On Tuesday dow futures pointed to a higher after Wall Street soared following U.S. President Donald Trump’s afternoon tweet that he was leaving Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday evening. He did indeed return to the White House to continue his Covid-19 treatment and recovery, easing concerns about more political uncertainty ahead of Election Day.
Investors also bought stocks on hopes that Capitol Hill can come through with an additional coronavirus stimulus package. On Monday, the Dow closed up 465 points or 1.7%, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq rose 1.8% and 2.3%, respectively. Later Tuesday morning, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell speaks at the annual meeting of the National Association for Business Economics at 10 a.m. ET.
On today’s economic calendar, the Commerce Department is out with August trade balance figures at 8:30 a.m. ET, with economists calling for a deficit of $66.2 billion compared with July’s $63.6 billion. The Labor Department issues its August Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. The so-called JOLTS is expected to show 6.5 million job openings compared to 6.6. million openings in July.
Shares of Vir Biotechnology (VIR) soared 15% in Tuesday’s premarket after Vir and partner GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) announced an expansion of their trial of an experimental antibody to treat Covid-19 after initial use by a group of volunteers did not raise any safety concerns. Shares of GlaxoSmithKline fell in the premarket after Monday’s rise.
Trump is expected on Tuesday to receive his last of a five-day course of Gilead Sciences’ antiviral drug remdesivir. The president’s physicians said Monday that Trump remains contagious and won’t be fully “out of the woods” for another week. Trump returned to a White House where the spread of coronavirus widened again Monday.
The president walked out of Walter Reed to Marine One for the short flight to the White House on Monday evening. He then walked to the White House and up the stairs to the Truman Balcony for photos without a mask. Tweeting on Monday before leaving the hospital, Trump wrote, “Don’t be afraid of Covid” and “Don’t let it dominate your life.”
Joe Biden has been stepping up his in-person campaign events, making a second trip to Florida in a little over two weeks. During a Monday evening NBC News town hall in Miami, Biden said the president, through his general refusal to wear masks and disregard for social distancing, bears responsibility for becoming infected with Covid-19.