Investing.com – U.S. stocks are set to open higher Thursday, amid increased confidence policymakers will come up with a compromise stimulus deal to help stimulate the country’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic hit.
The major U.S. cash indices closed higher Wednesday, but September was the first losing month on Wall Street since March. That said, the third quarter was still a positive one, and looking ahead, seven of the last 10 Octobers have seen the markets push higher.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are set to resume discussions Thursday on a potential new pandemic relief package, after holding their first in-person talks since August on Wednesday.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the two are agreed that the package should contain a new round of stimulus checks for households, which analysts see as key to sustaining consumer spending.
“The need for economic stimuli has become very apparent in large U.S. companies such as Disney and several U.S. airlines, which have now embarked on extensive firing rounds,” analysts at Danske Bank wrote, in a research note.
New cases of Covid-19 rose in 27 out of 50 U.S. states in September compared with August, led by an increase of 111% in Wisconsin, according to a Reuters analysis.
On the data slate, eyes will focus on the weekly initial jobless claims data, at 8:30 AM ET (1230 GMT), especially after Wednesday’s better than expected ADP private payrolls number and ahead of Friday’s official employment data, the last such release before the general election.
In corporate news, earnings are due from home goods retailer Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY)and wine and spirits maker Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ), while the banking sector will be in focus with the Federal Reserve set to curb big bank capital distributions through the end of the year. Airlines are also set to start laying off workers this month without any additional federal support.
Oil prices drifted lower Thursday, handing back some of the previous session’s gains on the back of U.S. stockpiles falling 2 million barrels last week, defying trade expectations for a build.