(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures rose slightly on Wednesday as investors appeared to have shrugged off President Donald Trump’s threat to not sign a COVID-19 stimulus bill, while also waiting for a reading on weekly jobless claims and consumer spending data.
In a video posted on Twitter, Trump said the hard-fought pandemic relief package worth $892 billion should be amended to increase the amount in the stimulus checks to $2,000 for individuals, instead of the “ridiculously low” $600.
U.S. futures had dropped as much as 1% in Asian trade, before recovering later in the session.
The S&P 500 and the Dow lost ground on Tuesday as concerns over a new variant of the coronavirus in Britain and underwhelming economic data weighed on near-term sentiment. But gains in Apple Inc pushed the Nasdaq to a record close.
Investors are now looking out for the Labor Department’s weekly unemployment report due at 8:30 am ET (1330 GMT), which is expected to show a still dismal labor market as widespread business restrictions to curb the spread of new COVID-19 infections kept employers on edge.
Consumer spending data for November, which is also due at 8:30 am ET, is expected to show weakness in spending trends because of the softer job market.
At 6:36 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 69 points, or 0.23%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 10.5 points, or 0.29%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 18 points, or 0.14%.
Easy monetary policy and increased liquidity in the market has set Wall Street’s main indexes for strong annual gains, despite a rough start to the year.
Drugmaker Pfizer Inc rose 0.5% in pre-market trade after a report said it was close to striking a deal with the U.S. government to supply at least tens of millions of additional doses of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate next year.
Supernus Pharmaceuticals Inc jumped 24.3% after its experimental drug for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder met the main goal of a late-stage study in adults.
Walmart Inc fell 0.5% after the U.S. Justice Department accused the retailer of fuelling the opioid crisis in the United States.
American Airlines Group and United Airlines Holdings fell about 0.8% each despite outlining plans to bring back furloughed employees this month after receiving payroll support from a recent bill.
Reporting by Devik Jain and Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr
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