Futures slip as virus cases surge, stimulus uncertainty weighs

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(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures weakened on Monday, as surging coronavirus cases and a stalemate in Washington over the next fiscal aid bill darkened the economic outlook in the run up to Nov. 3 presidential elections.

New infections touched record levels in the United States over the weekend with El Paso in Texas asking citizens to stay at home for the next two weeks.

Travel-related stocks that are vulnerable to COVID-19 news including American Airlines (O:AAL) and Booking Holdings Inc (O:BKNG) fell 3% and 2%, respectively, before the bell.

Wall Street’s main indexes finished last week lower as investors closely monitored talks over the next round of fiscal package, while economic data pointed at a stalling recovery.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday said the Trump administration was reviewing the latest proposal for COVID-19 relief over the weekend and that she expected a response on Monday.

Meanwhile, more than 59.1 million Americans have already voted in person or by mail as President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden enter their final full week of campaigning.

It is also one of the busiest week of third-quarter earnings season that will see results from mega-cap U.S. tech firms including Apple Inc (O:AAPL), Amazon.com Inc (O:AMZN), Google-parent Alphabet Inc (O:GOOGL) and Facebook Inc (O:FB).

Of the 135 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings so far, 83.7% of them have beaten Wall Street expectations, according to Refinitiv data.

At 06:23 a.m. ET, Dow E-minis <1YMcv1> were down 0.9% at 27,933 points and S&P 500 E-minis fell 0.91% to 3,420.25 points. Nasdaq 100 E-minis shed 0.79% at 11,571.5 points.