Dow futures were pointing to an over 350 point drop at Friday's open following President Donald Trump's early morning tweet that he and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for Covid-19. Dow futures were indicating losses of 500 points immediately after the 12:54 a.m. ET tweet. Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, moved higher. The 10-year Treasury yield dropped to around 0.66%. Wall Street started October with gains Thursday after a rough September, the first monthly loss since March.
On Friday's economic calendar, the Labor Department issues at 8:30 a.m. ET its September employment figures, the last monthly jobs report from the government before Election Day on Nov. 3. The U.S. economy is expected to have generated 800,000 new nonfarm jobs last month after an addition of 1.37 million positions in August. The nation's September unemployment rate is seen falling to 8.2% from 8.4%, according to Dow Jones.
2. White House physician expects Trump to 'continue carrying out his duties' while recovering
The president and first lady are "both well" at the moment, according to a statement from White House physician Dr. Sean Conley, released shortly after the president's tweet. Conley also wrote that he expects Trump to "continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering." The statement also said the president and first lady plan to remain "within the White House during their convalescence." The announcement came hours after the president said he would begin a quarantine process after top aide Hope Hicks tested positive for coronavirus.
Trump is scheduled to appear at the second presidential debate with Democratic nominee Joe Biden on Oct. 15 — 13 days after he revealed his diagnosis. During their first debate Tuesday night, the president, generally eschewing mask-wearing and downplaying the virus, mocked Biden for wearing masks.
According to CDC guidelines, people should stay home and quarantine for 14 days if they might have been exposed to the virus. The Brookings Institution, in a research note, wrote that Trump's "age and obesity put him into higher risk categories for more serious symptoms" of Covid-19. The president is 74. The first lady is 50.
3. Vice president, then House speaker next in line to run the country
If he were to become unable to carry out his duties as president, power would transfer to Vice President Mike Pence under Section 3 of the 25th Amendment, which was adopted in 1967 after the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Pence would become acting president, although Trump would remain in office and could regain power. The speaker of the House, in this case Democrat Nancy Pelosi, is next in the U.S. succession plan followed by the Senate president pro tempore, Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa.
4. House passes $2.2 trillion Democratic coronavirus stimulus plan
The House passed a $2.2 trillion Democratic coronavirus stimulus plan Thursday night even as Democrats and the Trump administration struggle to strike a relief deal. In a 214-207 vote, 18 Democrats voted against the measure as lawmakers in competitive districts grow wary of the ongoing impasse over aid. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has opposed the legislation as his caucus resists spending trillions more on the federal response to the pandemic. The House vote followed a Thursday conversation between Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in which they did not forge an aid agreement but agreed to continue talks.
5. Amazon says nearly 20,000 workers tested positive for Covid-19
Amazon on Thursday released comprehensive data into the spread of the coronavirus among its employees, disclosing for the first time that more than 19,000 workers, or 1.44% of the total, contracted the virus. Between March 1 and Sept. 19, Amazon counted 19,816 presumed or confirmed Covid-19 cases across its roughly 1.37 million Amazon and Whole Foods Market front-line employees across the U.S. Amazon previously declined to share the data, saying it would be misleading and lacked context. In Thursday's blog post, the company urged other companies to release such data. "Wide availability of data would allow us to benchmark our progress and share best practices across businesses and industries," the company wrote.
— The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.
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