Traders work during the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on March 17, 2020 at Wall Street in New York City.
Johannes Eisele | AFP | Getty Images
U.S. stock futures were flat on Monday night after another record-setting session on Wall Street.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures traded just below the flatline along with S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures.
During regular trading, the S&P 500 climbed 1% and closed above 3,400 for the first time. Apple also hit an all-time high, leading other tech names higher, while airline and cruise operator stocks jumped amid enthusiasm on the coronavirus front.
“Equity investors continue to express cautious optimism on the direction of the economy and progress with the virus,” said Mark Hackett, chief of investment research at Nationwide. “Investor sentiment has shifted, with substantial optimism now embedded into the equity markets, driving valuations to the highest level since the technology bubble.”
That optimism comes as the number of newly confirmed coronavirus infections in the U.S. has dropped. Data compiled by Johns Hopkins University showed new cases fell to under 37,000 and have been below 50,000 since mid-August.
Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of convalescent plasma as a treatment for coronavirus patients. The Trump administration is also reportedly considering fast-tracking an experimental vaccine from the U.K.
Aneta Markowska, chief economist at Jefferies, said high-frequency data on the coronavirus shows economic activity in the U.S. is picking up towards the end of August.
“The reopening of schools is proving to be a positive catalyst, with back-to-school shopping on track to exceed last years’ levels. We also show early/tentative evidence of improving labor market trends in states where schools reopened in early August,” Markowska said in a note.
Traders also looked ahead to key data releases, including the latest figures on consumer confidence and new home sales, which were both set for release on Tuesday.
Later this week, the Federal Reserve will hold its annual symposium on monetary policy. Wall Street will look for clues on further stimulus and where the economy is headed out of the event.
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