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Stock futures struggle for direction as bank earnings come in mixed

Stock futures struggle for direction as bank earnings come in mixed

Stock futures traded flat to slightly lower Wednesday morning, as a host of major banks released their quarterly results.

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Goldman Sachs (GS) on Wednesday reported third-quarter results that well exceeded consensus estimates, as investment banking and fixed income trading revenue each grew over last year and topped expectations. The trading boost Goldman Sachs and other banks including JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup but it did not extend to Bank of America (BAC), which posted lighter-than-expected trading revenue from stocks and bonds, and a miss on overall revenue compared to estimates. Bank of America also built its credit reserves during the quarter, adding more padding in case of potential customer loan defaults amid the pandemic.

Meanwhile, lackluster prospects for more stimulus and concerns over the timeline for developing a COVID-19 vaccine and treatment weighed on investors. Each of the S&P 500, Dow and Nasdaq declined for the first time in five sessions as of Tuesday’s close.

An impasse among U.S. lawmakers in Washington has kept hopes running low that more virus relief aid will come to fruition before the November election. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday he will have the Senate take up relief legislation after the chamber’s return on Monday, with his narrower proposal set to include funds chiefly targeted to the Paycheck Protection Program. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, however, has rejected slimmed-down stimulus proposals and deemed them inadequate, and even President Donald Trump said on Tuesday on Twitter to “Go big or go home!!!” for more stimulus.

Meanwhile, a pair of front-runners in the race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine and treatment announced that their respective trials were put on pause over safety concerns. Eli Lilly (LLY) said Tuesday afternoon that enrollment for its COVID-19 treatment would be temporarily halted, less then a day after Johnson

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News Updates: Stock Market Futures Flat as Stimulus Talks Continue

News Updates: Stock Market Futures Flat as Stimulus Talks Continue

(Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)


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Here’s what you need to know about the impact of Covid-19 to navigate the markets today.

U.S. stocks are set to open mixed but effectively flat on Monday morning, with

Dow Jones Industrial Average

futures dropping 24 points, or less than 0.1%, on Sunday evening.

S&P 500

futures also dipped less than 0.1%, while

Nasdaq Composite

futures gained just over 0.1% as investors ready themselves for earnings season to kick off this week and for a flurry of activity on stimulus negotiations in Washington, D.C.

The White House might increase its offer for a new round of coronavirus stimulus beyond $1.8 trillion and could even propose a package bigger than House Democrats’ $2.2 trillion, Larry Kudlow, the director of the United States National Economic Council, said Sunday.

“Secretary Mnuchin is up to $1.8 trillion,” he said on CNN’s State of the Union, referring to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who has been the chief White House negotiator. “So the bid and the offer is narrowing somewhat between the two sides. President Trump actually has always said—I mean, I’ve heard him say it in the Oval [Office]—as far as the key elements are concerned, the checks, the unemployment assistance, the small business assistance, we’ve got to help airlines out, he would go further. He’s always said that.”

Even after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said he doubted there were enough Republican votes to pass a $1.8 trillion bill, let alone one with $2.2 trillion or more in spending, and Senate Republicans lambasted the $1.8 trillion proposal in a call with the White House, Kudlow claimed that if the Trump administration struck a deal with House Democrats, Senate Republicans would “go along with it.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

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CME Sounding Out Crypto Traders to Gauge Market Demand for Ether Futures, Options

CME Sounding Out Crypto Traders to Gauge Market Demand for Ether Futures, Options

CME headquarters, Chicago (Daniel J. Macy/Shutterstock)

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), the largest U.S. regulated market for bitcoin futures, has been sounding out cryptocurrency traders to gauge their interest in a listing of futures and options for the Ethereum blockchain’s native currency.

