Stock market news live updates: Stock futures open lower with rising COVID-19 cases, stimulus in focus

Stock futures opened lower Monday evening at the end of a mixed session on Wall Street.

The Nasdaq ended the regular trading day at a record high as tech shares marched higher. The S&P 500 and Dow edged lower, however, to pull back from the record levels the two indices achieved on Friday.

Investors this week have been closely monitoring developments out of Washington, with lawmakers still working to agree on measures to fund the government and provide another virus relief package. Lawmakers are poised to vote Wednesday on a continuing resolution to push back a deadline to fund the government from Friday to next week in order to avoid a government shutdown, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said in a tweet.

A package to provide hundreds of billions of dollars more in virus relief aid was also expected to be included in the government spending bill. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have backed the $908 billion coronavirus stimulus proposal a bipartisan group of lawmakers released last week, though whether Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will support the near-$1 trillion plan and the billions it will allocate to state and local governments remains unclear.

Meanwhile, still-rising coronavirus case counts have also raised the specter of further lockdowns in the country, increasing the urgency for lawmakers to provide support to Americans while they await a vaccine. Coronavirus cases have averaged nearly 200,000 per day in the U.S. over the past week, and the average of number of deaths reported each day increased to more than 2,000 per day over the same period, nearing levels from April.

“We haven’t seen the extent of spread that’s going to happen after the Thanksgiving holidays, and we’re already hearing about many health systems that are reaching capacity in terms of ICU beds in particular,” Johns Hopkins Medicine’s Dr. Brian Garibaldi told Yahoo Finance on Monday. “Things are going to get worse before they get better.”

But even given the still-dire virus situation, traders have largely kept piling into stocks.

“This is of course the second if not the third wave in many parts of the world. I think the market has seen this movie before, and indeed the market is looking through,” Anik Sen, PineBridge Investments global head of equities, told Yahoo Finance. “Short-term, of course, there are some uncertainties in terms of the trajectory of the pandemic and short-term uncertainties in terms of the policy response. But I think the market is getting more comfortable that we should see a stimulus bill in the next few days or before the year-end … There is plenty of market opportunity left.”

6:07 p.m. ET Monday: Stock futures point lower

Here were the main moves in markets, as of 6:07 p.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,683.25, down 7.5 points or 0.2%

  • Dow futures (YM=F): 29,993.00, down 64 points or 0.21%

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 12,580.5, down 15.5 points or 0.12%

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