Dow futures drop 100 points after U.S. coronavirus cases hit record high

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Futures contracts linked to major benchmarks of US stocks traded lower in overnight trading on Sunday as Wall Street headed for the last full week of trading before Election Day.Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell about 100 points, indicating a 140 point loss at Monday’s opening. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures contracts both fell 0.4%.

The drop in futures came amid a record rise in new coronavirus cases in the U.S. The country experienced more than 83,000 new infections on Friday and Saturday after outbreaks in Sun Belt states, breaking the record precedent of about 77,300 cases established in July, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said on Sunday that the United States would not control the pandemic amid the surge in new cases. Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff and three aides have tested positive for the coronavirus, but his office has said he will not self-quarantine.

This week marks the last week of October and the last trading period before November 3. Major averages are on track for modest gains for the month, with the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq both rising more than 3% so far. The 30-stock Dow Jones is up about 2% this month.

“Based on the stock market action we’ve seen over the past two weeks, it looks like it will take some serious news to fuel a significant drop in the coming week and a half,” Matt Maley, chief market strategist at Miller Tabak, said in a note Sunday.

Former Vice President Joe Biden maintains a significant lead over President Donald Trump in national polls, although the gap has narrowed slightly in recent times.

Traders will be keeping their eyes peeled for a slew of big tech and blue chip earnings and key economic data this week. Apple, Facebook, Alphabet, Amazon, Boeing and Caterpillar all report later in the week, while the first review of third-quarter GDP is due Thursday.

The Dow and the S&P 500 have just experienced their first week of defeat in four as discussions over the next coronavirus stimulus package drag on. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Friday House of Commons Speaker Nancy Pelosi was “still engaged” on a number of issues in the aid deal.

The yield on benchmark 10-year Treasuries jumped to a four-month high of 0.84% ​​last week, triggering a rally in bank stocks.

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