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Stock futures rise as traders weigh growing coronavirus cases, US talks to boost

A passenger wears a protective mask at New York’s Wall Street Subway Station on Monday, March 30, 2020.

Michael Nagle Bloomberg via Getty Images

US stock futures rose on Sunday night as the number of newly confirmed coronavirus cases continued to rise, while lawmakers remained at a standstill due to a new stimulus deal.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 77 points or 0.3%. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq 1

00 futures also gained 0.3% each.

A CNBC analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University shows that Covid-19 cases are up 5% or more in 38 countries since Friday. Nationally, the average daily incidence has increased by more than 16% per week to nearly 55,000 per week. New coronavirus infections in Europe are rising by about 97,000 per day, up 44% from the previous week.

In Washington, Parliament Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office said Saturday night that it was giving the Trump administration 48 hours to reach an agreement on aid ahead of the Nov. 3 election. Pelosi and Finance Minister Stephen Mnuchin continued their discussions over the weekend. They agreed to speak again on Monday.

“The 48 only applies if we want to do it before the election, which we do,” Pelosi told ABC’s This Week on Sunday. “We tell them we need to freeze the design of some of these things – do we go with it or not and what is the language? I’m optimistic because we were back and forth on all this again.”

Pelosi’s comments were a hope among market experts to reach a deal before the election diminished. This, along with the apparent new wave of coronavirus infections, contributed to the turbulent trade last week.

The S&P 500 and Dow fell three consecutive days last week before closing a little higher on Friday. Nasdaq Composite published its first four-day series of losses since September.

“The many cross-currents we’ve been worried about in recent weeks remain ubiquitous,” said Sheriff Hamid, a strategist at Jefferies, in a note. “Elections in the United States are close, fiscal stimulus remains a key short-term potential catalyst, and the development of the virus front remains critical to the long-term outlook.”

“It is very likely that a lot will happen in the next few weeks and the wider macro picture could change significantly depending on developments on all these fronts,” Hamid added.

In terms of earnings, IBM plans to release its latest quarterly results after the bell on Monday. Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is scheduled to speak Monday morning.

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