5 things to know before the stock market opens Monday

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1. Dow set to jump after its worst month since March

People walk by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in lower Manhattan on October 02, 2020 in New York City.
Spencer Platt | Getty Images

Dow futures bounced over 350 points Monday morning, the first trading day of November and the day before the election. The 30-stock average had its worst week and worst month since March, which saw Wall Street’s coronavirus lows late that month. Futures were lower shortly after opening Sunday night and were relatively flat overnight. They started jumping around 3:30 a.m. ET.

Futures buying after October’s swoon came despite a record 99,321 new Covid-19 infections Friday. Saturday and Sunday saw over 81,000 new cases each day. Apart from the election and the coronavirus, investors are faced with other key events this week, including the Federal Reserve‘s policy meeting and the government’s October employment report on Friday.

2. Spiking Covid-19 cases in U.S. and Europe spark new restrictions

A person walks past a COVID-19 Testing Center in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn, one of the five boroughs of New York City, on October 9, 2020.
Angela Weiss | AFP | Getty Images

Fueling Friday’s record new daily coronavirus cases, the nation’s third peak, 43 states saw infections growing by 5% or more, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. In New York, the epicenter early in the outbreak, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo said residents must get tested for Covid-19 before traveling, and again within three days of reentering the state. This new protocol replaces New York’s previous quarantine rules.

In Europe, which saw their case peaks a few weeks ahead of the U.S., British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Saturday a second national lockdown in England. Starting Thursday, nonessential businesses will close but schools will stay open for the next four weeks.

3. Biden takes a double-digit national lead into last-minute campaigning

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden speaks during a drive-in campaign rally at Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) Park on November 01, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Drew Angerer | Getty Images

In the final NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, released Sunday, Democrat Joe Biden had a 10-point national lead over President Donald Trump. A majority of voters who were surveyed approved of Trump’s handling of the economy. But a majority also disapproved of his response to the pandemic.

Biden spends election eve largely in Pennsylvania, a battleground state he leads by 4.3 points, according to the RealClearPolitics average. Pop superstar Lady Gaga joins Biden for a drive-in rally Monday evening in Pittsburgh.

Trump continues his rally blitz in swing states, including events in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and two in Michigan. The president on Monday also holds a rally in Kenosha, Wisconsin, a city that saw protests after Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, was shot in the back in front of his sons by a White police officer on Aug. 23.

4. Trump suggests he might fire Fauci ‘a little bit after the election’

President Donald Trump arrives to speak during his campaign event at Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport on November 1, 2020 in Opa Locka, Florida.
Joe Raedle | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Trump suggested early Monday that he might fire Dr. Anthony Fauci, after the nation’s top infectious disease expert further criticized the president’s handling of the coronavirus. At a late-night rally near Miami that stretched into Monday, Trump defended his response to the pandemic. The crowd started chanting “Fire Fauci!” The president said, “Don’t tell anybody, but let me wait until a little bit after the election. I appreciate the advice.” In an interview published in Saturday’s Washington Post, Fauci said the U.S. “could not possibly be positioned more poorly” on the virus heading into the fall and winter, when people will be forced to stay indoors.

5. Court fights continue over expanded voting options during the pandemic

A USPS letter carrier works outside the Cambridge City Hall Annex at the corner of Broadway and Inman Street in Cambridge, MA on Aug. 25, 2020.
Lane Turner | Boston Globe | Getty Images

A federal judge on Monday holds a hearing on drive-thru voting in Texas, one day after the state’s all-GOP supreme court denied a Republican-led petition to toss nearly 127,000 ballots cast at drive-thru places in the Houston area. Conservative activists have filed a battery of state and federal court challenges over moves to expand voting options during the pandemic.

The U.S. Postal Service must remind senior managers that they must follow its “extraordinary measures” policy and use its Express Mail Network to expedite ballots ahead of Tuesday’s presidential election, under an order signed by a federal judge Sunday. The push to get ballots delivered by election night has taken on significance because Trump has repeatedly said, without evidence, that mail voting would lead to widespread fraud.

More than 94 million ballots have been cast ahead of Election Day, over two thirds of 2016’s total turnout. That’s according to the U.S. Elections Project, a which is compiled by University of Florida political science professor Michael McDonald.

— The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this story.

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