S&P 500 Futures Show Signs of Calm After Weekend of Covid Stress, , on October 4, 2020 at 10:19 pm

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On October 4, 2020
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(Bloomberg) — Volatility eased in U.S. equity futures as optimism over President Donald Trump’s medical prognosis and hopes for fresh economic stimulus put a brake on selling that whipped up Friday.Dip buyers showed up at the 6 p.m. New York open, bidding up December contracts after Trump’s doctors insisted he’s doing well and could be discharged as soon as Monday. Markets fell on Friday after Trump’s diagnosis. They remained up for the week as some traders speculated the president’s illness raised the odds for aid to the economy from Congress and data showed job gains slowed in September and many Americans quit looking for work.“The dramatic turn of events may be a catalyst for a stimulus agreement – or it may not; we wait for bills to be put to Congress and votes to be taken,” said Julian Emanuel, chief equity strategist for BTIG, wrote in a note. “With key economic data extending its run of disappointments versus expectations and high-profile corporate layoffs, additional aid would seem imperative.”U.S. shares have stayed relatively resilient since Trump’s positive test, in part because of speculation Congress will move toward an aid package after large parts of the current bill expired at the end of July. While the president urged lawmakers to get stimulus passed in a weekend tweet, little new progress was reported since Friday.Futures on the S&P 500 rose 0.3% at 6:19 p.m. in New York. The underlying gauge rose 1.5% last week, though Friday saw a 1% selloff. Contracts on the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.4%, while Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 0.5%.Forty-five minutes before futures began trading, the president tweeted a one-minute video from his hospital suite thanking the doctors and nurses at Walter Reed Medical Center.There’s some precedent for stocks to stay calm in the face of presidential health shocks. Historically they have had a fleeting impact on asset prices, according to Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA Research. Everything from hospitalizations to deaths have mostly resulted in declines of 3% or less that lasted just a few days, his study shows.Still, there’s no denying the presidential election has put investors on high alert. Partly driven by the prospects of a contested election, option traders have stepped up hedges against market turmoil way past Election Day into December. Polls over the weekend showed Democratic challenger Joe Biden maintaining a lead with less than a month to go to the vote.Volatility had gripped the markets since the end of August, over concern that the torrid summer rally had stretched valuations to levels not seen in two decades. At one point Friday, the CBOE Volatility Index jumped by the most in the month. It ended the week at 27.63.“Odds of a roughly $1.7 trillion fiscal package plus a Democratic election sweep (57% this morning) have increased and provide support for growth expectations,” Dennis DeBusschere, a strategist at Evercore ISI, said.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.,

S&P 500 Futures Show Signs of Calm After Weekend of Covid Stress(Bloomberg) — Volatility eased in U.S. equity futures as optimism over President Donald Trump’s medical prognosis and hopes for fresh economic stimulus put a brake on selling that whipped up Friday.Dip buyers showed up at the 6 p.m. New York open, bidding up December contracts after Trump’s doctors insisted he’s doing well and could be discharged as soon as Monday. Markets fell on Friday after Trump’s diagnosis. They remained up for the week as some traders speculated the president’s illness raised the odds for aid to the economy from Congress and data showed job gains slowed in September and many Americans quit looking for work.“The dramatic turn of events may be a catalyst for a stimulus agreement – or it may not; we wait for bills to be put to Congress and votes to be taken,” said Julian Emanuel, chief equity strategist for BTIG, wrote in a note. “With key economic data extending its run of disappointments versus expectations and high-profile corporate layoffs, additional aid would seem imperative.”U.S. shares have stayed relatively resilient since Trump’s positive test, in part because of speculation Congress will move toward an aid package after large parts of the current bill expired at the end of July. While the president urged lawmakers to get stimulus passed in a weekend tweet, little new progress was reported since Friday.Futures on the S&P 500 rose 0.3% at 6:19 p.m. in New York. The underlying gauge rose 1.5% last week, though Friday saw a 1% selloff. Contracts on the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.4%, while Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 0.5%.Forty-five minutes before futures began trading, the president tweeted a one-minute video from his hospital suite thanking the doctors and nurses at Walter Reed Medical Center.There’s some precedent for stocks to stay calm in the face of presidential health shocks. Historically they have had a fleeting impact on asset prices, according to Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA Research. Everything from hospitalizations to deaths have mostly resulted in declines of 3% or less that lasted just a few days, his study shows.Still, there’s no denying the presidential election has put investors on high alert. Partly driven by the prospects of a contested election, option traders have stepped up hedges against market turmoil way past Election Day into December. Polls over the weekend showed Democratic challenger Joe Biden maintaining a lead with less than a month to go to the vote.Volatility had gripped the markets since the end of August, over concern that the torrid summer rally had stretched valuations to levels not seen in two decades. At one point Friday, the CBOE Volatility Index jumped by the most in the month. It ended the week at 27.63.“Odds of a roughly $1.7 trillion fiscal package plus a Democratic election sweep (57% this morning) have increased and provide support for growth expectations,” Dennis DeBusschere, a strategist at Evercore ISI, said.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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