The US stock market is lurching toward a mixed open on Monday, as Dow futures continue to flash red while Wall Street’s other two major indices prepare to consolidate minor gains. Meanwhile, liberal wunderkind Beto O’Rourke just vaulted to the top of the Democratic field with a massive fundraising haul that outpaces even progressive septuagenarian Bernie Sanders.
As of 9:08 am ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures had lost 51 points or 0.2 percent. S&P 500 futures added 1 point or 0.04 percent, and Nasdaq futures slipped into the red for a loss of 2 points or 0.03 percent but continued to imply a minor opening bell gain.
On Friday, the Dow jumped 138.93 points or 0.54 percent, snapping a two-week losing streak and creeping within 155 points of 26,000. The S&P 500 rose 14 points or 0.5% to put 2,800 further in its rearview mirror and now has its sights set on 3,000. The Nasdaq outperformed its peers with a 57.62 point or 0.76 percent surge to close at 7,688.53.
This morning, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq look to add to last week’s gains, but the Dow risks sliding back into the red amid more bearish news for Boeing, whose weighting accounts for nearly 10 percent of the Dow 30.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the US Department of Transportation is investigating the Federal Aviation Administration’s approval of the Boeing 737 MAX 8, which was involved in both the March 10 Ethiopian Airlines and October 2018 Lion Air crashes. Previously, a former NASA engineer had raised questions about the FAA’s certification of the 737 MAX 8 in an exclusive interview with CCN.com.
Boeing shares were down 2.43 percent in pre-market trading.
Meanwhile, Wall Street has begun to grapple with what the 2020 Democratic primary could mean for the US stock market.
The exit of centrist Democratic stalwarts Hillary Clinton and Michael Bloomberg from the presidential fight dealt Wall Street a major blow, both because they each have a cozy relationship with the financial industry and because their absence is a symbolic acknowledgment that the Democratic party had lurched much farther to the left than anyone could have dreamed in 2016 when Bernie Sanders first exploded onto the national political scene.
As if to hammer this point home, Bernie Sanders raised a then-record $5.9 million in the 24 hours following his official campaign launch.
Sanders’ staggering fundraising haul must now be described as a then-record because it has been eclipsed by 46-year-old Democratic wunderkind Beto O’Rourke whose campaign says that he brought in $6.1 million from individual donors during the first day of his candidacy.
O’Rourke could be the last hope of the Democratic moderate, as the former Texas congressman’s voting record is decidedly centrist, perhaps in contrast to his campaign rhetoric and support for progressive policies like the Green New Deal, which Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez transformed from a fringe proposal to a progressive litmus test almost overnight.
In what is suddenly a rare occurrence among the mainstream Democratic presidential field, Beto O’Rourke also defended capitalism, telling a group of Iowa voters that it’s necessary to address the “historic challenges” the United States must overcome.
“I consider myself a capitalist,” he said. “It won’t be government intervention or policy alone that makes it possible” to address these challenges.”
That perspective seemingly places him at odds with other frontrunners including self-described socialist Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who is hanging her campaign platform on a radical proposal that the government should break up Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple, and other major tech giants.
Still, perhaps fearing the backlash over outing himself as a “capitalist” rather than a socialist like the ascendant Democratic mainstream, Beto made sure to clarify that the US is “clearly an imperfect, unfair, unjust and racist capitalist economy.”
For Wall Street bulls, that might be about the best one could expect to hear from a top-tier Democratic presidential candidate in 2019. However, the question remains: will the party of AOC and the Bernie Bros stomach a capitalist – even one with so little apparent conviction?