Futures jump as higher oil prices boost energy stocks

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures rose on Wednesday following a pullback on Wall Street in the previous session, as resilient fuel demand drove up oil prices, while investors remained on edge due to a stalemate over the next coronavirus federal aid bill.

Energy stocks Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) gained 1.1% and Chevron Corp (CVX.N) added 1.5% in premarket trading.

Republicans and Democrats have been deadlocked over the fifth coronavirus relief bill even as U.S. cases crossed 5 million. Differences have centered around issues such as unemployment benefits and aid to state and local governments.

The S&P 500 and Dow snapped seven days of gains on Tuesday after the benchmark index came within 0.15% of its closing record high, powered by historic fiscal and monetary stimulus and signs of a nascent economic recovery.

The Nasdaq was the first of the three benchmark indexes to bounce back to an all-time high in June. The Dow is about 6% below its February peak.

With a better-than-feared second-quarter earnings season largely over, attention will turn to the upcoming U.S. presidential elections. Democratic candidate Joe Biden on Tuesday picked Senator Kamala Harris as his choice for vice president.

At 6:21 a.m. ET, S&P 500 e-minis EScv1 were up 0.89% at 3,359.75 points, 0.6% below the record high of 3,379 notched on Tuesday. Dow e-minis 1YMcv1 were up 291 points, or 1.05%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQcv1 were up 108.75 points, or 1%.

Among early movers, Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) rose 5.7% as it announced a five-for-one stock split in an attempt to make its shares more accessible to employees and investors.

Inflation data is on tap at 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT). The Consumer Price Index is expected to have edged up 0.3% in July, after a 0.6% rise in June.

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