Futures stop as stimulus talks continue

US futures fluctuated between gains and losses as investors monitored whether Covid-19 infections and worsening economic data would push lawmakers to cement a coronavirus aid package.

S&P 500 futures rose 0.1%, suggesting that the benchmark of benchmarks will open relatively unchanged after setting a new closing record on Thursday. Futures related to technology-focused Nasdaq-100 technology advanced 0.1%.

Republicans and top Democrats end up with a coronavirus aid package that would send direct payments to many Americans, increase unemployment benefits, help small businesses, and fund the distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine, among other measures.

Investors have brightened the prospects for further fiscal stimulus in recent days, as large Covid-19 infections and measures to limit its spread have affected the economy. Data released on Thursday showed that the number of workers claiming unemployment benefits reached a maximum of three months.

“There is a clear deterioration in the US economy,” said Luca Paolini, chief strategist at Pictet Asset Management. “The market is waiting for a fiscal stimulus. There will be great disappointment if there is no agreement. “

Outside trading, FedEx shares fell 3.3% after the delivery company exceeded analysts’ profit expectations, but said higher revenues were partially offset by higher costs, including safety equipment. to protect workers from Covid-19.

Actions in Darden restaurants,

operator Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse fell 1.8% premarket after sales fell more than analysts had expected in the last quarter. Earnings updates are due from Nike after the closing bell.

Tesla shares could jump ahead of its inclusion in the S&P 500 next week. Dozens of index funds following the S&P 500 will have to buy tens of billions of shares at Friday’s closing price to follow the index as closely as possible.

Friday also brings “quadruple witchcraft”, in which the options and the future of the main indices and stocks expire simultaneously. Higher trading volumes could bring volatility, but also more opportunities for funds to add Tesla shares.

Asian stocks were largely smaller. The Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. officials were debating how broad it is to make a list of Chinese companies banned from investing by Americans because of ties to the Chinese military. China’s Shanghai Composite Index closed down 0.3% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.7%. The Japanese Nikkei 225 index fell 0.2%.

Shares in Semiconductor Manufacturing International Body.

fell 5.2 percent in Hong Kong trading after the Trump administration added China’s largest blacklist of computing chips to the export blacklist, restricting the company’s access to state-of-the-art technology.

Pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.1%. Investors were closely following the negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Union on a post-Brexit trade agreement. Some expect the pound to rally more if an agreement is reached. European negotiators have said they want an agreement by Sunday. The pound rose 2.4% this week from a generally weaker dollar.

“The clock is ticking,” said Hugh Gimber, a strategist at JP Morgan Asset Management.

In the bond markets, the yield on 10-year treasury notes rose to 0.936% from 0.929% on Thursday. Yields increase when prices fall.

A Christmas tree decoration with the logo of the New York Stock Exchange, in the financial district of Manhattan.


jeenah moon / Reuters

Write to Caitlin Ostroff to [email protected]

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