Futures retreat on doubts over more fiscal stimulus By Reuters

© Reuters. Traders wearing masks work, on the first day of in person trading since the closure during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on the floor at the NYSE in New York

By Devik Jain

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures fell on Friday as investors remained skeptical of more fiscal stimulus needed to shore up a domestic economy hammered by the pandemic-driven recession.

After weeks of stalemate in talks over a fifth coronavirus relief bill, a key lawmaker said on Thursday Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives were working on a $2.2 trillion package that could be voted on next week.

United Airlines Holdings (NASDAQ:) Inc, Southwest Airlines (NYSE:) Co and Alaska Air (NYSE:) Group Inc were little changed in premarket trading even as airline unions hoped further aid would be announced before the current program ends on Oct. 1.

Failure to reach a deal by then would result in another round of mass furloughs.

A clutch of downbeat macroeconomic data has weighed on Wall Street in recent weeks, with the S&P 500 on course for its fourth straight week of declines.

The benchmark index has hovered just above correction territory with investors oscillating between beaten-down technology-related shares and value-linked sectors such as industrials.

Tech mega-caps including Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:), Alphabet (NASDAQ:) Inc, Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:), Apple Inc (NASDAQ:) and Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:) headed lower after leading gains on Wall Street in the previous session.

At 6:25 a.m. ET, were down 139 points, or 0.52%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 16.25 points, or 0.50%, and were down 50.75 points, or 0.47%.

The CBOE volatility index, known as Wall Street’s fear gauge, has spiked this week and analysts have warned it could climb higher toward the end of the quarter next week as well as the Nov. 3 presidential election.

Costco Wholesale Corp (NASDAQ:) fell 2.5% as the warehouse chain recorded high coronavirus-related costs for the second straight quarter, overshadowing its better-than-expected results.

Boeing (NYSE:) Co inched higher after Europe’s chief aviation safety regulator said the planemaker’s grounded 737 MAX could receive regulatory approval to resume flying in November and enter service by the end of the year.

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