Stock futures are flat as Wall Street tries to overcome a 2-day slide

The first day a trader walks by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) that allows traders to return to the historic floor of the exchange on May 26, 2020 in New York City.

Spencer Plott | Getty Images

US stock futures were flat on Wednesday night as traders continued to weigh the possibility of a coronovirus aid deal ahead of next month’s election.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures gained just 17 points, or 0.1%. S&P 500 futures rose marginally and the Nasdaq 100 futures fell 0.1%.

Treasury Secretary Steven Menuchin said Wednesday that it would be difficult to reach a coronovirus incentive deal before the election because Democrats and Republicans are too far apart on some issues. Following his remarks, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said earlier this week that the recently proposed package needed by the administration “falls significantly short”.

Uncertainty during aid negotiations led to the market’s second straight daily decline. The Dow slipped more than 160 points, or 0.6%. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite gained 0.7% and 0.8%, respectively. Wednesday marked the first time since September that major indices consistently posted daily losses.

“Market volatility is set to continue in the coming weeks as investors embrace a host of uncertainties – the timing of vaccine availability (a setback for Johnson & Johnson), the size and timing of additional US fiscal stimulus, and elections. Results, ”wrote Mark Heffel, Chief Investment Officer of Global Wealth Management at UBS. “Uneven recovery in the US economy also raises investor concerns as the results of this week began the season.”

Banking giants Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo and Bank of America, along with United Airlines, reported their latest quarterly results on Wednesday. Results from Goldman and Bank of America topped analyst expectations. However, Wells Fargo and United fell short of estimates.

Corporate earnings season continues on Thursday, with Morgan Stanley and Walgreens set for the Boots Alliance report.

KKM Financial CEO Jeff Kilberg wrote, “This is the second earnings season in the wake of the Kovid-19 pandemic and arguably it will be the most significant earnings season ever.” “As investors globally try to estimate the actual damage caused to the economy by Kovid-19, the expectations are simply that earnings will not be as bad as they were in Q2.”

“We have an overall positive tone at the event, I believe that is way overpriced for the US Equites,” Kilberg said.

On the data front, weekly jobless claims numbers are set for the Thursday morning release, with the latest figures on import and export prices.

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