Stock futures rise as S&P 500 tries to build on last week’s gains and reach all-time high

Traders work during the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on March 17, 2020 at Wall Street in New York City.

Johannes Eisele | AFP | Getty Images

U.S. stock futures rose on Sunday night after Wall Street logged in its third consecutive weekly gain, but fell short of breaking the all-time high set on Feb. 19.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up by 56 points, or 0.2%. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures also traded higher by 0.2% each. 

The S&P 500 climbed 0.6% last week and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.1%. The Dow gained 1.8% last week.

Despite those gains, the S&P 500 failed to notch a fresh record high after flirting with the milestone for most of last week. Through Friday’s close, the S&P 500 was just 0.6% below 3,393.52, the intraday record set in February.

“The S&P 500 is overbought into key resistance and up against seasonal headwinds,” Ari Wald, head of technical analysis at Oppenheimer, said in a note to clients. But should the market “consolidate from here, we’ll be monitoring for an accumulation of cyclical equities to confirm what we expect to be a breakout to a new high.”

Wall Street also grappled with lingering concerns over stalled coronavirus stimulus negotiations and simmering U.S.-China tensions.

Both Democrats and Republicans have indicated they are at a stalemate over a new stimulus package. Democrats have proposed to send more than $900 billion to states and municipalities in one bill. A counteroffer from the GOP did not include any additional aid for states and local governments.

On Friday, President Donald Trump tweeted: “I am ready to send more money to States and Local governments to save jobs for Police, Fire Fighters, First Responders, and Teachers. DEMOCRATS ARE HOLDING THIS UP!”

On the U.S.-China front, Trump issued an executive order on Friday forcing ByteDance to sell or spin off its U.S. TikTok business in 90 days. Trump cited “credible evidence” that ByteDance “might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States.”

Trump’s order came as the relationship between both countries continues to deteriorate. The U.S. has criticized China over its initial handling of the coronavirus outbreak.

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