U.S. equity index futures opened down about 0.2 percent on Sunday after U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday introduced immigration curbs that sparked a backlash in the United States and abroad. Trump put a 120-day hold on allowing refugees into the country, an indefinite ban on refugees from Syria and a 90-day bar on citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Several countries including long-standing American allies criticized the measures as discriminatory and divisive.
“Stocks may react negatively for two reasons,” said David Kotok, chairman and chief investment officer of Cumberland Advisors. “First the market has gone up strongly since the election. So it is ripe for a correction and is extended in valuation metrics.”
“For these current market prices to be justified, the Trump agenda must unfold perfectly,” Kotok said. “But the reverse is under way and fragmented policy combined with obfuscation is now a growing detriment to growth acceleration.”
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S&P were last down 0.3 percent as electronic trading kicked off for the week at 6 p.m. EST (2300 GMT). Dow and Nasdaq futures were also down about 0.2 percent each. The weakness in stocks came as safe-haven Treasuries opened fractionally stronger. U.S. 10-year Treasury futures were last up about 0.01 percent on Sunday evening in electronic trading.
The U.S. dollar weakened slightly against the euro and yen, and the U.S. Dollar Index was lower by about 0.1 percent. Oil prices also slipped at the open, with U.S. crude oil futures trading 0.4 percent lower.