Futures Slide On Lack Of Stimulus Deal Progress, Vaccine Disappointment

Global markets dropped for a second day and US equity futures fell as optimism that a fiscal stimulus deal would quickly pass in Congress fizzled and as investor focused on a rise in coronavirus infections and ever tougher lockdowns threaten to shutdown year-end holidays. A $5 billion "at the market" equity offering announcement by TSLA pushed futures to session lows.

At 7:20 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 148 points, or 0.5%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 19.50 points, or 0.52%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 45.5 points, or 0.38%. Among individual stocks,  Stitch Fix surged 36% pre-market after reporting fiscal first-quarter profit and revenue that beat analyst estimates for the heavily-shorted personal-styling company. Tesla (TSLA) fell 2.8% premarket after it unveiled plans to raise up to $5 billion in a Goldman-led stock offering, just days after Goldman (GS) upgraded the stock from Neutral to Buy.

"You saw more than a slight moderation to the S&P 500, and the Dow, but you’re still looking at these markets at record highs," said Tom Piotrowski, a market analyst with CommSec. "It’s a matter of looking out for what the next catalyst is for these markets."

In Europe, travel, retail and health care stocks led declines following a slump in Asia after Hong Kong announced it would start implementing some of its strictest social distancing measures since the pandemic began. The Stoxx 600 dropped 0.5%, with CAC 40 the regional underperformer. German sentiment, as measured by ZEW expectations survey, posted a modest rebound even as current conditions continued its slump deeper into negative territory.

Earlier in the session, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares ex-Japan narrowed its losses from early trade, but was still down 0.07% as anxiety over the coronavirus pandemic capped sentiment. Among Asia’s top markets, Australian shares closed higher for a sixth straight session, lifted by data showing an improvement in business sentiment. The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.2% to 6,687.7, adding about 3% in the past six sessions. However, Japan’s Nikkei 225 dipped 0.22% and Seoul’s Kospi lost 1.53%. Chinese blue-chips were down -0.2% with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng sliding 0.8%, as Sino-U.S. tensions continued to weigh on the market.

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