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U.S. Futures Down 150 Pts; Covid Cases and Lockdowns Up

U.S. stocks will open lower on Tuesday, as investors weigh the rising numbers of Covid-19 cases. They are considering the associated lockdowns with a vaccine rollout and potential fiscal stimulus.  

The Dow Futures contract fell 150 points, or 0.5% at 7:15 AM ET (1205 GMT). S&P 500 Futures traded 20 points, or 0.6%, lower. Moreover, Nasdaq 100 Futures dropped 46 points, or 0.4%. 

In November, investors raised from the rapid progress of the global rollout of Covid-19 vaccines. 

The number of U.S. coronavirus cases, however, is rapidly approaching 15 million. Record infections were sweeping across many states, and hospitalizations were rising by over 1,000 a day. 

This has led California, the most populous U.S. state, to impose strict measures. It has also led to a string of renewed lockdowns.

The U.K. started vaccinating its people on early Tuesday with the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 injection. On Thursday, the U.S. FDA is to vote on emergency-use authorization for this vaccine. As early as Friday, initial vaccinations could get underway

To explain plans for vaccine distribution, the White House is holding a summit on Tuesday.

President Trump plans to sign an executive order to ensure that the American people are given priority access. This follows reports that the government declined when Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) offered to sell more vaccine doses to the US.

In other news, lawmakers in the U.S. will pass a one-week spending bill to keep the government running. It’s providing more time for them to come to a consensus over a Covid-19 relief package.

Stocks on the Move 

Earnings figures of companies like AutoZone (NYSE:AZO), Chewy (NYSE:CHWY), and GameStop (NYSE:GME) are due. Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) stock sold off premarket after announcing its plans to sell an additional 5 million shares from “time to time”.

In particular, economic data will be in the form of nonfarm productivity. It is expected to rise by 4.9% for Q3, in line with the gain in Q2.

Oil prices slipped on Tuesday as traders looked to balance positions after recent gains. Lockdown fears translated directly into fears about demand.

Data due from the American Petroleum Institute (API) later Tuesday are expected to show that U.S. crude stocks fell last week. Data from the U.S. government on Wednesday are also expected to show the same stock movements.

Meanwhile, in precious metals, gold futures rose 0.1% to $1,867.70/oz. In forex, EUR/USD traded 0.1% higher at 1.2121.

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