Stock futures grind higher as Trump demands Congress boost coronavirus aid

FAN Editor

U.S. stock futures ticked higher Wednesday morning as President Trump urged Congress to rework the COVID-19 stimulus bill and give more aid to struggling Americans. 

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Dow Jones Industrial Average futures gained 64 points, or 0.21%, while S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq futures were higher by 0.27% and 0.11% respectively. Futures had fallen by as much as 0.7% in overnight trading.


Trump on Tuesday evening called on Congress to extend bigger direct payments to Americans while removing “wasteful and unnecessary spending.” He did not say whether he would veto the bill, which must be signed by Dec. 23.

Economic data out Wednesday morning was mixed as initial claims for the week ended Dec. 19 fell to 803,000 from 892,000 the week prior. Continuing claims declined to 5.34 million from 5.51 million.

While durable goods orders also exceeded expectations, climbing 0.9% month over month in November, personal income and spending fell more than expected, down 1.1% and 0.4% respectively.

In stocks, airlines that would benefit from payroll aid extended in the bill were lower.

Meanwhile, Pfizer and BioNTech agreed to deliver an additional 100 million doses of their COVID-19 vaccine to the U.S., doubling the total amount of doses.

Elsewhere, Nikola Corp. and Republic Services ended their collaboration on refuse truck development. The electric-truck maker also laid out a roadmap for its Tre battery-electric semi-trucks in the U.S. next year and its plans to break ground on its first commercial hydrogen station.

Looking at commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil slipped 1 cent to $47.01 per barrel while gold lost $1.40 to $1,868.80 per ounce.


In Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 edged up 0.02% while France’s CAC and Germany’s DAX climbed 0.64% and 0.73%, respectively.

Asian markets were higher across the board, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 up 0.33%, China’s Shanghai Composite index gaining 0.76% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index advancing 0.86%.

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