Stock futures mitigated after Trump signs orders extending coronavirus relief

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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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