U.S. Stock Futures Point Higher, Senate Proposes Funding Bill, Hollywood Writers Vote to End Strike

U.S. Stock Futures Point Higher, Senate Proposes Funding Bill, Hollywood Writers Vote to End Strike

© Reuters.

Investing.com – U.S. stock futures pointed higher, suggesting a rebound in Wall Street’s major indexes after a day of declines on Tuesday. At the same time, the U.S. Senate moved forward with a bipartisan deal to avert a government shutdown that is days away, and the Hollywood Writers Guild voted to end a decades-long strike.

1. Futures rose

U.S. stock futures edged higher on Wednesday, pointing to a rebound in stocks after a selloff in the previous session caused by investor concerns about a prolonged period of interest rate hikes.

As of 05:07 ET (0907 GMT), the Dow contract was up 103 points, or 0.3%, while S&P 500 futures were up 18 points, or 0.4%, and up 61 points. , or by 0.4%.

Wall Street’s major indexes fell Tuesday, with the 30-stock index posting its worst day since March. New data that consumer confidence fell to a four-month low in September due to rising prices and recession fears weighed on market sentiment.

Analysts speculated that these concerns could weigh on shares of membership club Costco (:), which fell in premarket trading despite the company reporting better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue.

In other corporate earnings, Micron (NASDAQ: ) will report fiscal fourth-quarter results after the close on Wednesday, and attention will likely focus on how demand for the chipmaker’s products is fueled by a boom in the artificial intelligence sector.

2. The Senate proposed a bill to provide temporary funding before the deadline.

The US Senate has voted to begin debating a bill that would provide short-term government funding and avert a looming federal shutdown, although the bill is likely to face significant opposition in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

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The Senate bill would fund the government through Nov. 17 and provide billions of dollars for Ukraine aid and disaster relief.

At the same time, the House has moved forward with its own plans to pass a series of conservative-backed bills that are unlikely to gain much support in the Democratic-majority Senate. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy also said he would push the lower house of Congress to sign off on the stopgap funding measure.

The contrasting tactical decisions come as lawmakers in Washington are running out of time to avoid a government shutdown on Sunday if the funding plan is not passed. The impasse threatens to damage Wall Street’s view of the US government’s creditworthiness, and ratings agency Moody’s (NYSE: ) is particularly concerned.

3. The Hollywood Writers’ Union voted to end the strike.

Leaders of the Hollywood screenwriters union voted unanimously Wednesday to end a months-long strike, allowing union members to return to work while they negotiate a new contract.

The 11,500-member Writers Guild of America (WGA) has until October 9 to vote on the proposed 3-year deal, which includes higher wages, increased pension contributions and some protections for the use of artificial intelligence.

Film and television writers first began labor action in May after failed negotiations with major studios and streaming services such as Warner Bros Discovery (NASDAQ: ) and Netflix (NASDAQ: ).

However, this does not mean that the Hollywood entertainment industry has fully resumed normal operations. The actors’ union strike is still ongoing, although there is hope that negotiations will resume after the WGA strike ends.

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4. Trump will speak to auto workers in Michigan after Biden’s visit

Former US President Donald Trump will address auto workers in Michigan on Wednesday as he seeks to drum up support for blue-collar workers in the crucial state ahead of the 2024 presidential election.

Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, is likely to use the speech to criticize President Joe Biden’s decision to boost the promotion of electric vehicles, which he has warned would destroy the U.S. auto industry and cost thousands of jobs.

Biden himself was in Michigan on Tuesday, making a historic trip to picket lines for striking members of the United Auto Workers union. A prominent labor leader, Biden told workers to stay on strike, adding that they should take advantage of the auto companies’ high profits. The UAW thanked Biden for his support but stopped short of endorsing his 2024 re-election bid.

The back-to-back visits highlight how important Michigan is to next year’s presidential election. Along with Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, the state played a major role in securing victories for Biden in 2020 and Trump in 2016.

5. Oil prices rose after the publication of data on US oil reserves

Oil prices rose on Wednesday as the market focused on supply shortages following the release of the latest U.S. oil inventory data ahead of the onset of winter.

American Petroleum Institute data released Tuesday showed U.S. oil inventories rose about 1.6 million barrels last week, compared with expectations for a slight decline.

However, concerns remain over low crude oil inventory levels at a major storage center in Oklahoma, adding to fears of supply shortages linked to extended production cuts by Saudi Arabia and Russia.

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Official data on US oil reserves from the Energy Information Administration will be published later on Wednesday.

By 5:08 a.m. ET, crude oil futures were trading 1.3% higher at $91.54 a barrel, while the contract was up 0.9% at $93.25.

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2023-09-27 09:28:00
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