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October 23, 2020
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U.S. stock futures mostly flat after Monday’s rally

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U.S. stock futures were little changed on Monday evening ahead of the first presidential debate on Tuesday. 

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 25 points, or 0.1%. Futures for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite were nearly flat. 

The quiet move in futures follows a solid start to the week for stocks during Monday’s session, with the Dow rising 410 points, or 1.5%. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq rose 1.6% and 1.9%, respectively. 

Monday’s rally set up the market to snap losing streaks. The Dow and the S&P 500 have fallen for four consecutive weeks. The Nasdaq Composite managed to break its own three-week streak with a 1% gain last week.

The climb for stocks came after mixed news about the coronavirus response over the weekend. On the bullish side for the market, Florida lifted capacity restrictions on restaurants and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she believed another relief bill was still on the table

However, cases in the U.S. continued to rise once again, with Dr. Anthony Fauci saying on Monday that the U.S. is “not in a good place” as colder weather approaches. 

Political news is poised to potentially be a major driver of market news this week, with the first debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden set for Tuesday night. Some Wall Street analysts believe the first debate of this cycle could be more consequential for the markets than most debates, with a clear victory by one candidate possibly creating significant market moves. 

Before the debate kicks off, investors will get a close look at the state of the semiconductor industry when Micron reports its fiscal fourth quarter results after the bell. The stock gained 1.2% on Monday despite receiving a “negative catalyst watch” from Citi.

Don’t miss CNBC and Institutional Investor’s Delivering Alpha conference on September 30, featuring Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Alibaba’s Joseph Tsai, Vista Equity Partners’ Robert Smith, J.P. Morgan’s Mary Callahan Erdoes, Inclusive Capital’s Jeff Ubben and more.

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