Stock futures rise as recovery hopes offset virus fears

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures edged higher on Friday as investors bet on more official stimulus to drive a post-pandemic economic revival, even as COVID-19 cases saw another record rise at home.

BlackRock Inc, the world’s largest asset manager, rose 1.8% in premarket trading after reporting a jump in quarterly profit as investors poured money into its fixed-income funds and cash management services.

As the second-quarter earnings season gets underway, investors are looking for clues on the path of recovery for Corporate America. Unprecedented stimulus measures and improving economic data have helped the S&P 500 rise to within 5% of its February record high.

Investors are also hoping for more fiscal support, as a program that offers additional weekly $600 checks for the unemployed ends this month, leaving millions of gig workers and self employed among others without an income.

The S&P 500 and the Dow have risen so far this week after promising data on a COVID-19 vaccine helped investors look past a record-breaking increase in coronavirus cases in the United States.

The Nasdaq, in contrast, is down about 1.4% since last Friday’s record closing high as investors rotated out of technology stocks and moved into cyclical sectors.

At 6:34 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 79 points, or 0.3%. S&P 500 e-minis were up 14 points, or 0.44% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 106.5 points, or 1.01%.

Netflix Inc shed 6.7% in premarket trading after it forecast its subscriber growth during the coronavirus pandemic would slow even more than Wall Street expected during the third quarter.

United Airlines rose 1.5% after saying it has reached an agreement with its pilots’ union on two different packages aimed at reducing involuntary furloughs in the fall and keeping pilots at the ready once coronavirus-hit demand starts to pick up.

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