Stock futures mitigated after Trump signs orders extending coronavirus relief


U.S. equity futures were mixed on Monday morning after President Donald Trump signed several executive orders aimed at extending relief from coronaviruses.

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Trader Michael Urkonis works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, January 28, 2020.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 76 points at 12:09 am ET on Monday, indicating a gain of around 66 points as the market opens. Futures on S&P 500 also showed opening gains while futures on Nasdaq 100 were slightly lower.

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These orders extend the distribution of expanded unemployment benefits, postpone student loan payments until 2020, extend a federal moratorium on evictions and provide for a payroll tax holiday. However, unemployment benefits will be maintained at a reduced rate of $ 400 per week. Originally, the benefit offered workers affected by the pandemic $ 600 per week.

Trump’s measures come after congressional leaders failed to make progress on a new coronavirus stimulus package last week. Several benefits from a package signed earlier in the year expired at the end of July, increasing uncertainty over the future of the US economy.

“The fiscal cliff is still a downside risk for August,” said Aneta Markowska, chief financial economist at Jefferies. Markowska added, however, that any weakness in this will be “short-lived”.

“By September, another round of budget support will create positive momentum. The reopening of schools, even if only in some states, will strengthen the positive dynamic by (1) stimulating back-to-school purchases and (2) allowing more parents to return to work in September, ”he said. she stated in a note to customers. “The bottom line is, all the stars align for another inflection point in activity and a second step in reopening. ”

Wall Street was coming off a strong weekly performance. The Dow Jones rose 3.8% last week for its biggest weekly gain since June. The S&P 500 climbed 2.5% with the Nasdaq Composite. Last week’s gains come during a historically difficult time for the market, as August marks the start of the worst three-month period for the S&P 500.

Those gains were driven in part by Facebook, Apple and Microsoft, all of which rose more than 3% last week. They also left the S&P 500 just 1.2% below its February 19 high.

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