Stock futures rise sharply
U.S. stock futures rose sharply on Wednesday after Senate leaders and White House officials reached an agreement on a roughly $2 trillion stimulus package aimed at providing a boost to the coronavirus-ravaged economy.
“Ladies and gentleman, we are done. We have a deal,” White House legislative affairs director Eric Ueland announced right before 1:00 a.m. ET from the floor of the Senate. A swift vote in the Senate could occur by midday today.
The package will inject approximately $2 trillion into the U.S. economy, providing four months expanded unemployment benefits, tax rebates, and business tax-relief provisions to shore up business, family and individual finances.
Around 5:30 a.m. ET, the blue-chip Dow futures surged 795.5 points, or 3.86% to 21,403.5. The S&P 500 futures rallied 59.12 points, or 2.42% to 2,497.12 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a gain of 197.63 points, or 2.62% to 7,752.38.
Facebook warns that coronavirus is hurting its ad business
The COVID-19 pandemic is “adversely” affecting Facebook (NASDAQ: FB)’s operations, despite a rise in engagement on some of its platforms such as Messenger and WhatsApp in places hit hardest by the virus.
The social media giant said in a blog post late Tuesday, saying it is seeing a “weakening” in its advertising business in countries taking aggressive measures to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“Our business is being adversely affected like so many others around the world. We don’t monetize many of the services where we’re seeing increased engagement, and we’ve seen a weakening in our ads business in countries taking aggressive actions to reduce the spread of Covid-19,” the company said.
As of this writing, Facebook stock was down 1.32% to $158.86 in Wednesday’s premarket session.
Oil rebound continues ahead of EIA report
Oil prices also kept crawling back from their recent sharp losses on Wednesday, supported by last night’s $2 trillion stimulus package agreed on between the Senate leaders and the Trump administration.
By 5:30 a.m. ET, International Brent crude oil futures were at $27.44 per barrel, up 29 cents, or about 1.07%. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 65 cents, or around 2.71%, at $24.66 a barrel.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration is scheduled to publish its official weekly oil stockpiles report at 10:30 a.m. ET. Analysts polled by Reuters expect the report to show that crude stockpiles built for a ninth straight week, while inventories of refined products declined, with gasoline set to drop for the eighth consecutive week.