Dow futures rise more than 100 points as Wall Street set to enter last week of 2020

Finance

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

NYSE

Stock futures held steady in overnight trading on Sunday ahead of the final trading week of 2020.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 30 points. S&P 500 futures fell 0.1% and Nasdaq 100 futures were little changed.

Investors monitored the status of a $900 billion Covid-19 relief bill, which was passed by both chambers of Congress, but hasn’t been signed into law by President Donald Trump. His resistance threatens a government shutdown when funding runs out on Tuesday at 12:01 a.m. Trump has criticized the bill’s $600 direct payments to Americans, demanding $2,000 checks instead. 

“Trump has turned what is normally one of the slowest weeks of the year into a rather eventful period as investors watch to see whether the House can override his defense veto and if he makes good on his implied threat to veto the budget/stimulus legislation,” Adam Crisafulli, founder of Vital Knowledge, said in a note.

Millions of Americans lost boosted unemployment benefits as the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program expired overnight.

Wall Street is coming off a quiet holiday week where the major averages posted flat returns. The S&P 500 fell 0.2% last week as some investors took the chips off into the year-end. The 30-stock Dow eked out a 0.1% gain for the same period.

Profit-taking could ramp up in the final week of the year, which has so far seen surprisingly strong returns. The S&P 500 has gained 14.6% year to date, while the Dow has climbed 5.8%. The Nasdaq has soared 42.7% this year as investors favored high-growth technology names during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Dr. Anthony Fauci warned on Sunday that the country could see a surge in new Covid-19 infections after Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. Two vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna have begun the distribution process this month. So far over one million people in the U.S. have been vaccinated.

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