Wall Street stock futures were indicating a higher open Wednesday ahead of the House's likely vote to impeach President Donald Trump. Investors don't seem to be too bothered by impeachment. On Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq logged more record high closes. However, shares of FedEx were set to open 7% lower after the delivery giant reported late Tuesday quarterly earnings and revenue that missed estimates. FedEx also lowered its guidance for the rest of its fiscal year. The company blamed weakening global economic conditions and the loss of business from "a large customer," presumably Amazon.
The Democratic-controlled House needs just a simple majority vote to impeach Trump. He would be the third president in history to be formally impeached. The expected House approval of two impeachment articles, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, would move the process to the GOP-led Senate for a trial. The Senate would need a two-thirds majority to remove the president, and that's unlikely to happen. On Tuesday, Trump sent House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a raging, six-page letter in which he tore into the impeachment process, calling it an "illegal, partisan attempted coup." The impeachment charges arose from concerns about Trump's withholding of congressionally mandated military aid for Ukraine and his request to Ukraine's president to announce a corruption investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden.
According to a new CNBC All-America Economic Survey, the nation is evenly divided on whether Trump should be impeached, but about 1 in 5 people are either open to changing their mind or are unsure. The poll of 800 Americans nationwide found that 45% disapprove of Congress impeaching Trump and 44% approve, a split that's little changed from September. However, the poll shows a massive partisan split, with 78% Democratic support for impeachment and 83% Republican opposition. Independents disapprove of impeachment 46%-41%.
The House, a day before Wednesday's Trump impeachment vote, passed a $1.4 trillion government spending package, handing the president a victory on his U.S.-Mexico border fence while giving Democrats spending increases across a swath of domestic programs. The funding bill includes a provision prohibiting the sale of cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products to people under age 21. On Thursday, a day after expected impeachment, the House is set to vote on a major rewrite of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement. The House Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday cleared the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, a major Trump priority, to the full House.
Despite impending impeachment and attention paid to 2020 Democratic presidential challengers, many on Wall Street are preparing for a second term for Trump and what that might mean for economic policy. "I think if he wins reelection next year, we're going to see Trump totally unchained," Cowen policy analyst Chris Krueger told CNBC. Krueger and other Wall Street analysts said a second Trump term could bring more trade wars, a possible exit of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and new tax cuts. To be sure, a split Congress is likely to keep in check whoever wins the White House in November. Republicans are expected to keep the Senate and Democrats the House.