Republicans plan scaled-back stimulus; U.S. futures little changed

Aug. 18, 2020 4:30 AM ETBy: Liz Kiesche, SA News Editor341 Comments
  • U.S. equities futures hug the flatline as Republicans plan to introduce a scaled-back virus relief bill that would include a $300/week in supplemental unemployment benefit, additional U.S. Postal Service funding, and aid for small business, Bloomberg reports. The legislation would also include protection for employers against lawsuits over COVID-19 infections.
  • The S&P 500 futures and Dow futures are roughly flat and the Nasdaq futures rise less than 0.1%.
  • "A lot of investment professionals as well as retail investors are on the sidelines partially because they are waiting for this second stimulus package," Erin Gibbs, president and chief investment officer at Gibbs Wealth Management, said on Bloomberg TV.
  • 10-year Treasury yield slips almost 2 basis points to 0.68%. Gold gains 0.9% to $2,002.80 per ounce; crude oil creeps up 0.1% to $42.92 per barrel.
  • In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index closed down 0.1% and Japan's Nikkei 225 Index fell 0.2% after U.S.-China tensions heat up with the Trump administration imposing new restrictions on Huawei Technologies focused on cutting its access to commercially available chips.
  • In Europe, jewelry maker Pandora (-2.6%) led losses in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index (-0.1%) after warning that sales may slump as much as 20% this year.  Germany's DAX slips 0.1% and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 falls 0.2%.

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