Here’s the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:
1. Stock futures little changed after another S&P 500 record
The reluctance to commit on Wall Street reflected the uncertainty around a new coronavirus stimulus bill from a bipartisan group of senators. Investors are also watching the bond market, where the 10-year Treasury yield was approaching 1% in recent days.
2. Jobless claims expected to remain stubbornly high
A man wearing a face mask as a preventive measure walks past the New York State Department of Labor in Flushing, Borough of Queens, New York.
John Nacion | LightRocket | Getty Images
The Labor Department is set to release its weekly look at jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expect 780,000 new filings for unemployment benefits for the week ending Nov. 28, roughly unchanged from the prior week. Ahead of Friday’s release of the government’s November employment report, Wednesday’s monthly ADP report on private sector jobs showed that a fewer-than-expected 307,000 new positions were added at U.S. companies last month, the slowest pace since July.
3. Pelosi, Schumer back $900 billion stimulus plan as a starting point
U.S. Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speak to reporters about the 2020 U.S. presidential election results and the continuing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic during a news conference at the U.S.Capitol in Washington, U.S., November 12, 2020.
Hannah Mackay | Reuters
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are urging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to reconsider and use the $908 billion bipartisan Covid-19 stimulus plan as the basis for relief talks. In a joint statement Wednesday, the Democratic leaders endorsed the more narrow approach. In the past, they sought a bill more than twice as big. McConnell quickly shot down the bipartisan plan after it was released Tuesday. He wants a relief bill of only half the size.
4. More than 100,000 people hospitalized with Covid-19
A patient Care Technician speaks with a patient, a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) positive patient, as she lays on an emergency room bed at Roseland Community Hospital on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois
Shannon Stapelton | Reuters
The Johns Hopkins University coronavirus tracker showed yet another increase in reported Covid-19 case and death counts for Wednesday. Both figures have been generally trending higher and higher for weeks. As of Wednesday, a record of more than 100,000 people were hospitalized with Covid-19. The current number of hospitalized patients underscores the scope and severity of the current spike in outbreak in the U.S.
5. CDC director fears 450,000 coronavirus deaths by February
People line up for coronavirus tests, as the pandemic continues, in Los Angeles, California, U.S., December 1, 2020.
Lucy Nicholson | Reuters
The director of the CDC is also painting a bleak picture. Dr. Robert Redfield said Wednesday that about 90% of hospitals in the country are in “hot zones and the red zones” on capacity. He also said he feared that deaths from Covid-19 could reach 450,000 by February. Total U.S. coronavirus fatalities were 273,847 as of Thursday morning.
Los Angeles is nearing “a devastating tipping point” in the fight against the coronavirus, Democratic Mayor Eric Garcetti said Wednesday. He ordered residents of America’s second-largest city to stay in their homes and avoid social gatherings in new lockdown measures.
— The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.