Stocks – U.S. Futures Surge Higher; More Stimulus Eyed

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Investing.com – U.S. stocks are set to push higher at the open Tuesday, continuing Monday’s strong gains, on tentative signs the spread of coronavirus is slowing as well as talk of more funds to support the battered economy.

At 7:00 AM ET (1100 GMT), futures for the S&P 500 traded 89 points, or 3.4%, higher, futures for the Nasdaq up 251 points, or 3.1%. The Dow futures contract rose 817 points, or 3.6%. 

Wall Street closed firmly higher Monday, with all three major cash indices up over 7%, the best session out of the last nine.

The number of Covid-19 cases in the U.S. have continued to rise, with Johns Hopkins University Tuesday registering over 368,000 cases, and nearly 11,000 deaths. However, there has been some positive news out of New York, the epicentre of the U.S. outbreak, as Governor Andrew Cuomo said late Monday the virus-related fatality rate was effectively flat for two days.

This is supported by further evidence that the virus has peaked in many countries in Europe, with some starting to present their ‘exit strategy’ from the strict lockdown measures. Also, for the first time since January, China reported no daily deaths.

Adding to the bullish tone are reports which emerged late Monday that another stimulus package could come from Capitol Hill. Another round could be agreed by May and be around $1.5 trillion, Fox Business reported, citing sources briefed by the White House and Congressional leaders.

Earlier Tuesday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced a much larger-than-expected stimulus package of 108 trillion yen ($988 billion) to support his country’s struggling households and businesses. 

In corporate news, Boeing (NYSE:BA) will be in focus after the troubled aircraft manufacturer announced Monday it will suspend all 787 operations at its South Carolina factory, following orders by the state governor, effectively putting the company’s entire commercial airplane production on hiatus.

Oil giant Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) announced it was cutting its 2020 capital expenditure plans by 30%, but still planned to pay its dividend.

On the flip side, Fiat Chrysler (MI:FCHA) announced plans to progressively restart its manufacturing facilities in the United States and Canada on Monday, May 4.

Oil prices gained Tuesday as investors focused on the possibility of a global cut in crude production. Russia has confirmed it will join members of OPEC for a virtual meeting on Thursday, that many expect to end with an agreement.

The American Petroleum Institute will issue its measure of weekly U.S. oil stockpiles after the bell Tuesday. Last week it reported a huge build of more than 10 million barrels.

At 7:00 AM ET, U.S. crude futures traded 3.1% higher at $26.88 a barrel, while the international benchmark Brent contract fell 2.5% to $33.88.

Additionally, gold futures rose 0.7% to $1,705.10/oz, after earlier climbing to a new seven-year high of $1,742.20, while EUR/USD traded at $1.0875, up 0.8%.

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