Monday October 12th


S&P 500 futures rise slightly as stimulus negotiations continue

U.S. stock index futures rose slightly Monday morning as investors prepared for a busy week of corporate earnings and monitored stimulus negotiations in Washington. Futures for the S&P 500 gained 0.6% and Nasdaq 100 futures traded higher by 1.6%. Dow Jones Industrial Average added 45 points, or 0.2%. Tech stocks led the premarket gains. Facebook and Amazon advanced 1.9% and 2%, respectively. Netflix gained more than 1% along with Alphabet and Microsoft. Apple jumped more than 3%. Later this week, Apple is expected to unveil its first 5G iPhone. The gains follow a strong week for the stock market. The Dow jumped 3.3% to post its biggest one-week gain since August, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite gained 3.8% and 4.6%, respectively, for their best weeks since July. “Markets last week appeared to price perceived election clarity, and with it, a growing likelihood of additional fiscal stimulus – at least in the pipeline. This was reflected from small cap outperformance to rising Treasury yields,” Julian Emanuel, BTIG’s chief equity and derivatives strategist, said in a note to clients Sunday. Traders are still holding out hope for some sort of stimulus even as chances for another round before the election appeared to dim over the weekend. Both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Republicans pushed back on a $1.8 trillion offer from the White House. In a letter to colleagues, Pelosi highlighted what she said were insufficient offers on healthcare issues. “The news is filled with the numbers in terms of dollars. The heart of the matter is: can we allow the virus to rage on and ignore science as the Administration proposes, or will they accept the scientific strategic plan in the Heroes Act to crush the virus,” Pelosi said, referring to a bill that Democrats already passed in the House. Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows called for a separate vote on the Paycheck Protection Program in their own letter to Congress on Sunday. The apparent impasses follows a whirlwind week in Washington that saw President Donald Trump at one point call off negotiations, saying that Congressional Republicans should focus on confirming Amy Coney Barrett to the vacant Supreme Court seat. Trump then reversed his position and said to “go big” in negotiations. Monday’s session could also see investors and traders adjusting their positions before the third quarter earnings season kicks into high gear later in the week. Several major banks and airlines are slated to report their results, including JPMorgan Chase and Delta Air Lines on Tuesday. While results for the period are expected to decline significantly, traders believe the results could come in much better than expected. Stocks in Asia-Pacific mostly advanced on Monday, with investors monitoring the Chinese yuan’s movements. Mainland Chinese stocks were among the biggest gainers regionally, with the Shanghai composite up 2.64% to close at about 3,358.46 while the Shenzhen component jumped 3.151% to finish its trading day at approximately 13,708.07. The moves in Chinese stocks came after state media outlet Xinhua reported Sunday that the country “unveiled a new comprehensive reform plan for Shenzhen,” giving local authorities there a “more direct and greater say in business” in areas such as carrying out market-based economic reforms. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index also surged 2.2% to close at 24,649.68. Elsewhere, South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.49% to close at 2,403.73. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 bucked the trend and slipped 0.26% to close at 23,558.69 while the Topix index shed 0.24% to end its trading day at 1,643.35. Oil prices fell on Monday as force majeure at Libya’s largest oilfield was lifted, a Norwegian strike affecting production ended and U.S. producers began restoring output after Hurricane Delta. Brent crude was down 48 cents to $42.37 a barrel and West Texas Intermediate was at $40.05, down 55 cents. Gold retreated slightly from a three-week high, as the dollar recouped some of its losses after a new U.S. coronavirus aid package ran into resistance. Spot gold fell 0.3% to $1,923.81 per ounce, after hitting its highest level since Sept. 21 at $1,932.96 earlier in the session. U.S. gold futures were up 0.2% at $1,930.10.