Stocks flat as Wall Street aims for third monthly advance

The United States stock futures fell on Sunday night as Wall Street was set to kick off June trading on a sour note after consecutive monthly gains.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures traded 217 points lower, or 0.9 per cent. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures slid 0.9 per cent each.

Dampening market sentiment in early trading were disappointing trial results from Pfizer for a breast cancer drug. The company made the announcement Friday evening, sending its stock down more than 6 per cent in after-hours trading.

The S&P 500 and Dow each gained at least three per cent last week while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.8 per cent to close out May.

Those gains were propelled by increasing bets by traders that the global economy will successfully reopen after the coronavirus forces a shutdown of most economic activity.

Last week’s gains led the major averages to their first back-to-back monthly advances since late 2019. The Dow and S&P 500 gained 4.3 per cent and 4.5 per cent, respectively, for May while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 6.8%.

“The main downside risk facing stocks is a second wave of the disease,” said Peter Berezin, chief global strategist at BCA Research, in a note to clients. “If fears of a new outbreak were to escalate, risk assets would suffer.”

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