A trader walks past the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on the first day traders are allowed to return to the historic floor of the exchange on May 26, 2020 in New York City.
Spencer Platt | Getty Images
U.S. stock futures were unchanged on Wednesday night as traders continued to weigh the prospects for a coronavirus deal ahead of next month's election.
Dow Jones Industrial Average Futures only rose 6 points. S&P 500 futures fell slightly and Nasdaq 100 futures fell 0.1%.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday that reaching an agreement on coronavirus stimuli before the elections would be difficult as Democrats and Republicans remain far apart on certain issues. His comments came after House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Said earlier this week that a recently proposed package "falls significantly short of what is needed".
The uncertainty in connection with the relief talks led to the second daily decline in the market in a row. The Dow slipped more than 160 points, or 0.6%. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite retreated 0.7% and 0.8%, respectively. Wednesday marked the first time since September that major indices recorded consecutive daily losses.
"Market volatility is likely to continue over the coming weeks as investors prepare for a variety of uncertainties – the timing of vaccines availability (after a setback for Johnson & Johnson), the size and timing of additional US tax incentives, and that Election result. "Wrote Mark Haefele, chief investment officer for global wealth management at UBS. "The uneven recovery in the US economy also fueled investor concerns as earnings season began this week."
The banking giants Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo and Bank of America together with United Airlines released their latest quarterly results on Wednesday. Goldman and Bank of America results exceeded analysts' expectations. Wells Fargo and United fell short of estimates, however.
The corporate earnings season continues on Thursday. Morgan Stanley and Walgreens Boots Alliance will report back.
"This is the second winning season after the Covid-19 pandemic … and this is set to be one of the most important winning seasons of all time," wrote Jeff Kilburg, CEO of KKM Financial. "As investors around the world try to measure the real damage Covid-19 has done to the economy, we expect earnings won't be as bad as they were in the second quarter."
"In the event that an overall positive tone is carried over, I believe the path is higher for US stocks," added Kilburg.
On the data front, weekly jobless claim numbers are set for publication on Thursday morning along with the latest data on import and export prices.
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