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Futures slip after strong Wall Street rally as Biden edges closer to White House

FILE PHOTO: The statue of former U.S. President George Washington stands across the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) following Election Day in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., November 4, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures slipped on Friday after a sharp rally pushed the S&P 500 up more than 7% this week, with investors betting on a divided Congress that would prevent any major industry policy changes and threaten corporate profits.

The outcome of the election remained undecided, but Democrat Joe Biden was moving closer to securing the 270 votes in the state-by-state Electoral College that determines the winner.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump launched an extraordinary assault on the country’s democratic process from the White House on Thursday, falsely claiming the election was being “stolen” from him.

Matt Sherwood, head of investment strategy at Perpetual in Sydney, said markets had already moved to price in a Biden presidency and a divided Congress.

“We can get all of the good things about a Biden presidency, such as stable leadership and foreign policy, without any of the bad things from the far left of his party, such as taxation,” he said.

The benchmark S&P 500 .SPX is on course for its best week since April after rallying for four straight days, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq .IXIC has jumped 6.5% since the Nov. 3 election as the prospect of the policy gridlock in Washington eased worries about tighter regulations on Big Tech.

At 1:54 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis 1YMcv1 were down 131 points, or 0.46%, S&P 500 e-minis EScv1 were down 20 points, or 0.57%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQcv1 were down 118.5 points, or 0.98%.

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