Stock futures steady as markets shake off ongoing unrest

Stock futures kicked off the overnight session little changed Tuesday evening, holding earlier gains as investors set their sights on more major cities’ plans to reopen businesses in the near-term as the coronavirus pandemic eased.

During the regular session Tuesday, stocks rose for a third straight session, powered higher by the energy sector as domestic crude oil prices settled at their highest level in three months. Hopes that reopenings would boost energy demand helped catalyze a rally to above $36 per barrel in the commodity prices, along with a report that OPEC+ was closing in on a deal to extend oil production cuts.

Market participants largely looked past ongoing protests, looting and unrest that has taken place over multiple days in major metropolitan areas across the country.

“The reason the market is not paying attention yet is the market doesn’t believe it’s going to impact the economy, nor earnings,” Paul Schatz, Heritage Capital chief investment officer, told Yahoo Finance’s The First Trade.

Some health professionals, however, voiced concerns that mass gatherings could exacerbate the spread of the coronavirus. Still, the most recent data on new case growth has held in-line with recent trends so far, with cases in the U.S. rising 1.2% to 1.82 million between Monday and Tuesday afternoon, or about in-line with the seven-day trend, according to Bloomberg-compiled data.

Multiple cities extended curfews as officials tried to implement measures to curb instances of violence. New York City, which has seen crowds gather over the past five days, extended its curfew through Sunday and moved up the start time to 8 p.m., after initially instating a curfew Monday evening.

Despite the ongoing mass gatherings and property damage, many mayors affirmed their plans to push ahead with reopening plans, in a move to lessen the drag on economic activity following weeks of social distancing measures and forced business closures. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday that the city was still slated to begin reopening on June 8, regardless of whether protests were still taking place at that point. Chicago similarly planned to push ahead into the next phase of its reopening process Wednesday, despite days’ worth of unrest, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.

While earnings season has slowed considerably this week, some notable companies still comprised the earnings calendar. Zoom (ZM), the video communications company viewed as a major beneficiary of the widespread work-from-home phenomenon, posted a 170% increase in sales for the three months to April 30 alongside a surge in users, and said it planned to expand hiring for the rest of the year.

American Eagle Outfitters (AEO), Campbell’s Soup (CPB) and Canada Goose (GOOS) are set to report quarterly results before market open Wednesday.

6:06 p.m. ET Tuesday: Stock futures open little changed

Here were the main moves at the start of the overnight session for U.S. equity futures, as of 6:06 p.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,078.75, up 1.75 points (+0.06%)

  • Dow futures (YM=F): 25,699.00, down 2 points (-0.01%)

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 9,654.25, up 6.5 points (+0.07%)

Protesters demonstrate on June 2, 2020, during a “Black Lives Matter” protest in New York City. – Anti-racism protests have put several US cities under curfew to suppress rioting, following the death of George Floyd while in police custody. (Photo by Johannes EISELE / AFP) (Photo by JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images)

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