Oct 23 (Reuters) - Wall Street’s main indexes were set for a higher open on Friday, with investors anticipating progress in bipartisan talks over the next coronavirus aid bill as the Nov. 3 presidential election gets closer.
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows late on Thursday said that negotiations with lawmakers on a coronavirus relief package, now totaling $1.9 trillion, have entered a new phase with congressional committee chairs meeting and the two sides trading technical language.
“The stimulus talks are continuing so the market is happy about that even though we probably won’t get anything done before the election,” said Thomas Hayes, managing member at Great Hill Capital LLC in New York.
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday there was progress in negotiations with the White House, but Senate Republicans remained skeptical of a possible deal costing trillions of dollars.
Uncertainly over the timeline of the relief legislature has been weighing on Wall Street’s major indexes, which were set to end a choppy week slightly lower.
Meanwhile, a record 47 million Americans cast ballots, eclipsing total early voting from the 2016 election. President Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden debated on Thursday for the last time to persuade the few remaining undecided voters 12 days before their contest.
Heading into the debate, Trump trailed former vice president Biden in national polls, but the contest is much tighter in some battleground states where the election will likely be decided.
At 08:08 a.m. ET, Dow E-minis were up 0.31% at 28,355 points, S&P 500 E-minis rose 0.28% to 3,458.75 points and Nasdaq 100 E-minis gained 0.19% to 11,673.5 points.
Third-quarter earnings season chugged along with 126 S&P 500 firms having reported so far. About 84% of them have topped quarterly profit estimates, according to Refinitiv data.
Chipmaker Intel Corp tumbled nearly 10% in premarket trading after it reported that margins fell as consumers bought cheaper laptops and pandemic-stricken businesses and governments clamped down on data center spending.
Gilead Sciences Inc jumped 4% as its antiviral drug remdesivir became the first and only drug approved for treating patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in the United States.
American Express Co dropped 2.8% as it missed third-quarter profit estimates after its customers spent less during the COVID-19 fueled economic slowdown and it set aside money for potential payment defaults.
(Reporting by Medha Singh and Shivani Kumaresan in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur, Bernard Orr)