Stocks seek direction ahead of Trump-Biden debate

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Stock futures dipped Tuesday morning ahead of the first presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden.

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Dow futures were modestly lower, off 19 points a decline of 0.07%. Similar declines were seen in the S&P 500 and NASDAQ contracts.

DOW JUMPS 410 POINTS AS TECH, FINANCIALS PACE GAINS

The declines came after strong gains on Monday, with the three major indices all rising more than 1.5% but the rally likely won't be enough to reverse what is on pace to be a down month for U.S. stocks as September winds down.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES27584.06+410.10+1.51%
SP500S&P 5003351.6+53.14+1.61%
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX11117.525026+203.96+1.87%

The debate, being moderated by Fox News' Chris Wallace, will focus on a number of topics, including the coronavirus pandemic, the economy and racial unrest in the country.

Late Monday night, deaths associated with the COVID-19 pandemic surpassed 1 million globally, including 200,000 in the U.S.

Separately on Monday, Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi unveiled a $2.2 trillion stimulus bill to help the economy which has been negatively impacted by the pandemic. The relief package is intended to "avert catastrophe for schools, small businesses, restaurants, performance spaces, airline workers and others."

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
AMZNAMAZON.COM INC.3,174.05+78.92+2.55%

In corporate news, Amazon unveiled its latest attempt to take on the mobile payments market, with Amazon One. The technology, first rolling out in Amazon's home market of Seattle, will use palm recognition technology to turn people's hands into a credit card.

The news comes one day after the Jeff Bezos-led company officially announced its annual “Prime Day” shopping event, set to start to Oct. 13.

Papa Johns reported strong September sales with a jump of 18.4% for North American shops.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
PZZAPAPA JOHNS INTL83.42+1.78+2.18%

Japanese telecom company NTT announced a $40 billion merger for the remaining portion of NTT DoCoMo that it does not already own, according to Reuters.

Shares of Netflix were slightly lower in early Tuesday trading after receiving some analyst action. Wells Fargo analyst Steven Cahall reiterated his Equal Weight rating and $470 price target, though Cahall noted that net additions slowed some due to the "Cuties" controversy.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
NFLXNETFLIX INC.490.65+7.77+1.61%

Conversely, LightShed analyst Rich Greenfield raised his price target on the Reed Hastings-led company to $630, citing the lack of movie competition brought on by the pandemic.

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Case-Shiller data for July rose sharply, rising 0.6%, well above the 0.2% estimate from Refinitiv. Seasonally adjusted data for the 20-city index also rise 0.6%, while year-over-year data showed a 3.9% rise, marking the fastest growth since December 2018.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
XHBSPDR SERIES TRUST SPDR S&P HOMEBUILDERS ETF53.62+1.62+3.12%

September consumer confidence data is slated to be released at 10 a.m., with investors looking for a reading of 88.5, up from 84.8 in the prior month.

European markets were also slightly lower in mid-Tuesday trading, with the FTSE 100 and DAX both declining approximately 0.6%.

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Fox News' Bradford Betz contributed to this story.

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