Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Jermaine LeFlore prepares to collect a patient's nasal swab at a drive-through testing site outside of the Southside Health Center as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak occurs on October 21, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.
Bing Guan | Reuters
Futures, which were pegged to key US stock benchmarks, traded lower early Monday morning as Wall Street entered the last full week of trading prior to election day.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 180 points. The S&P 500 futures and the Nasdaq 100 futures also traded in negative territory.
The decline in futures was due to a record spike in new coronavirus cases in the US. The country recorded more than 83,000 new infections on both Friday and Saturday following outbreaks in Sun Belt states, beating the previous record of around 77,300 cases in July, data from Johns Hopkins University.
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said Sunday the US will not get control of the pandemic amid the surge in new cases. Vice President's chief of staff Mike Pence and three staff members tested positive for coronavirus, but his office said he will not be quarantined.
This week marks the last week of October and the last trading period before November 3rd. Key averages are on the way to modest earnings for the month, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq both up more than 3% so far. The 30-share Dow is up about 2% this month.
"Given what we've seen in the equity markets over the past two weeks, it seems to us that some serious new news is needed to cause a significant decline over the next week and a half," said Matt Maley, chief market strategist at Miller Tobacco said in a note on Sunday.
Former Vice President Joe Biden has a sizable lead over President Donald Trump in national polls, though the gap has narrowed slightly recently.
Traders will be on the lookout for a range of big tech and blue-chip corporate earnings as well as key economic data this week. Apple, Facebook, Alphabet, Amazon, Boeing, and Caterpillar all report later in the week, while the first look at third-quarter GDP is due Thursday.
The Dow and S&P 500 have seen their first week of losses in four years as talks dragged on over the next coronavirus stimulus package. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Friday that House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi was "still entrenched" on a number of issues related to the relief agreement.
The benchmark 10-year government bond yield rose to a four-month high of 0.84% last week, sparking a rally in bank stocks.
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