Stock futures open flat, stimulus negotiations in focus

US stock futures held steady on Wednesday night as traders watched Washington for clues as to the prospects for additional fiscal support.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures gained just 13 points, or 0.04%. Futures on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 also increased marginally.

Earlier in the day, Congress leaders enclosed a $ 900 stimulus package that would include direct payments to individuals.

Some of this magnitude would be “large enough to help bridge the economic divide to the other side for small businesses and the hardest-hit industries, as the pandemic could be nearly over by the second quarter of 2021,” wrote Tom Essaye. , founder of The Sevens Report.

However, the measure would rule out corporate liability protection and aid to state and local governments, CNBC confirmed. Disagreements on these issues were a stumbling block in the latest round of negotiations.

Wall Street came out of a mixed session with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite rising while the Dow posted a small loss.

Those steps came after the Federal Reserve pledged to keep buying bonds until the economic recovery was complete. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell also said the central bank would increase its bond purchases if the recovery slows.

Gregory Faranello, head of US interest rate trading at AmeriVet Securities, said US monetary policy is likely to remain easy for a while.

“They feel there are still global disinflationary forces to contend with, and they are realistic about their time frame and their ability to meet their inflation target,” of 2%, Faranello said. “This lends itself to this theme [rates] stay lower longer. “

On Thursday, investors will brace for the release of weekly data on unemployment benefits and the latest US housing figures will begin. Those data releases will follow a disappointing retail sales report that kept investor sentiment in check on Wednesday.

The Department of Commerce said retail sales fell 1.1% in November. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expected a 0.3% decline.

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