Dow futures pointed to a 350 point decline at Monday's open after daily Covid-19 cases hit a record high Friday of 83,757. New infections on Saturday nearly matched that level. Cases are also spiking in Europe, with various degrees of restrictions going back into effect. Stocks were mixed on Friday, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 snapped three-week winning streaks and Nasdaq broke its four weeks of gains. It's a busy week ahead on Wall Street.
Federal appeals judge Amy Coney Barrett is expected to be confirmed by the Senate on Monday as a justice on the Supreme Court, bringing an end to the Democrats' fight to prevent the vote until after the Nov. 3 election. The 48-year-old judge is set to fill the seat of the late liberal powerhouse Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, solidifying the court's conservative edge to 6-3. Senate Democratic leaders are asking Vice President Mike Pence to stay away from presiding over Monday's session due to potential health risks after his aides tested positive for Covid-19. Pence's tie-breaking vote is not expected to be needed.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she expects to hear from the White House on Monday on updated language on a coronavirus relief measure. Pelosi and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on CNN on Sunday accused each other of moving the goal posts in stimulus talks that have been off and on over the past several months. Both sides are trying to reach a deal before the Nov. 3 election. Meadows also said, "We're not going to control the pandemic ... because it is a contagious virus just like the flu." Pelosi said, "To do anything, though, that does not crush the virus is really official malfeasance."
In addition to two days each in excess of 83,700 new coronavirus cases in the U.S., infections grew by 5% or more over the past week in 37 states as of Friday, according to a CNBC analysis of Johns Hopkins data. A weekly average evens out fluctuations in daily reporting. Some states, including California and Alabama, have been working through a backlog of tests that were added to Friday's record count. The nation is reporting roughly 63,200 daily new cases based on a weekly average, a more than 14% increase compared with a week ago.
U.K. pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca said Monday its potential Covid-19 vaccine produced a similar immune response in older and younger adults. Adverse responses to the vaccine among the elderly, the age group at highest risk from the coronavirus, were also found to be lower, said AstraZeneca, which is developing the vaccine in collaboration with Oxford University. Drugmakers and research centers are scrambling to deliver a safe and effective vaccine to combat Covid, which has infected nearly 43.2 million people and claimed more than 1.15 million lives worldwide. The U.S. accounts for almost 20% of all global cases and deaths.
— The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.