Dow Futures Fall 223 Pts; Stimulus Talks Stagnate

This post was originally published on this site – U.S. stocks are seen opening lower Friday, as lawmakers continue to prevaricate over a new coronavirus relief package while the economic outlook weakens.

At 7:05 AM ET (1205 GMT), the Dow Futures contract fell 223 points, or 0.7%, S&P 500 Futures traded 30 points, or 0.8%, lower, and Nasdaq 100 Futures dropped 95 points, or 0.8%. 

These cash indices are on course for a losing week, which would be the first in three for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500, and the first in four for the NASDAQ Composite.

An agreement of a new coronavirus stimulus package remains frustratingly far away, after Republican Senate leaders Thursday rejected a $908 billion aid package, proposed by a bipartisan group of lawmakers.

Despite the recent attempts to try to reach a deal, lawmakers still have not resolved disagreements over aid to state and local governments, as the surge in Covid-19 cases continues to harm the economy.

Weekly jobless claims jumped to 853,000 on Thursday, the most since the middle of September. This follows nonfarm payrolls growing by only 245,000 last Friday, a sharp slowdown from the 610,000 jobs created the month before.

On the plus side, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is likely to authorize Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use in the U.S. in the very near future, after a panel of experts gave their approval late Thursday.

The rollout of this vaccine will be much needed as U.S. cases reach record levels, with the number of Covid deaths over 3,000 on Thursday for the second day in a row, and states announcing more restrictions.

In the corporate sector, Airbnb (NASDAQ:ABNB) will be in focus after the home-sharing site’s stock more than doubled in its first day of trading on Thursday, continuing the hot streak of IPOs after Doordash’s (NYSE:DASH) debut on Wednesday.

Turning to the economic data slate, the November producer price index is due at 8:30 AM ET (1230 GMT), while the University of Michigan‘s preliminary read of consumer sentiment for December is due two hours later. 

Oil prices edged lower Friday, consolidating after the sharp rally of the previous session, on continued enthusiasm that the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine will result in a rebound in demand next year.

U.S. crude futures traded 0.3% lower at $46.66 a barrel, while the international benchmark Brent contract fell 0.5% to $50.02, after climbing above $50 for the first time since March. Both benchmarks are on course to post their sixth consecutive week of gains. 

Elsewhere, gold futures fell 0.1% to $1,836.65/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.2% lower at 1.2115.