5 things to know before the stock market opens Monday

Dow futures were pointing to a 350 point gain at Monday's open, which would add to Friday's 350 point, or 1.3%, advance for the 30-stock average as tech shares bounced. The S&P 500 was up 1.6%. The Nasdaq was the real winner Friday, up nearly 2.7%. Monday could see less trading volume than normal due to the Yom Kippur holiday.

The Dow and S&P 500, however, were lower for the fourth straight week. But the Nasdaq broke a three-week losing streak. With three days left in September, all three benchmarks were pacing for their first monthly losses since March, which saw the market plunge to coronavirus lows on March 23. As of Friday's close, the Dow and S&P 500 were both off about 8% from their record highs. The Nasdaq was off nearly 9.5% from its record high.

However, timing is everything in investing — for the third quarter, the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq recorded strong gains, and the Dow and S&P 500 were each up about 50% since that late March Covid-19 bottom while the Nasdaq was up nearly 65% over the same time period.

2. Global coronavirus deaths near 1 million

As cumulative global Covid-19 deaths approach 1 million, many European nations are experiencing a spike in new cases and many American states are as well. In fact, several states in the Midwest are seeing surges in positive coronavirus test rates. For example, North Dakota's positive test rate averaged 30% over the past seven days compared to 6% in the prior period.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday said she believes that another coronavirus stimulus package is possible as House Democrats try to forge ahead on a smaller aid package costing about $2.4 trillion. That price tag is roughly $1 trillion less than their initial proposal but about $1 trillion more than what the Trump administration has signaled it will accept. Stimulus negotiations stalled in early August.

3. Trump calls New York Times' tax report 'fake news'

President Donald Trump's businesses have hemorrhaged hundreds of millions of dollars over the last two decades, allowing him to minimize his federal income tax bill to $0 or nearly $0 for many of the years in that period, according to a bombshell report published on Sunday by The New York Times. Trump called the story "fake news" at a White House news conference. Trump has bucked the precedent followed by every major presidential contender since the 1970s by refusing to release his tax returns. The New York Times' report came just days before Tuesday's Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden meet for their first general election debate.

4. President announces nominee to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Hearings to consider Trump's nominee to fill the Supreme Court seat of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg are set to begin Oct. 12, according to Senate Judiciary Committee Lindsey Graham. The announcement from the Republican from South Carolina, a Trump ally, came hours after the president formally picked federal appeals judge Amy Coney Barrett, the third Supreme Court nomination of Trump's presidency. Barrett clerked for late Justice Antonin Scalia, who led the conservative wing of the Supreme Court before his death in 2016. If confirmed, Barrett would become the sixth conservative on the current court. With the death of Ginsburg, there are just three liberal justices.

5. U.S.-China relations strained further over tech fights

A federal judge has temporarily blocked an order from the Trump administration, which would have banned TikTok, staring Sunday, from being downloaded from U.S. app stores. The judge, however, did not halt a much broader U.S. ban set for Nov. 12, which could effectively make TikTok unusable. An offer submitted by Oracle and Walmart to take minority stakes in a newly created U.S. company TikTok Global remains stalled.

The U.S. government has reportedly imposed restrictions on exports to SMIC, the biggest Chinese chip maker. The Commerce Department claims there's "unacceptable risk" that equipment sold to SMIC may be diverted to "military end use" by the China's communist government.

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