Stock futures rise as traders await for clues on new fiscal stimulus

spike

People walk by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in lower Manhattan on October 02, 2020 in New York City.

Spencer Platt | Getty Images

U.S. stock futures rose on Thursday night as Wall Street continued to search for clarity surrounding a new potential fiscal aid bill.

Drew Hammill, deputy chief of staff to Nancy Pelosi, tweeted that the House Speaker and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke for 40 minutes earlier in the day. He noted that the conversation “focused on determining whether there is any prospect of an imminent agreement on a comprehensive bill. The Secretary made clear the President’s interest in reaching such an agreement.”

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

“Stimulus talks are really dictating the market action on a day-to-day basis,” said Keith Buchanan, portfolio manager at GLOBALT. Buchanan noted that the recent rhetoric indicates some progress in the negotiations, but added it is key for Washington to move “quickly” on the matter to “to relieve the pressure that the economy is under.”

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

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

Those gains left the Dow and S&P 500 on pace for their second straight weekly climb. The Nasdaq was headed for a three-week winning streak.Week to date, the Dow and S&P 500 are up 2.7% and 2.9%, respectively. The Nasdaq is up more than 3% in that time. 

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