Stock futures were mixed Monday morning, pointing to a muted start to the week, as market participants considered more earnings results and the potential for more virus-related stimulus measures.
Investors digested a new slate of executive orders from President Donald Trump, who sidestepped Congress in moving ahead on Saturday with actions to provide support for the virus-hit economy. The executive orders drew the ire of Democratic lawmakers, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling the actions “absurdly unconstitutional” during a CNN interview. Administration officials defended the orders, however, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin saying on Fox News that the orders were cleared by the Office of Legal Counsel.
The executive actions implement $400 weekly federal enhanced unemployment insurance benefit, relief for student borrowers, and temporary payroll tax suspension starting Sept. 1, and direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services and Director of the CDC to limit residential evictions and foreclosures. The move to quickly roll out these actions came after two weeks of talks in Congress failed to convene lawmakers around terms of a new relief bill.
“President Trump issued executive orders in the four policy areas that had been expected. The extra $400 unemployment payment is likely to last only a month, however. The payroll tax deferment would last through year-end, but consumers might be hesitant to spend extra income without a change in tax law,” Goldman Sachs economists Alec Phillips and Blake Taylor wrote in a note Sunday.
The new executive orders could, however, add pressure on Congress to come together to roll out a more comprehensive fiscal package, they added. Already late last week, Democratic lawmakers pared back the size of their proposal to and offered a plan totaling about $2 trillion, from the about $3.5 trillion they had called for earlier this year, and in doing so narrowed the fissure between their and Republican lawmakers’ $1 trillion proposal. The Trump administration struck down the offer, however, and no firm timeline for further stimulus talks among lawmakers has been set.
“We continue to expect a package worth around $1.5 trillion to become law in August,” the Goldman Sachs economists said. “The new executive orders create two deadlines around the end of the month, which could provide a new incentive for Congress to act.”
Elsewhere, earnings season continues later on Monday, with Novavax (NVAX), IAC/InteractiveCorp (IAC), Occidental Petroleum (OXY), J2Global (JCOM) and ZoomInfo Technologies (ZI) set to report quarterly results after market close.
7:34 a.m. ET: Marriott International reports swings to a bigger than expected loss, with business ‘profoundly impacted’ by pandemic
Lodging company Marriott International (MAR) reported a worse than expected 72% slide in second-quarter revenue and swung to a bigger than expected loss, as the coronavirus pandemic decimated travel demand earlier this year.
The company delivered a second quarter adjusted loss per share of 64 cents, or wider than the 42 cents expected. Revenue of $1.46 billion missed expectations for $1.63 billion.
Worldwide revenue per available room (RevPAR) fell 84.4%, comprising a drop of 83.6% in North America and 86.7% outside North America.
However, the company has begun to see signs of a recovery in travel demand, led by Greater China.
“While our business continues to be profoundly impacted by COVID-19, we are seeing steady signs of demand returning. Worldwide RevPAR has climbed steadily since its low point of down 90% for the month of April, to a decline of 70% for the month of July,” CEO Arne Sorenson said in a statement. “Worldwide occupancy rates, which bottomed at 11% for the week ended April 11, have improved each week, reaching nearly 34% for the week ended August 1. Currently, 91% of our worldwide hotels are now open compared to 74% in April, and 96% are open today in North America.
7:25 a.m. ET Monday: Stock futures struggle for direction ahead of the opening bell
Here were the main moves in markets, as of 7:25 a.m. ET:
S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,346.5, up 1.75 points, or 0.05%
Dow futures (YM=F): 27,409.00, up 76 points, or 0.28%
Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 11,116.00, down 6.75 points, or 0.06%
Crude (CL=F): +$0.58 (+1.41%) to $41.80 a barrel
Gold (GC=F): +$9.90 (+0.49%) to $2,037.90 per ounce
10-year Treasury (^TNX): -0.9 bp to yield 0.553%
6:11 p.m. ET Sunday: Stock futures open mixed
Here were the main moves in equity markets, as of 6:11 p.m. ET:
S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,343.5, down 1.25 points, or 0.04%
Dow futures (YM=F): 27,318.00, down 15 points, or 0.05%
Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 11,131.00, up 8.25 points, or 0.07%