Monday, January 22, 2018

U.S. Stock Index Futures Dip After Government Shutdown Continues

Stock investors gave a muted reaction to the second day of a U.S. government shutdown on Sunday, with U.S. stock index futures dipping only slightly on expectations that the political impasse will not hurt the U.S. economy.

Democrats and Republicans, locked in a bitter dispute over immigration, failed to agree on a last-minute deal to fund government operations, causing a shutdown at midnight on Friday. Moderate senators from both parties held talks on Sunday to try to broker a deal.

Wall Street, which had been resilient to the threat of a shutdown, rose on Friday, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq notching record closing highs. Investors shrugged off the threat last week, saying they were not worried about a major pullback in shares if U.S. lawmakers failed to strike a deal.

“These things have no near-term or midterm economic impact whatsoever,” said Michael Purves, chief global strategist and head of derivatives strategy for Weeden & Co in New York.

“They are kind of embarrassing for the United States, but it’s not really going to alter business or consumer confidence,” he said.

Purves said investors should continue to favor stocks given the relative resilience of the U.S. and global economy, and avoid buying U.S. bonds as Treasury yields are likely to climb.

Futures snapshot at 7:13 p.m. EST (0013 GMT):

* S&P 500 e-minis EScv1 were down 4.75 points, or 0.17 percent, with 17,910 contracts changing hands.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQcv1 were down 13.25 points, or 0.19 percent, in volume of 4,519 contracts.

* Dow e-minis 1YMcv1 were down 51 points, or 0.2 percent, with 3,972 contracts changing hands.

* Benchmark 10-year note futures TYv1 last fell 5/32 in price.


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