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Stock futures rise as traders weigh on rising coronavirus cases, US stimulus talks

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A passenger wears a protective mask at the Wall Street subway station in New York City on Monday, March 30, 2020.

Michael Nagle | Bloomberg via Getty Images

U.S. equity futures rose on Sunday night as the number of newly confirmed coronavirus cases continues to rise as lawmakers remain at a stalemate over a new stimulus deal.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 101 points, or 0.4%. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures contracts rose 0.5% and 0.7% respectively.

A CNBC analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University showed that Covid-19 cases were increasing 5% or more in 38 states as of Friday. Nationwide, the daily average of cases increased by more than 16% week-over-week to almost 55,000. New coronavirus infections in Europe are increasing by around 97,000 a day, up 44% compared to the previous week.

In Washington, the office of House of Commons Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Saturday night it was giving the Trump administration 48 hours to secure an aid deal ahead of the Nov. 3 election. Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin continued their discussions over the weekend. They agreed to speak again on Monday.

“The 48 is only about if we want to do it before the election, which we do,” Pelosi told ABC’s “This Week” Sunday. “We tell them, we need to freeze the design on some of these things, are we going with it or not and what’s the language? I’m optimistic, because once again we’ve been going back and forth on all of this. “

Pelosi’s comments came as hope among market pundits for a deal reached before the elections dwindle. That, along with the apparent new wave of coronavirus infections, contributed to choppy trade action last week.

The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones fell for three straight days last week before closing slightly higher on Friday. The Nasdaq Composite posted its first four-day losing streak since September.

“The many cross currents that worry us in recent weeks remain pervasive,” Jefferies strategist Sherif Hamid said in a note. “The US elections are near, the fiscal stimulus remains a key potential catalyst in the short term, and developments on the virus front remain critical to the long term outlook.”

“It is very likely that a lot will happen over the next few weeks, and the broader macroeconomic picture could therefore change quite drastically depending on developments on all these fronts,” Hamid added.

On the earnings front, IBM is expected to release its latest quarterly results after Monday’s bell. Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is scheduled to speak on Monday morning.

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