  • Darius Sit, founder and chief information officer at Singapore-based QCP Capital, told CoinDesk in an interview that CME had asked his firm whether it might be interested in trading ether (ETH) derivatives on the exchange.
  • Ether is the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, at $41 billion.
  • A CME Group spokesperson declined to comment when reached by CoinDesk, adding, “We don’t comment on whether or not we’re developing any products.”
  • The CME has become one of the leading venues for institutional investors to bet on bitcoin, following the launch of a futures contract in late 2017 and options earlier this year.
  • Partly due to the explosive development of decentralized finance (DeFi) this year, there has been rising demand from traders for ether derivatives that can be used to make leveraged bets on price moves or simply to hedge.
  • For now, the biggest venues for trading ether futures are on non-U.S. exchanges led by OKEx, Huobi and Binance, according to the data firm Skew.
  • CME previously launched an Ether-Dollar Reference Rate in May 2018 along with an Ether-Dollar Real Time Index, but as recently as June the exchange told CoinDesk it had “no plans to introduce additional cryptocurrency products.”
  • Vishal Shah, founder of bitcoin crypto derivatives exchange Alpha5, told CoinDesk in a Telegram message that he sees CME ether derivatives as “overdue.”
  • The chatter around CME’s rumored ether products launch also comes after U.S. regulatory authorities recently brought a series of civil and criminal charges against popular derivative exchange BitMEX.

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Harris, Pence defend their tickets with an eye on their political futures

Harris, Pence defend their tickets with an eye on their political futures

Vice President Mike Pence, Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris and moderator Susan Page participate in the vice presidential debate in Salt Lake City. <span class="copyright">(Justin Sullivan / Pool Photo)</span>
Vice President Mike Pence, Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris and moderator Susan Page participate in the vice presidential debate in Salt Lake City. (Justin Sullivan / Pool Photo)

Kamala Harris stepped into the highest-profile moment of her political career Wednesday night, deploying what she has long touted as her superpower: her ability to “prosecute a case” against the Trump administration.

In her debate with Vice President Mike Pence, Harris used her skills as a former prosecutor to attack President Trump for his handling of the coronavirus crisis and the economy with a clarity that eluded her running mate, Joe Biden, in his chaotic debate with the president last week.

“The American people have witnessed what is the greatest failure of any presidential administration in the history of our country,” she said, decrying the administration’s “ineptitude.”

The debate — far tamer and more coherent than the Trump-Biden slugfest — may not make much difference in the outcome of this fall’s election, but it could count as Harris’ first audition for the next one.

As running mate to the 77-year-old former vice president, Harris is in the pole position for a future presidential bid, but she will not be uncontested in what will likely be a fierce internecine fight between progressives and more centrist Democrats.

Harris’ debate performance was “very helpful to the ticket going into November. It’s also helpful to her brand when you look to November and beyond,” said Cornell Belcher, a Democratic pollster.

Pence headed into the debate in a similar position: As vice president, he should be Trump’s political heir, but other ambitious Republicans, including some who share the president’s last name, are already eyeing the post-Trump White House.

The debate tested Pence’s unshakable loyalty to Trump, which is his strongest claim to the future support

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Stock futures open slightly higher after stimulus hopes fuel rally

Stock futures open slightly higher after stimulus hopes fuel rally

Stock futures traded slightly higher as the overnight session kicked off, after the three major indices closed at their highest levels in more than one month earlier in the day.

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Traders clung to hope that some aid out of Washington – if not a multi-trillion dollar, comprehensive virus relief package – might transpire in the near-term.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday that she would be open to passing a bill to provide relief to airlines specifically, after President Donald Trump said late Tuesday that he would approve piecemeal measures including airline aid.

However, Pelosi also signaled that she would not be open to advancing a bill that would authorize another round of $1,200 direct checks to taxpayers, saying that that on its own would be insufficient to address the Covid-19 crisis. House Democrats last week voted to advance a larger package to inject another $2.2 trillion in aid to various parts of the economy.

Airline stocks, along with travel and leisure names, were flat to slightly higher in late trading, largely holding onto gains from the regular session Wednesday.

“It’s been the question of the day, as to why we got the tweets we got over the last 24 hours, the market reaction we got into [Tuesday’s] close, and then the rally today,” Ed Mills, Raymond James Washington policy analyst, told Yahoo Finance Wednesday afternoon.

“Investors I’ve spoken to at Raymond James have been mixed. Some believe that this makes it much more likely that regardless of the outcome of the election, there’s a deal to be had in the lame duck [session] before the Dec. 11 deadline to funding the government,” he added. “Others said this is a clear signal from the market that they are now expecting a Democratic sweep. That would be the package

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