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Stocks – Dow Futures 0.3% Higher Amid Stimulus Uncertainty

imageStock Markets2 hours ago (Aug 03, 2020 07:17AM ET)

(C) Reuters.

By Noreen Burke – U.S. stock futures pointed to a moderately higher open on Wall Street on Monday, despite a lack of clarity over progress on a new pandemic relief package after a busy week of earnings.

At 7:15 AM ET (1115 GMT), S&P 500 futures traded 15 points, or 0.5% higher and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 94 points, or 0.9%. The Dow futures contract added 87 points, or 0.3%.

On Capitol Hill, Republicans and Democrats are still trying to iron out differences over a coronavirus relief bill and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said Sunday he was not optimistic about a deal in the very near term.

On Friday, Fitch Ratings cut the outlook on the United States’ triple-A rating to negative from stable, citing eroding credit strength and a ballooning deficit.

It said the direction of U.S. fiscal policy depends in part on the November presidential election and the resulting makeup of Congress, cautioning that policy gridlock could continue.

But the U.S. technology sector is powering ahead after Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) all posted far-better-than-expected earnings results last week. Apple, which easily surpassed iPhone sales in the second quarter saw its shares climb 10% on Friday.

A surge in Big Tech stocks, which make up nearly a fifth of the S&P 500’s value saw the index post its fourth straight monthly gain in July.

This week will bring another packed slate of earnings, with 130 members of the S&P 500 set to report. Some of the names reporting Monday include Tyson Foods (NYSE:TSN) and Clorox (NYSE:CLX) before the opening bell, and Virgin Galactic (NYSE:SPCE) after the close.

Investors are looking ahead to the Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index, due at 10 AM ET (14:00 GMT) for July, which is expected to show a small rebound.

Market watchers are also eagerly awaiting Friday’s nonfarm payrolls report for July, which will give more insight on the strength of the recovery in the labor market.

Concerns over the strength of the economy hit oil prices, with U.S. crude futures traded 0.6% lower at $40.02 a barrel, while the international benchmark Brent fell 0.5% to $43.30.

Elsewhere, gold futures were hovering near record highs at $1,976.15/oz, while EUR/USD traded at 1.1732, down 0.3%.

–Reuters contributed to this report

Stocks – Dow Futures 0.3% Higher Amid Stimulus Uncertainty

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