Stock futures hugged the flat line Tuesday morning as market participants considered a pared-down stimulus proposal from congressional lawmakers, and awaited the outcome of the first presidential debate later this evening. A host of economic data reports later Tuesday and this week also loomed.

The muted moves contrasted with US stocks’ sharp rally on Monday, following four straight weekly losses in the broader market. Contracts on the S&P 500 ticked up ahead of the opening bell, after the index posted its biggest one-day gain in more than two weeks earlier in the day. The rally was broad-based and led by the energy and financials sectors – the laggards for the year to date.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="“We’re a little oversold, believe it or not. Last week, we saw some real panic in the stock market. People were really liquidating everything,”&nbsp;Chris Vermeulen, TheTechnicalTraders.com founder and chief market strategist, told Yahoo Finance on Monday. “And I think finally people kind of put aside the pessimism from last week … now people are kind of stepping back in hoping the market is going to find the bottom here and rally.”” data-reactid=”18″>“We’re a little oversold, believe it or not. Last week, we saw some real panic in the stock market. People were really liquidating everything,” Chris Vermeulen, TheTechnicalTraders.com founder and chief market strategist, told Yahoo Finance on Monday. “And I think finally people kind of put aside the pessimism from last week … now people are kind of stepping back in hoping the market is going to find the bottom here and rally.”

Stimulus developments from lawmakers offered hope that Congress might make a last-minute move to pass further fiscal stimulus legislation before the November elections, nudging stocks in the reopening trade higher Tuesday morning. Shares of Planet Fitness, Marriott, American Airlines, and Carnival Cruise Lines each extended gains in early trading, after closing higher on Monday.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Still, House Democrats’ newly announced $2.2 trillion package – a big step down from the more than $3 trillion they had sought earlier – leaves a chasm between their offer and the around $1 trillion Republican lawmakers have suggested would be their ceiling on a stimulus plan sum. That has left many economists and policy pundits skeptical that a deal could be passed in the near-term – leaving a potential for markets to be disappointed on that front in the coming month. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are set to hold phone conversations today over virus relief.” data-reactid=”20″>Still, House Democrats’ newly announced $2.2 trillion package – a big step down from the more than $3 trillion they had sought earlier – leaves a chasm between their offer and the around $1 trillion Republican lawmakers have suggested would be their ceiling on a stimulus plan sum. That has left many economists and policy pundits skeptical that a deal could be passed in the near-term – leaving a potential for markets to be disappointed on that front in the coming month. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are set to hold phone conversations today over virus relief.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Elsewhere, market participants on Tuesday will be closely watching the first of three debates ahead of the presidential election, with President Donald Trump set to face former Vice President Joe Biden in Cleveland, Ohio for a 90 minute session starting at 9 p.m. ET. Topics set to be discussed include the records of Trump and Biden, the Supreme Court, Covid-19, the economy, race and civil unrest, and election integrity, the nonpartisan&nbsp;Commission on Presidential Debates announced last week.” data-reactid=”21″>Elsewhere, market participants on Tuesday will be closely watching the first of three debates ahead of the presidential election, with President Donald Trump set to face former Vice President Joe Biden in Cleveland, Ohio for a 90 minute session starting at 9 p.m. ET. Topics set to be discussed include the records of Trump and Biden, the Supreme Court, Covid-19, the economy, race and civil unrest, and election integrity, the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates announced last week.

While the debate itself will not likely serve as a platform for the candidates to announce new planned policies that could impact markets, it will give market participants an opportunity to fine-tune their views on which candidate might have a better chance of winning the White House.

“Debates rarely launch new policy initiatives. The spin after the debate is what matters,” UBS economist Paul Donovan said in a note Tuesday morning. “Polarization means that committed supporters will not change their views, and the number of undecided voters is lower than four years ago—but still large enough to affect the election outcome.”

7:29 a.m. ET Tuesday: Stock futures point to a mixed open

Here were the main moves in markets as of 7:29 a.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,348.25, up 2.25 points or 0.07%

  • Dow futures (YM=F): 27,500.00, up 18 points or 0.07%

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 11,386.00, down 8.75 points or 0.08%

  • Crude (CL=F): -$0.27 (-0.64%) to $40.33 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): +$11.40 (+0.61%) to $1,893.70 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): -0.7 bps to yield 0.654%

6:11 p.m. ET Monday: Stock futures open higher

Here were the main moves in equity markets, as of 6:11 p.m. ET Monday:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,349.25, up 3.25 points or 0.1%

  • Dow futures (YM=F): 27,517.00, up 35 points or 0.13%

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 11,394.5, flat

Trading specialists glance at each other as they prepare to leave the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, March 26, 2009. Stocks rose on Thursday, with the Nasdaq turning positive for the year, as a batch economic data that was not as dire as expected fed optimism the economy's worst days were behind it. REUTERS/Chip East (UNITED STATES BUSINESS)Trading specialists glance at each other as they prepare to leave the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, March 26, 2009. Stocks rose on Thursday, with the Nasdaq turning positive for the year, as a batch economic data that was not as dire as expected fed optimism the economy's worst days were behind it. REUTERS/Chip East (UNITED STATES BUSINESS)
Trading specialists glance at each other as they prepare to leave the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. REUTERS/Chip East (UNITED STATES BUSINESS)

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