U.S. stock futures pointed to a flat open Monday as traders tried to build on the solid gains from the previous week. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 75 points, or 0.3%. S&P 500 futures traded marginally higher and Nasdaq 100 futures slipped 0.1%. Wall Street kicked off the month with a solid performance last week. The Dow jumped more than 3% last week while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite each rose more than 2%.
President Donald Trump signed several executive orders over the weekend aimed at extending relief amid the coronavirus pandemic. Those orders call for the continued the distribution of expanded unemployment benefits, deferral of student loan payments through 2020, the extension of federal protections from evictions and providing a payroll tax holiday. To be sure, the unemployment benefit will be continued at $400 per week, down from the original $600-per-week rate. Trump also said states will need to cover 25% of the unemployment benefit. Those orders come after the White House and congressional leaders failed to reach a deal on a new stimulus package last week.
China said Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are among the 11 U.S. citizens who will be sanctioned in response to sanctions imposed by the U.S. on Hong Kong and Chinese officials accused of curbing political freedoms in the city. "In response to those wrong U.S. behaviors, China has decided to impose sanctions on individuals who have behaved egregiously on Hong Kong-related issues," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian during a news conference. This is the latest escalation in U.S.-China tensions as both countries are at odds on trade and the handling of the coronavirus.
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway bought back a record $5.1 billion of its own stock during the second quarter as the coronavirus pandemic dented the company's operating profit. Berkshire repurchased more than $4.6 billion of its Class B stock and about $486.6 million in Class A shares. Despite the record-setting repurchasing activity, Berkshire's cash hoard grew to more than $140 billion. Berkshire's Class B shares rose about 0.9% in the premarket.
Shares of Kodak dropped nearly 40% in the premarket after the U.S. International Development Finance Corp. said it was investigating allegations of wrongdoing by the photography pioneer. "Recent allegations of wrongdoing raise serious concerns. We will not proceed any further unless these allegations are cleared," the agency said in a tweet. The allegations come after Kodak announced it had received a $765 million federal loan to produce drug ingredients, sending the stock skyrocketing. The loan has since been put on pause.
Correction: Trump's executive orders call for the extension of federal protections from evictions. An earlier version misstated their intention.