The Friday Market Minute

  • Global stocks press forward on U.S. stimulus hopes, with gains in Europe capped by a worrying surge in coronavirus infection rates.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin will resume talks Friday, with President Trump pressing for stand-alone agreements versus the Democrats preference for a comprehensive relief bill.
  • European coronavirus infections are rising at record levels in many major economies as the autumn weather turns, but leaders are hoping to avoid sweeping lockdowns in the weeks ahead.
  • Oil prices on pace for a 10% week gain on supply outages and improving demand, while the dollar tumbles to a three-week low against a basket of its global peers.
  • U.S. equity futures suggest a firmer open on Wall Street, which is looking at its best five-day stretch since August, heading into the teeth of the third quarter earnings seasons next week.

U.S. equity futures edged higher Friday, while the dollar retreated to a three-week low and oil prices slipped, as investors consolidated gains from the best week on Wall Street since mid-summer and braced for what could be a game-changing series of events in the coming days.

With markets still clinging to hopes that House Democrats and their Republican rivals in the Senate can reach an agreement on a coronavirus relief bill in the final three weeks before the November Presidential elections, the S&P 500 has gained around 2.9% so far this week, building its advance around solid corporate sales updates, progress in coronavirus vaccine development and modestly improving jobs numbers.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin will continue their weeks-long negotiations Friday, with President Donald Trump pressing for a series of ‘stand alone’ stimulus deals instead of the comprehensive $2.2 trillion package preferred by Democrats.

The third quarter earnings season will unofficially kick-off next week with profit updates from Wall Street’s biggest banks, with Amazon  (AMZN) – Get Report Prime Day, Apple’s  (AAPL) – Get Report iPhone unveiling and an on-again, off-again Presidential debate set to dominate the calendar in what could be a game-changing week for both the candidates and the broader U.S. market.

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