Stock market news live updates: Stock futures open flat to slightly higher

Stock futures began the overnight session slightly higher Wednesday evening ahead of the final trading day of the holiday-shortened week.

On Thursday, the U.S. stock market will close early at 1 p.m., and the bond market will close at 2 p.m. in observation of Christmas Eve. Both the stock and bond markets will close all day on Friday for Christmas Day.

During the regular session Wednesday, the S&P 500 and Dow ended higher, while the Nasdaq touched a record intraday high before closing slightly lower. Traders largely shrugged off a new roadblock to Congress’s $900 billion stimulus package, as President Donald Trump said he wanted the bill to be amended to include larger direct checks to Americans, among other concerns. The House of Representatives is poised to put the revision on stimulus checks up for a vote on Thursday.

On Wednesday, Trump also vetoed Congress’s annual bill setting policy for the Department of Defense, citing concerns including the fact that it did not include provisions rolling back legal protections for online companies like Facebook (FB) and Twitter (TWTR). However, the bill had passed both chambers with veto-proof majorities, setting up Congress to override Trump’s veto of the $740 billion bill.

Some more positive economic data out Wednesday helped traders look through the year-end disputes in Washington. New jobless claims fell for the first time in three weeks last week, and the number of Americans joining the longer-term federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program ticked lower.

Other data was less upbeat: Personal spending fell for the first time since April in November, the Commerce Department said Wednesday, and personal income dropped far more than expected. While this may drag down fourth-quarter consumption, many believe the arrival of more stimulus will help provide an at least temporary floor to income and spending, once funds are distributed again to businesses and individuals.

6:01 p.m. ET Wednesday: Stock futures open flat to slightly higher

Here were the main moves in markets, as of 6:01 p.m. ET Wednesday

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,683.75, up 2.25 points or 0.06%

  • Dow futures (YM=F): 30,072.00, up 38 points or 0.13%

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 12,659.25, up 8 points or 0.06%

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