Stock futures opened higher Monday evening and recovered some losses from the regular session as market participants anxiously awaited further fiscal stimulus measures from policymakers to combat the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
During the regular session Monday, stocks capped a second straight session in the red after the U.S. Senate again failed to push forward a nearly $2 trillion economic rescue package, disappointing investors hoping to see a speedy authorization of the relief legislation.
The repeat stalling of the Senate bill came just hours after the U.S. Federal Reserve unleashed its own set of new and extensive measures to help keep corporate credit flows and other critical parts of financial markets functioning smoothly. The new program included unprecedented measures from the Fed, including purchases of eligible corporate bonds from companies and exchange-traded funds, and purchases of commercial mortgage-backed securities.
“With the Fed now all-in and then some, the onus will be largely on fiscal policy to provide any further support for consumers and businesses,” Ben Ayers, senior economist for Nationwide, said in an email Monday. “Early signals suggest widespread layoffs and cutbacks by businesses with the sudden economic stop seen across the globe, necessitating further action to cushion the harm to the economy.”
Damage from the ongoing coronavirus outbreak remains ongoing, with small and local businesses to the country’s largest corporations feeling the reverberations as residents practice social distancing and shirk leisure and travel consumption. These massive, if temporary, societal changes have been aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus, which has sickened more than 42,000 people in the U.S. as of Monday evening, according to Johns Hopkins data.
The ensuing business disruptions and economic uncertainty has weighed heavily on risk assets, with the S&P 500 about 34% off its recent closing high from February 19 through Monday’s close. The Dow erased nearly all of its gains from the presidential election day in November 2016, and dipped below that level during intraday trading Monday.
6:02 p.m. ET Monday: Stock futures open higher, reversing some losses from the regular session
Futures for each of the three major indices rose Monday evening as investors looked to Washington policymakers to provide relief in the face of the escalating domestic coronavirus outbreak.
Here were the main moves in markets, as of 6:02 p.m. ET:
S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 2,246.5, +1.17% or +26 points
Dow futures (YM=F): 18,733.00, +1.28% or +236 points
Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 7,062.75, +1.12% or +78.25 points
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