U.S. stock-index futures traded mixed early Friday as investors looked to cap a week that has seen further weakness in technology-related sectors.
The day’s coming trading action will also mark quadruple witching, which refers to the simultaneous expiration of single-stock options, single-stock futures, and stock-index options and stock-index futures, which has traditionally been associated with intraday turbulence.
How are equity benchmarks performing?
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average
were off 29 points, or 0.1%, at 27,786, those for the S&P 500 index
were up 2.50 points, or less than 0.1%, at 3,353.50. Nasdaq-100 futures
were trading up 52 points, or 0.4%, at 11,127.25.
On Thursday, the Dow
closed 130.40 points, or 0.4%, lower at 27,901.98, snapping a four-session win streak. The S&P 500 index
fell 28.48 points to end at 3,357.01, a decline of 0.8%, following a momentary dip below its 50-day moving average at around 3,339. The Nasdaq Composite Index
retreated 140.19 points, or 1.3%, to 10,910.28.
For the week, the Dow is on pace for a weekly gain of 0.9%, while the Dow and the S&P 500 are aiming for a rise of 0.5%.
What’s driving the market?
Market participants are seeing somewhat listless trade early Friday as the equity benchmarks attempt to retain modest weekly gains headed into the weekend.
Wrangling by investors over the long-term impact of the Federal Reserve’s policy update on Wednesday, in which the central bank indicated that the economic recovery could be a long one, and that it wouldn’t be inclined to lift interest rates for at least another three or four years, is still rippling through the market.
However, investors continue to look for progress on stimulus talks from Washington lawmakers that is considered by many crucial to markets sustaining current gains and advancing further amid the economic wreckage created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Reports indicate that Democrats and Republicans remain at an impasse over another round of coronavirus relief despite President Donald Trump’s urging for a deal to be struck soon. Lawmakers, however, planned to introduce a bill midday Friday that would see the government funded through mid-December.
House Democrats had passed a $3.5 trillion relief bill in May, but more recently in negotiations with White House officials said they would accept a $2.2 trillion deal, the Wall Street Journal reported.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Democrats could push for more than their previous offer of $2.2 trillion but isn’t willing to advocate for anything less than her less proposal.
“When we go into a negotiation it’s about the allocation of the resources,” she was quoted as saying on Thursday by The Hill in a reporter briefing. “But it’s hard to see how we can go any lower when you only have greater needs.”
Meanwhile, the Fed is embarking on a second round of stress tests for the banking sector amid the coronavirus epidemic and is reportedly considering extending limits to dividend payments and share buybacks on the industry, Bloomberg News reports.
Looking ahead, investors are watching for a report on consumer sentiment that is due at 10 a.m. Eastern Time, while at the same time a speech by St. Louis Fed President James Bullard. Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic speaks at 12 p.m.