Stock futures rose slightly in overnight trading on Sunday ahead of the final trading week of 2020.
President Donald Trump signed a $900 billion Covid-19 relief bill into law, averting a government shutdown and extending unemployment benefits to millions of Americans. The signing came days after Trump suggested he would veto the legislation, demanding $2,000 direct payments to Americans, instead of $600.
“I am signing this bill to restore unemployment benefits, stop evictions, provide rental assistance, add money for PPP, return our airline workers back to work, add substantially more money for vaccine distribution, and much more,” Trump said in a statement Sunday evening.
Wall Street is coming off a quiet holiday week where the major averages posted flat returns. The S&P 500 fell 0.2% last week as some investors took the chips off into the year-end. The 30-stock Dow eked out a 0.1% gain for the same period.
Profit-taking could ramp up in the final week of the year, which has so far seen surprisingly strong returns. The S&P 500 has gained 14.6% year to date, while the Dow has climbed 5.8%. The Nasdaq has soared 42.7% this year as investors favored high-growth technology names during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Dr. Anthony Fauci warned on Sunday that the country could see a surge in new Covid-19 infections after Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. Two vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna have begun the distribution process this month. So far over one million people in the U.S. have been vaccinated.