Futures tumble as stimulus doubts resurface

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures fell 1% on Friday as delays over a new fiscal stimulus package and surging coronavirus infections dented sentiment even as regulators moved toward emergency use authorization of a COVID-19 vaccine.

FILE PHOTO: A man wears a protective mask as he walks past the New York Stock Exchange on the corner of Wall and Broad streets during the coronavirus outbreak in New York City, New York, U.S., March 13, 2020. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

With fresh business restrictions in many states and a jump in weekly jobless claims, investors are counting on more fiscal relief to sustain a nascent economic recovery.

But an agreement remains elusive and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday raised the possibility of negotiations dragging on through Christmas.

Cyclical stocks, which stand to benefit from an economic recovery, led declines in premarket trading on Friday, with energy, industrial and financial sectors all lower.

Major banks Wells Fargo & Co and JPMorgan Chase & Co slid more than 1%, while industrial bellwethers Boeing Co and 3M Co fell 1.6% and 0.9%, respectively.

The benchmark S&P 500 and the blue-chip Dow were set to snap a two-week winning streak as volatility jumped to its highest in almost a month.

At 06:29 a.m. ET, Dow E-minis were down 270 points, or 0.89%, S&P 500 E-minis were down 37.5 points, or 1.02%, and Nasdaq 100 E-minis were down 125.75 points, or 0.98%.

Global stock markets were also subdued after scaling record highs earlier this week as the UK became the first country in the world to begin a mass COVID-19 vaccination program.

A panel of outside advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday voted overwhelmingly to endorse emergency use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, sending shares of the drugmaker up 1.9% in premarket trading.

Mastercard dropped 1.4% after the UK Supreme Court gave the green light for a $18.5 billion class action against the company for allegedly overcharging more than 46 million people in Britain over a 15-year period.

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