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US pre-open: Futures higher as markets look to Capitol Hill

Mon, 3rd Aug 2020 12:06

(Sharecast News) - Wall Street futures had stocks opening higher ahead of the bell on Monday as market participants turned their attention back to stimulus talks in Washington.
As of 1240 BST, Dow Jones futures were up 0.29%, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures had the indices opening 0.46% firmer and 0.89% firmer, respectively.

The Dow closed 114.67 points higher on Friday Apple, Amazon and Facebook all posted far-better-than-expected quarterly financial results the evening before.

Monday's main focus will be talks between Republican and Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill as discussions reached an impasse over certain components of the nation's next Covid-19 relief bill. The key issue between the two parties was over the amount of a federal boost to unemployment assistance, which was set at $600 per week in March but had just expired during the previous week.

While the White House has indicated desires to reduce the federal assistance to just $200 a week, Democrats were backing a move to keep the $600 payments in place. Other provisions, such as another round of $1,200 stimulus checks, had broader support from both sides of the aisle.

CMC Markets' Michael Hewson said: "US markets appear to be being propped up by a cohort of the large tech stocks, as well as a resilient pharmaceutical sector, on optimism about a possible vaccine, or vaccines.

"Attention also remains on Washington DC as US lawmakers continue to haggle over a new Paycheck and unemployment stimulus plan to replace the old one which expired on Friday."

Elsewhere, while a dollar bounce took somewhat of an edge off a recent surge in gold prices, it still saw fit to take another run at $2,000 early on Monday.

On the macro front, IHS Markit's manufacturing PMI for July will be released at 1445 BST, while ISM's manufacturing PMI and construction spending figures for June will follow at 1500 BST.

In corporate news, Eli Lilly shares where higher ahead of the open after saying it had begun phase three trials of a drug aimed at preventing coronavirus, while Clorox shares rose more than 2% on the back of a strong quarterly earnings report.

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