Dow futures pointed to a 200 point gain at Wednesday's open after President Donald Trump late Tuesday prodded Capitol Hill to approve additional coronavirus relief in separate bills. Hours earlier, he called off stimulus talks "until after the election," knocking the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 375 points or 1.3% at Tuesday's close. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq lost 1.4% and 1.6%, respectively. Tuesday's declines wiped out much of the strong gains that were made Monday on signs of Trump's recovery from Covid-19 and what had been growing optimism over more stimulus.
2. Trump calls off stimulus talks until after election and negotiates via tweet
The whipsaw on stimulus, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were engaged in resumed talks, started Tuesday at 2:48 p.m. ET when Trump in a series of tweets directed White House officials to abandon negotiations with Democrats until after the election. He added, "Immediately after I win, we will pass a major Stimulus Bill that focuses on hardworking Americans and Small Business."
The 30-stock Dow had been up more than 200 points before those tweets. Both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq had also been higher. However, hours after the lower close, Trump took to Twitter at 9:54 p.m. ET, saying the House and Senate should approve $25 billion in airline payroll support and $135 billion for the small business Paycheck Protection Program; "fully paid for with unused funds" from the $2.2 trillion CARES Act signed into law in late March.
The president, at 10:18 p.m. ET, then tweeted he would sign a stand-alone bill to send another round of $1,200 stimulus checks directly to Americans. "Are you listening Nancy?" he asked.
In a call with Democrats earlier in the day, Pelosi questioned whether Trump's Covid-19 steroid therapy might be influencing his decision-making, according to a source. "Believe me, there are people who thought, who think that steroids have an impact on your thinking. So, I don't know," Pelosi said, according to the source.
3. Biden says next debate should be called off if Trump is still Covid-19 positive
Less than 24 hours after leaving Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Trump said Tuesday he's looking forward to next week's debate with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden as scheduled. The president has in recent days struck an upbeat and reassuring tone when discussing his health and the severity of the global pandemic.
Biden said Tuesday the planned Oct. 15 debate in Miami should be called off if Trump were still infected with Covid-19. The former vice president also called the White House coronavirus outbreak a "very serious problem." White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller was the latest official to test postive for Covid-19.
4. Pence and Harris prepare to take to the stage in only vice presidential debate
The first and only vice presidential debate is set for Wednesday night in Salt Lake City, with coronavirus mitigation measures in place, 27 days before the election. Vice President Mike Pence and Biden running-mate Sen. Kamala Harris will be more than 12 feet apart on stage and separated by Plexiglas barriers. Despite being with Trump and others last week who since tested positive, Pence has repeatedly tested negative and does not need to quarantine under CDC guidelines, according to the vice president's staff and doctors. Harris, like Biden, has also tested negative for Covid-19.
5. House Democrats say Big Tech enjoys ‘monopoly power,’ recommends big changes
After a 16-month investigation into competitive practices at Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Alphabet's Google, the House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust has released its findings and recommendations on how to reform laws to fit the digital age. The report concluded that the four tech giants enjoy monopoly power, and it suggested that Congress take up changes to antitrust laws, which could result in parts of their businesses being separated. Republicans have voiced objections to some of the bolder proposals in the report, such as imposing structural separations.
— The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.
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