Dow, S&P futures gain on hopes of progress in stimulus talks

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(Reuters) – Futures tracking the S&P 500 and the Dow edged higher on Friday, as investors anticipated progress in bipartisan talks over the next coronavirus aid bill ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday there was progress in negotiations with the White House, but Senate Republicans remained skeptical of a possible deal costing trillions of dollars.

Uncertainly over the timeline of the relief legislature has been weighing on Wall Street’s major indexes, which were set to end a choppy week slightly lower.

Meanwhile, a record 47 million Americans cast ballots, eclipsing total early voting from the 2016 election. President Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden debated on Thursday for the last time to persuade the few remaining undecided voters 12 days before their contest.

At 06:24 a.m. ET, Dow E-minis <1YMcv1> were up 0.31% at 28,352 points, S&P 500 E-minis rose 0.17% to 3,455 points. Nasdaq 100 E-minis fell 0.07% to 11,643 points.

Third-quarter earnings season chugged along with 126 S&P firms having reported so far. About 84% of them have topped quarterly profit estimates, according to Refinitiv data.

Chipmaker Intel Corp (O:INTC) tumbled nearly 10% in premarket trading after it reported that margins fell as consumers bought cheaper laptops and pandemic-stricken businesses and governments clamped down on data center spending.

Gilead Sciences Inc (O:GILD) jumped 5.8% as its antiviral drug remdesivir became the first and only drug approved for treating patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in the United States.

Apple Inc (O:AAPL) edged 0.3% higher as two of its latest iPhone 12 models went on sale in China on Friday.