Dow futures rise as investors watch Trump’s health and stimulus talks

President Donald Trump addresses the US public after being hospitalized at Walter Reed. October 3, 2020.

The White House

Stock futures rose early Monday as investors brace for another volatile week with President Donald Trump’s hospitalization adding more uncertainty to the market outlook ahead of Election Day.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average indicated an opening gain of over 170 points. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures are both trading in positive territory.

Trump said in a one-minute video posted on Twitter late Sunday that “we’re getting great reports from the doctors.” The president also took a short, last-minute car ride to greet his supporters standing outside the hospital.

However, the president does not appear to be out of the woods yet after his doctors said they started treating him with dexamethasone, a steroid recommended for severe cases of Covid-19. The president is said to have experienced two drops in his oxygen levels since his diagnosis announcement just before 1am on Friday.

Trump was transferred to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Friday after being given the antiviral drug remdesivir. Trump’s physician, Dr. Sean Conley, said on Sunday that his condition has improved and he could be discharged as soon as Monday.

“This announcement added an extra layer of uncertainty to the election … an election that is itself one of many uncertainties surrounding the stock market,” Matt Maley, Miller Tabak’s chief market strategist, said in a statement Sunday. .

After Trump’s diagnosis, Joe Biden opened up his widest lead in a month in the presidential race with 51% of respondents supporting him and 41% voting for Trump, according to a Reuters / Ipsos poll released Sunday.

A win for the former vice president in November could spell headaches for Wall Street in the form of higher taxes and tighter regulations, but some also say it could lead to a larger fiscal stimulus deal that would be good for equities.

‘Just do it’

Trump’s illness, as well as a weak September employment report, highlighted the urgency for further coronavirus stimulus after a months-long stalemate in Washington. Optimism about reaching a compromise increased after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signaled progress on Friday, saying “we continue to work on the text to move quickly to facilitate an agreement.”

Pelosi on Friday called on the industry to delay permits, saying relief for airline workers is “imminent”.

Trump on Saturday pressured Congress to pass a deal, he said in a tweet that lawmakers should “WORK TOGETHER AND DO IT.”

The president’s conditions also underscored the gravity of the pandemic that is still affecting the country’s major states and cities. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Sunday that nine postcodes in Brooklyn and Queens are likely to be closed on Wednesday due to a recent spike in new cases.

Despite Trump’s shocking news, the major averages made modest gains last week. The S&P 500 was up 1.5% for its first positive week in five.

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