Stock futures pointed to a higher open to kick off Monday as improving stimulus prospects helped at least temporarily outweigh concerns over still-rising coronavirus cases in the U.S.

Contracts on the Dow added more than 200 points, or 0.7%, and those on the Nasdaq outperformed with a more than 1% jump, as tech stocks advanced. Netflix (NFLX) shares gained nearly 2% in the pre-market session a day before the company’s quarterly earnings date, and shares of peer Big Tech names Apple (AAPL) and Amazon (AMZN) also outperformed.

Lawmakers over the weekend delivered remarks that helped stoke optimism that a last-ditch effort to pass legislation for more virus-relief aid would come about before Election Day on Nov. 3. In comments to reporters in Nevada on Sunday, President Donald Trump said he wanted “a bigger number” than House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has requested, after House Democrats voted to advance a $2.2 trillion package earlier this month. The remarks suggested Trump would back a proposal larger than the $1.8 trillion sum he had last put forward last week.

Pelosi, for her part, set a Tuesday deadline for reaching a stimulus agreement with the Trump administration before the election. She and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the key negotiators in working toward a deal, continued with discussions over the weekend, and are poised to speak again on Monday, Treasury spokesperson Monica Crowley said on Twitter. Pelosi’s spokesperson Drew Hammill said that during the weekend talks, “While there was some encouraging news on testing, there remains work to do to ensure there is a comprehensive testing plan that includes contact tracing” and other measures to address the impact on the virus on different communities.

With lawmakers continuing to engage over stimulus, traders at least temporarily turned their attention from the still-dire virus situation in the U.S. The nation’s new COVID-19 cases came in at more than 57,000 on Saturday, according to Johns Hopkins data. This marked an improvement from the more than 69,000 cases reported on Friday – the highest one-day sum since late July – but also represented a fifth consecutive day that new virus cases topped 50,000. States in the South and Midwest have most recently been the hardest hit by new cases.

7:20 a.m. ET Monday: Stock futures point higher

Here were the main moves in markets, as of 7:20 a.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,491.75, up 29.5 points or 0.85%

  • Dow futures (YM=F): 28,616.00, up 208 points or 0.73%

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 11,922.75, up 124.75 points or 1.06%

  • Crude (CL=F): -$0.16 (-0.39%) to $40.72 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): +$10.10 (+0.53%) to $1,916.50 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): +3.5 bps to yield 0.779%

A nearly empty trading floor is seen as preparations are made for the return to trading at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., May 22, 2020. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

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