Stock futures were mixed early Tuesday on the heels of yesterday’s volatile trading session, as investors continued to worry about the struggling United States economy in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 2%, or 570 points, as of 9:00 a.m. ET — a day after it declined more than 800 points. However, futures tied to the S&P 500 climbed 0.1%, or 3.25 points, while futures for the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 0.5%, or 60 points.
Blue-chip stock Nike, which reports first-quarter results after market close, saw shares rise 0.5% to $114 in early trading. Most analysts have said the sportswear giant will face challenges in the recent three-month period but insist that the stock is a long-term buy. Separately, powerhouses Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft were up in premarket trading, suggesting that the S&P might be able to make up for some of yesterday’s losses.
Today, all eyes will be on Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who are expected to present a quarterly economic report this morning to the House Financial Services Committee. In prepared remarks delivered Monday, Powell promised that the central bank would “remain committed to using our tools to do what we can, for as long as it takes, to ensure that the recovery will be as strong as possible and to limit lasting damage to the economy.” The Fed has already cut short-term interest rates to near zero, as well as pledged to buy more Treasury securities and mortgage-backed securities over the next several months to support the markets plus help ensure the smooth flow of credit to businesses and households.
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Wall Street is also paying close to attention to updates on an additional stimulus package, which has yet to receive consensus from Congressional leaders. The federal government’s CARES Act, which provided financial relief to individuals and businesses impacted by the pandemic, expired for the most part at the end of July, and both Democrat and Republican legislators have so far been unable to agree on another plan.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the number of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. neared 200,000 as of Tuesday. New infections on Monday exceeded 52,000 — the highest daily total since Aug. 14 — as Americans fear a second wave of the virus just as the flu season is taking hold.