Dow futures pointed to pared gains at Tuesday's open after the Dow Jones Industrial Average led a huge down day on Wall Street as new daily coronavirus cases spiked and talks between Democrats and the White House on reaching a fiscal stimulus deal before Election Day stalled once again. The final votes in the 2020 presidential race will be cast in exactly one week.
The Dow on Monday sank 650 points, or nearly 2.3%, closing below 28,000 in its biggest one-day drop since Sept. 3. The 30-stock blue chip average had plunged as much as 965 points, or 3.4%, during Monday's session. The government on Tuesday said September durable goods orders rose a much stronger-than-expected 1.9%. Estimates had called for just a 0.5% increase.
A busy week of earnings releases started Tuesday morning, with three Dow stocks, 3M, Caterpillar and Merck, as well as JetBlue, Pfizer and Eli Lilly, out before the bell. Microsoft, also one of the 30 Dow components, reports quarterly results after the closing bell.
A government study of Eli Lilly's antibody drug for people hospitalized with Covid-19 ended early. The study was paused two weeks ago due to a possible safety issue. But on Monday, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which sponsored the study, said a closer look did not verify a safety problem but found a low chance of benefit. President Donald Trump's Covid-19 was treated with a similar experimental, two-antibody drug from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.
The seven-day average of new daily coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached a record of 69,967. With the fall holidays of Halloween and Thanksgiving approaching, the U.S. has now established its third peak of daily new cases with no signs of letting up. The seven-day average was up more than 20% compared with a week ago, according to a CNBC analysis of Johns Hopkins University data. Last Friday, new Covid cases in the U.S. hit a single-day all-time high of 83,757. Saturday's infections nearly matched that level.
Amy Coney Barrett, the president's pick to replace the late liberal justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, is expected to start work Tuesday as the newest member of the Supreme Court. The conservative 48-year-old federal appeals court judge was confirmed by the full Senate on Monday in a largely partisan 52-48 vote. She later took the first of two required oaths at an event at White House. Chief Justice John Roberts will administer the second oath Tuesday in a private ceremony. Barrett's elevation to the nation's highest court, which Democrats unsuccessfully fought to postpone until after the election, cements the conservative majority at 6-3.
With seven days to go until Election Day, Joe Biden is pushing into states that Trump had once been expected to win again. Biden on Tuesday goes to Georgia, which hasn't backed a Democrat for president since 1992. Later in the week, the Democratic presidential nominee travels to Iowa, a state Trump won by 10 points in 2016. Biden's running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, has stops in Arizona and Texas, where Republicans haven't lost any statewide office since 1994. Trump is staying focused on blue states that he flipped in 2016 such as Michigan and Pennsylvania. He returns to Wisconsin on Tuesday, hitting West Salem just three days after holding a rally in Janesville.
— The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report. Follow all the developments on Wall Street in real-time with CNBC's live markets blog. Get the latest on the pandemic with our coronavirus blog.