Stock futures rise as traders wait for clues about new fiscal stimulus

People walk near the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Lower Manhattan on October 2, 2020 in New York City.

Spencer Platt | Getty Images

U.S. stock futures rose Thursday night as Wall Street continued to seek clarity on a potential new tax aid bill.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 94 points, or 0.3%. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 0.3% and 0.2% respectively.

Drew Hammill, Nancy Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, tweeted that House Speaker and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke for 40 minutes earlier in the day. He noted that the conversation “focused on determining the possibility of an imminent agreement on a global bill. The secretary clarified the president’s interest in reaching such an agreement.”

That tweet came after Pelosi told reporters he would not endorse aid to US airlines without a broader stimulus package, something Trump hinted at earlier in the week that he would support. Meanwhile, Trump told Fox Business Thursday morning that the administration and Democrats were “starting to have some very productive talks.”

“The stimulus talks are really dictating market action on a daily basis,” said Keith Buchanan, GLOBALT portfolio manager. Buchanan noted that recent rhetoric points to some progress in the negotiations, but added that it is critical that Washington moves “quickly” on the issue to “ease the pressure on the economy.”

Investors have also digested news on the coronavirus treatment front. GenMark Diagnostics said after closing on Thursday that the Food and Drug Administration has given the company emergency clearance to run a test that checks for flu, coronavirus and other viruses.

The Dow finished Thursday’s session at the highest level since early September, climbing more than 100 points. The Nasdaq Composite gained 0.5% and the S&P 500 outperformed with a gain of 0.8%.

These gains left the Dow and the S&P 500 abreast for their second consecutive weekly climb. The Nasdaq was aiming for a three-week winning streak, while the Dow and the S&P 500 were up 2.7% and 2.9% respectively since the beginning of the week. The Nasdaq grew over 3% during that period.

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