Stocks set to open sharply lower
U.S. stock index futures were sharply lower in early trade Wednesday, signaling a negative open for Wall Street stocks, as the global coronavirus pandemic continued to weigh on risk sentiment.
As of 4:20 a.m. ET, the blue-chip Dow futures were down 833.5 points, or 4% to 20,026.5. The S&P 500 futures declined 92.12 points, or 3.71% to 2,393.38 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures dropped 330.13 points, or 4.47% to 7,062.12.
The Dow rose more than 1,000 points in the previous session after Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said that the Trump administration plans to move “immediately” to send direct cash payments to Americans as part of a $1 trillion economic package to combat the pandemic.
“We’re looking at sending cheques to Americans immediately,” Mnuchin said, adding that President Donald Trump wants the money to go out in the next two weeks.
Boeing seeks $60 billion in federal help
Meanwhile, Boeing (NYSE: BA) said on Tuesday evening that it is in favor of a massive government support package for airplane makers like itself, as the company continues to reel from the prolonged grounding of its 737 Max jet and the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Boeing supports a minimum of $60 billion in access to public and private liquidity, including loan guarantees, for the aerospace manufacturing industry. This will be one of the most important ways for airlines, airports, suppliers and manufacturers to bridge to recovery,” the company said in a statement.
President Trump has hinted that he would strongly consider a bailout for the company. “I think we have to protect Boeing. We have to absolutely help Boeing. Obviously, when the airlines aren’t doing well, then Boeing is not going to be doing well. So we’ll be helping Boeing,” Trump said at a news conference Tuesday.
Shares of Boeing lost $21.09, or 16.99% lower to $103.05 in the pre-market session Wednesday.
Biden wins three more states
In other news, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Tuesday increased his delegate lead after sweeping to easy victories in Florida, Arizona and Illinois.
The victories gave the former vice president an overwhelming lead in the race to challenge Trump in November and put more pressure on rival Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders to quit the race.
According to the Associated Press, Biden is currently ahead of Sanders in the delegate count with 1,147 delegates, compared with the senator’s 861. A candidate needs a minimum of 1,991 delegates to clinch the Democratic Party presidential nomination.