U.S. stocks set for negative start in new trading week as coronavirus stimulus bill stalls


Stock futures sharply lower

U.S. stock futures pointed to a sharply lower open Monday, after the Senate failed to pass a $2 trillion stimulus package that aims to weather the economic crisis arising out of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Senate Democrats blocked the bill on Sunday evening, arguing it was too generous to corporations and would not do enough to help workers and health care providers. However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said a second procedural vote would be held at 9:45 a.m. ET Monday.

By 5:30 a.m. ET, the blue-chip Dow futures were down 649 points, or about 3.41% to 18,391. The S&P 500 futures dropped 76.75 points, or around 3.35% to 2,211.75 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures gave away 195.25 points, or roughly 2.8% to 6,773.75.

In commodities, U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 26 cents, or around 1.15%, at $22.37 per barrel. International Brent crude oil futures were at $25.50 a barrel, down $1.48, or about 5.49%.

U.S. coronavirus cases spike

The deadly novel coronavirus, which first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year, has infected nearly 343,500 people and killed over 14,700 worldwide, according to data compiled by John Hopkins University.

Although new cases of the virus have slowed dramatically in China, the dangers the U.S. and to Europe have increased exponentially. The U.S. now has more than 400 deaths and more than 33,000 cases, with New York City becoming the new epicenter of the virus in the country.

In Italy and Spain, the situation was particularly sad over the weekend after the number of fatalities jumped sharply. Globally, some 98,000 people have recovered, mostly in China.

Airbnb mulls raising capital from new investors after racking up losses; IPO plan in disarray

Airbnb is considering a funding round, according to a report on the Wall Street Journal, to offset “hundreds of millions of dollars in losses this year” because of the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, said the pandemic has also thrown the home-sharing giant’s plans to go public this year into disarray. According to the report, Airbnb has “$4 billion in liquidity” and is “focused with our board on ways we can help our community weather this crisis.”