Traders work on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
U.S. stock futures barely changed after a record meeting on Sunday night as Wall Street searched for evidence of additional tax subsidies.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures traded only 17 points or less than 0.1% lower. The S&P 500 was flat and the Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.2%.
The key averages posted intraday and closing highs on Friday, with the Dow hitting more than 200 points. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite gained 0.9% and 0.7%, respectively.
Those gains came even after disappointing US employment data was released. The Department of Labor reported that 245,000 were created in November. Economists polled by Dow Jones had forecast 440,000 more in the past month.
Ed Yardeni, president and chief investment strategist at Yardeni Research, wrote the job report was "not too bad" as most of the slowdown in the labor market last month came from government agencies.
"The clear message is that while the labor market recovery has lagged the overall GDP recovery, both continued to lose ground during the lockdown recession in March and April," added Yardeni.
The disappointing pressure also gave stocks a boost by raising expectations for a new stimulus package to be passed before the end of the year.
In a tweet on Friday, Chuck Schumer, chairman of the Senate minority, said the report "shows that the need for strong, urgent relief is more important than ever." President-elect Joe Biden also said the data suggests a "dark winter".
Those comments followed a bipartisan group of senators who tabled a $ 908 billion aid proposal early last week. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell suspended the move initially, but a spokeswoman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi later said she and McConnell were discussing their "joint commitment to an omnibus (expense account) and COVID relief as soon as possible possible to finish ".
"At this point in time, the market is anticipating additional stimulus of at least several hundred billion dollars in 2020," Adam Crisafulli, founder of Vital Knowledge, said in a note. But "while Washington has had a tailwind in late November and early December as fiscal progress has been faster than expected, the whole issue is becoming more neutral (and potentially a headwind if Congress does not meet investor expectations)." "
Legislators had been in a stalemate over additional tax subsidies for months prior to last week and raised concerns about the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the Johns Hopkins University, more than 14 million Covid-19 cases and over 282,000 coronavirus-related deaths have been confirmed in the United States. Hospital stays have also reached record levels in the USA. The rising number of coronavirus cases has prompted some states and cities to put in place stricter social distancing measures to contain the outbreak.
"Renewed lockdowns in response to the third wave of the pandemic are likely to weigh on the economy in the coming months, but we don't expect a double decline," Yardeni said. "The economy could boom next spring if enough of us get vaccinated against the virus."
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