U.S. stock futures rose early Thursday to kick off a new month and quarter as investors hoped for more fiscal stimulus to combat the coronavirus recession.
Dow futures jumped 250 points, or 0.9%, indicating an opening gain of about 260 points. S&P 500 futures rose 1%. Nasdaq 100 futures gained 1.4%.
The House of Representatives delayed a vote on the Democrats $2.2 trillion rescue package on Wednesday evening to allow for more talks, which some saw as a sign progress could be made.
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters late Wednesday that President Donald Trump has extended an offer for more than $1.5 trillion in stimulus. No further details were given on the exact figure except that anything around $2 trillion and above would be a “real problem.”
Meadows also said the most recent proposal includes $20 billion for airlines to give them a six-month extension to keep workers employed.
“We have always maintained a glimmer of hope – especially as we continue to believe there is majority support for a package in the $1.5-2 trillion range,” wrote Ed Mills of Raymond James. “However, all of our conversations with our DC contacts remain skeptical.”
A broad group of stocks were gaining in premarket trading Thursday. Delta led airline shares higher in early trading on stimulus hopes. Key tech like Amazon and Tesla also rose in premarket trading.
Investors also awaited the latest jobless claims report Thursday morning. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected first-time filers for unemployment benefits to total 850,000 in the week ending Sept.26. The number jumped unexpectedly to 870,000 in the week prior.
On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed more than 300 points on hopes the White House and Senate would agree to a second stimulus package. Despite Wednesday’s rally, stocks rounded out September with losses, the first down month since March.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 2.2% in September, a typically weak month for equities. The S&P 500 fell 3.9% for the month. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite dropped 5.2%, dragged down by weakness is technology stocks.
However, all three of the major averages achieved strong gains for the third quarter. The S&P 500 rose 8.5% in the quarter and is up 4% for the year.
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