Stock futures open higher after Senate approves coronavirus relief funds

Stock futures opened slightly higher Tuesday evening after a sell-off in risk assets during the regular session sent the S&P 500 to its largest one-day drop since April 1.

Tuesday afternoon, the U.S. Senate cleared a deal to add another $484 billion infusion for its small business aid program, coronavirus testing and hospital support package, with a House vote expected as soon as Thursday. President Donald Trump has already suggested he would sign the bill once it arrives at his desk. The funds add to the $2.2 trillion relief package initially Congress passed in late March.

The additional funding comes as much of the country remains shut inside due to strict social distancing guidelines, which have left many businesses idled. Still, some southern states this week began allowing people to return to public spaces and businesses, with some restrictions, jump-starting a multi-phase economic reopening process.

Investors also continued to closely watch updates in energy markets, as supply and demand concerns compounded with storage challenges for the physical commodity.

The June contract (CLM20.NYM) for West Texas intermediate – now the most actively traded after May’s contract expired Tuesday afternoon – briefly sank below $10 per barrel before paring some losses. June WTI futures rebounded to around $12.78 per barrel as of 6:04 p.m. ET.

On the corporate earnings front, quarterly reports kicked into higher gear this week, with a growing number of companies withdrawing second quarter and full-year guidance as the coronavirus pandemic clouds the outlook. Netflix (NFLX) and Snap (SNAP) were two major tech names to report results Tuesday after market close, with each topping expectations for quarterly sales and user growth as stay-in-place orders benefited the companies’ platforms.

6:05 p.m. ET Tuesday: Stock futures open slightly higher

Here were the main moves at the start of the overnight session for U.S. equity futures, as of 6:05 p.m. ET Tuesday evening:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): up 9.5 points, or +0.35% to 2,741.50

  • Dow futures (YM=F): up 94 points, or +0.41% to 23,023.00

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): up 36.75 points, or +0.44% to 8,468.5

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