(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures slipped on Friday after a sharp rally pushed the S&P 500 up more than 7% this week, with investors betting on a divided Congress that would prevent any major industry policy changes and threaten corporate profits.
The outcome of the election remained undecided, but Democrat Joe Biden was moving closer to securing the 270 votes in the state-by-state Electoral College that determines the winner.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump launched an extraordinary assault on the country’s democratic process from the White House on Thursday, falsely claiming the election was being “stolen” from him.
Matt Sherwood, head of investment strategy at Perpetual in Sydney, said markets had already moved to price in a Biden presidency and a divided Congress.
“We can get all of the good things about a Biden presidency, such as stable leadership and foreign policy, without any of the bad things from the far left of his party, such as taxation,” he said.
The benchmark S&P 500 is on course for its best week since April after rallying for four straight days, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq has jumped 6.5% since the Nov. 3 election as the prospect of the policy gridlock in Washington eased worries about tighter regulations on Big Tech.
At 1:54 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 131 points, or 0.46%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 20 points, or 0.57%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 118.5 points, or 0.98%.
Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani and Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Tom Westbrook in Singapore; Editing by Bernard Orr