Stock futures are mixed after Congress passes Covid relief bill

FAN Editor

U.S. stock futures traded mixed early Tuesday after a volatile day on Wall Street that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average erase a 400-point deficit.

Futures contracts tied to the Dow implied an opening drop of about 30 points, while S&P 500 futures were little changed. Nasdaq 100 futures were in positive territory. Earlier, Dow futures had fallen more than 100 points.

The muted move in futures came as Congress on Monday night passed a coronavirus relief and government spending package. The bill now goes to President Donald Trump’s desk.

During Monday’s regular market hours, stocks opened sharply lower amid concerns about a new variant of Covid-19 in the United Kingdom. Many European countries implemented travel restrictions on visitors from the U.K., and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called for the United States to take similar steps.

However, many experts, including those from the World Health Organization, said on Monday that the coronavirus vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna would likely be effective against the new variant and that Covid was mutating at a slower pace than the seasonal flu.

The Dow finished with a gain of 37 points, thanks in part to the strong performance of bank stocks. The S&P 500, Nasdaq Composite and stocks tied to the travel industry finished well off their session lows.

Jonathan Golub, Credit Suisse’s chief U.S. equity strategist, said on “Closing Bell” that he expected continued choppiness in the economy and markets in the months ahead before a surge in consumer spending in the middle of 2021.

“I don’t think that there’s a smooth, easy straight-line story on this,” Golub said. “I think for the next three or four months, the reopening process is going to be sloppy.”

Monday was also the first trading day where Tesla was a member of the S&P 500. The electric vehicle stock shed 6.5%, with part of that loss coming after Reuters reported that Apple was targeting 2024 as a date to introduce its own passenger vehicle.

On the economic data front, investors will receive new readings on consumer confidence and existing home sales, along with the final reading on third-quarter gross domestic product.

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