US stock futures remained unchanged in overnight trading on Tuesday as investors held onto the possibility of new fiscal stimulus ahead of the year-end.
Market participants also watched the Federal Reserve’s comments Wednesday on the future of the US economy.
Dow futures fell 30 points. S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures were down 0.06% and 0.05%, respectively.
On Tuesday, the main average resisted a series of negative sessions lasting several days, with all three indices closing in gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose nearly 340 points, helped by a 5% increase in Apple stock. The S&P 500 climbed 1.3% and lost 4 days.
The Nasdaq Composite ended the day on a new record 1.25% higher. The Russell 2000 Small Cap Index closed on a new record high of 2.4%.
Investors welcomed developments in Washington regarding a stimulus package to help sick Americans with the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi invited Congress leaders including Senate majority Mitch McConnell to discuss government funding and the relief package. On Monday, a bipartisan group of lawmakers released a proposal for another round of economic relief on Monday evening.
The first plan calls for $ 748 billion in spending on programs that both Republicans and Democrats will enjoy, including federal unemployment benefits and additional loans under the Paycheck Protection program. A second $ 160 billion bill would cover the more controversial areas of corporate liability protection and financial assistance to state and local governments.
"Stimulus remains a key issue in the marketplace as it is the necessary bridge to expansive vaccination," Lindsey Bell, chief investment strategist at Ally Invest, told clients. "Market participants want a deal sooner rather than later as economic data is expected to slow in the short term. Without a deal, the turmoil could intensify."
The deadline for the stimulation looms amid some of the darkest days of the pandemic. The U.S. has at least 215,400 new Covid-19 cases and at least 2,300 virus-related deaths daily, based on a seven-day average calculated by CNBC using data from Johns Hopkins University.
The rollout of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine continued in the US on Tuesday.
The Federal Reserve will release its policy statement forecast on Wednesday afternoon. While the Fed's long-term view is expected to improve due to the vaccine, the central bank is expected to sound very cautious at the end of its session.
The bond market could show a volatile reaction based on what the Fed signals about its bond purchase program.
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