Stock market news live updates: Stock futures rise as lawmakers draw closer to stimulus agreement

Stock futures rose Tuesday evening as lawmakers appeared to draw closer to an agreement for another round of virus-relief measures.

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The three major indices ended the regular session higher after falling earlier in the day. The Dow and S&P 500 each reversed losses from Monday, and the Nasdaq jumped to yet another record closing high.

More upbeat developments on a stimulus package helped alleviate concerns over economic fallout that might emerge as COVID-19 cases surge and trigger more lockdowns. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement on Twitter that he offered a new $916 billion proposal to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), which he said “includes money for state and local governments and robust liability protections for businesses, schools and universities.” Last week, a bipartisan group of lawmakers had unveiled a stimulus outline worth about $908 billion.

Earlier, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Tuesday suggested that lawmakers would be remiss to depart Washington later this month without advancing another package of virus relief funds.

“I think it’s the view shared by literally everybody on both sides of the aisle, that we can’t leave without doing a COVID bill,” McConnell said during a news conference on Tuesday. “The country needs it.”

Meanwhile,Pfizer (PFE) and BioNTech’s (BNTX) COVID-19 vaccine inched closer toward approval. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration released data from the companies’ clinical trials on Tuesday, which reaffirmed that the inoculation was effective within approximately 10 days of the first dose, and offered strong protection regardless of a volunteer’s age, weight or race.

Though traders are still awaiting final confirmation that another stimulus package will get done and a vaccine roll-out will go smoothly, many have begun anxiously looking for another catalyst for markets.

“The market is gasping and grasping for some new leadership signal. Vaccines, virus, stimulus, spending are all rather well priced into the market. People have different expectations, but they’re pretty much there as knowns in the marketplace,” George Ball, Sanders Morris Harris CEO, told Yahoo Finance on Tuesday. “I think the next move, especially if you’re a trader, is probably greed. And there’s a greed catalyst out there that I think is very influential.”

Three other factors could push the markets higher as well, he added.

“One is that there’s going to be a good deal of spending, and it’s likely to be in infrastructure first before anything else, but that’s going to be a major economic stimulus for the markets,” he said. “The second factor that isn’t there yet is an intangible, and it is the evidence that President-elect Biden is using unification as his primary theme. Unification is good for psychology.”

“And the third is that people, and particularly the younger ‘do-it-yourselfers,’ the Robinhood traders, are discovering individual equities as a place of interest. Part of it is speculative, part of it is interest, and they’re a bigger and bigger factor in the market and tend to be on the bull side as opposed to the contrary.”

Looking ahead to later this week, traders on Wednesday will see the first of two highly valued companies hit the public exchanges. Shares of food delivery company DoorDash are set to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange in the morning. CNBC reported that DoorDash priced its initial public offering Tuesday evening at $102 per share to raise nearly $3.4 billion. The company last Friday raised the range for its stock offering to between $90 and $95 per share, up from its previous range of $75 to $85 per share.

Home-sharing software company Airbnb is set to price its initial public offering on Wednesday, and shares will begin trading publicly on the Nasdaq on Thursday.

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6:07 p.m. ET Tuesday: Stock futures point higher

Here were the main moves in markets, as of 6:07 p.m. ET Tuesday:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,708.25, up 6.25 points or 0.17%

  • Dow futures (YM=F): 30,211.00, up 41 points or 0.14%

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 12,657.00, up 19.5 points or 0.15%

© Provided by Yahoo! Finance NEW YORK, USA – NOVEMBER 30: New York Stock Exchange building is seen decorated for Christmas at the Financial District in New York City, United States on November 30, 2020. New York is ranked as one of the largest International Financial Centres (“IFC”) in the world, now seen so quiet due the Covid-19 pandemic. (Photo by Tayfun Cokun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

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