Inventory futures open flat, deal with stimulus negotiations

U.S. stock futures were unchanged on Wednesday night as traders kept an eye on Washington for clues about the prospect of additional tax aid.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose just 13 points, or 0.04%. The futures on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 also rose marginally.

Earlier in the day, the convention leaders finalized a $ 900 stimulus package that would include direct payments to individuals.

A deal this size would be "big enough to bridge the economic divide for small businesses and the hardest hit industries to the other side, considering the pandemic could almost be over by the second quarter of 2021," wrote Tom Essaye , Founder of The Sevens Report.

However, the move would exclude corporate liability protection and support from state and local governments, CNBC confirmed. Disagreements on these issues were a stumbling block in the last round of negotiations.

Wall Street had a mixed session with the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite rising while the Dow posted a small loss.

These moves came after the Federal Reserve pledged to continue buying bonds until the economic recovery was over. Fed chairman Jerome Powell also said the central bank would increase its bond purchases if the recovery slows.

Gregory Faranello, head of US interest rate trading at AmeriVet Securities, said US monetary policy is likely to remain simple for a while.

"They feel like there are still disinflationary forces around the world to grapple with and they are realistic about their timeframe and their ability to meet their 2% inflation target," Faranello said. "This is useful if this topic [prices] remains lower for a longer period of time."

On Thursday, investors will be prepared for the release of weekly unemployment claims data and the latest US housing start-up numbers. These data releases follow a disappointing retail report that kept investor sentiment in check on Wednesday.

The trade department said retail sales were down 1.1% in November. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected a decline of 0.3%.

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