Dow
finished down 1.8%, the S&P 500 index
booked a 0.6% decline, with both marking their longest losing streaks since August of 2019. The Nasdaq Composite Index
however, gained 1.1% for the week, ending its three-week losing skid.
What’s driving the market?
Wall Street is aiming to get off the week to a positive start with some investors attributing the apparent trend higher on fresh talk of a coronavirus stimulus package, a hoped-for development that has been viewed as a key driver of the market’s next bullish phase.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over the weekend said there’s a chance that a deal on new aid can be achieved.
“I trust Secretary [Steven] Mnuchin to represent something that can reach a solution, and I believe we come to an agreement,” Pelosi said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” Reports indicated that an aid package could be voted on at the beginning of next month, with Pelosi advocated for a $2.2 trillion deal to help out-of-work Americans and businesses hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, investors were bracing for the first televised presidential debates on Tuesday between President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden, which could help to influence the trajectory of the 2020 race for the White House, with Biden leading by 7 percentage points, 49.8 to 42.8, in an average of national polls by RealClearPolitics.
Wall Street has largely viewed a Trump second term as a continuation of business-friendly policies, while Biden’s has been read as a higher tax regime for American corporations and tighter regulations.
Investors last week have grown increasingly anxious about the election, with Trump last week implying that he wouldn’t easily hand over power to Biden, citing concerns about mail-in ballots, without providing specific evidence.
Separately, rising tensions between China and the U.S., however, continue to simmer, with the fight over TikTok raging. The Trump administration’s ban of the popular social-media platform was overturned by a federal judge over the weekend. The U.S. Commerce Department plans to implement a full ban of the China-based platform on Nov. 12 if a deal for at least the U.S. arm of the operation isn’t consummated.
The unusual deal, given it is being seemingly dictated by governments, has been viewed as a proxy for the state of Sino-American relations.
In public health news, the U.S. reported nearly 37,000 new cases of the novel strain of coronavirus that causes COVID-19, with the world-wide tally approaching one million.
Rising cases of the deadly infection last week, particularly in Europe, were at least partially blamed for the weakness, along with elections worries and a lack stimulus, in the equity market.
“ Sentiment has taken a significant hit as a result of surging Covid cases in Europe and the risk of further restrictions, even lockdowns,” wrote Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda, in a research report. “That risk hasn’t gone away which makes me cautious about these spurts of optimism.”
Investors also will be looking ahead to the key piece of data this week, the update on the monthly U.S. jobs report due on Friday.
“That optimism will certainly be put to the test this week, with the first US Presidential debate taking place Tuesday evening, jobs report coming Friday,” Erlam wrote.
In other news, investors may be poring over a New York Times report that alleges, citing two decades of tax documents the paper said it has obtained, that Trump paid just $750 in federal taxes in 2016 and 2017, and nothing in the past 10 of 15 years.
Which stocks are in focus?
- Devon Energy and WPX Energy said they reached an all-stock merger deal with an enterprise value of $12 billion.
- MobileIron, a mobile security platform serving the work-from-home market, said Monday it will be acquired by Ivanti Inc. in an all-cash deal valued at about $872 million.
has announced the dates for this year’s Prime Day: Oct. 13 and 14.
Shares of Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc.
were halted in premarket trading on Monday before the company said the Phase 2/3 clinical trial for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate was in a “partial clinical hold” while it answered additional questions from the Food and Drug Administration
Cal-Maine Foods Inc. shares
rose in premarket trade Monday, after the egg producer posted a smaller-than-expected loss for its fiscal first quarter and sales that topped estimates.