This post was originally published on this site

Stocks held their ground neat the break-even line early Tuesday as investors braced themselves for the first presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.

Wall Street also has its eyes on the prospects of a fresh stimulus package to support the economy as it recovers from the coronavirus pandemic. House Democrats released a $2.2 trillion stimulus package late Monday and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to speak with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Tuesday. But as attention shifts to appointing a new Supreme Court justice and the coming election, approval of a stimulus bill appears unlikely.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 36 points, or 0.1%—matching the decline in S&P 500 futures. Nasdaq Composite futures were down by 0.3%. The price of oil fell, with both West Texas Intermediate crude and Brent crude down by 0.7%.

Nikola (ticker: NKLA) shares fell 4.2% in premarket trading. The stock has been volatile since short selling firm Hindenburg Research issued a research report on the electric-vehicle maker, alleging it misled investors. Chairman Trevor Milton left the company last week and has since been accused of sexual abuse by two women, according to complaints filed with Utah authorities, CNBC reported late Monday. An attorney for Milton denied those claims to CNBC.

McCormick & Company (MKC) shares slid 1.1% even though the company reported strong third-quarter results as people continue to eat at home. The company also announced a 2-for-1 stock split.

Big Lots (BIG) shares climbed 6.9% after management announced a strong outlook for its third quarter. Comparable-store sales are estimated to climb by a percentage in the midteens.

Write to Carleton English at carleton.english@dowjones.com