Dow’s future shrinks as coronavirus case numbers jump

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Stock index futures indicated a weaker opening on Thursday, as US stocks are on the verge of pulling out of record territory after China reports a surge in COVID-19-related cases and deaths.

What do the main indexes do?

Dow Jones Industrial Average Futures

YMH20, -0.60%

were down 177 points, or 0.6%, to 29,348, while the S&P 500 futures

ESH20, -0.60%

fell 14 points, or 0.6%, to 3,360. Nasdaq-100 Futures

NQH20, -0.81%

down 77 points, or 0.8%, to 9,549.50.

On Wednesday, the three main benchmarks posted records. The Dow

DJIA, + 0.94%

up 275.08 points or 0.9%, ending at 29,551.42, while the S&P 500

SPX, + 0.65%

gained 21.70 points, or 0.7%, to finish at 3,379.45. The Nasdaq composite index

COMP + 0.90%

closed at 9,725.96, a gain of 87.02 points, or 0.9%.

What drives the market?

China reported 254 new virus deaths in the past 24 hours on Thursday, while the number of new cases jumped 15,152 after the government implemented a new diagnostic method in Hubei Province, hard affected. The new numbers have brought the total number of deaths from the epidemic to 1,362, while the total number of confirmed cases has risen to 59,804.

"Until now, the financial markets have been resolutely ignoring the coronavirus problem with traders, focusing instead on sufficient central liquidity that has pushed US markets to record levels," said Boris Schlossberg, chief strategy officer for FX at BK Asset Management, in a note.

"But hopium cannot last that long and the harsh reality of the impact of the virus is finally starting to cause minimal concern among investors," he said.

Haven assets were up. Gold futures have gained ground and Treasury yields, which move in the opposite direction of price, have fallen.

The economic calendar presents weekly jobless claims at 8:30 am Eastern time. Economists polled by MarketWatch, on average, expect demand for the first time to reach 211,000 in the week ended February 8, up from 202,000 the week before.

In addition, the January consumer price index is also expected at 8:30 am, economists looking for a 0.2% increase in the number of titles and basic reading, which eliminates the volatility of food prices and energy.

On Capitol Hill, a pair of President Donald Trump's candidates - Judith Shelton and Christopher Waller - for the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve will be subject to scrutiny by the Senate Banking Committee.

See: Judy Shelton, a choice of Trump's Fed, faces scrutiny from the Senate

Which companies are focused
  • Cisco Systems Inc. stock CSCO, + 1.63%

    fell 4.7% in premarket trade after releasing profit and second quarter earnings slightly above Wall Street forecasts on Wednesday.

  • PepsiCo Inc. DYNAMISM, + 0.00%

    posted a sharp drop in revenues and fourth quarter revenues exceeded expectations, while increasing its dividend by 7%.

  • MGM Resorts International MGM, + 2.90%

    The stock was down 4.6% after the hotel and casino operator announced on Wednesday evening that chief executive Jim Murren will step down after the expiration of his contract. The company also released fourth quarter results which disappointed with the results.

  • Actions of Bloom Energy Corp. TO BE, + 3.67%

    were down 23% in after-hours stocks after the company announced on Wednesday evening that it would restate its financial statements for more than three years due to calculation errors.

  • Tesla Inc. stock TSLA, -0.92%

    slipped 5.8% in pre-market trade after the automaker announced on Thursday that it plans to offer about $ 2 billion in common stock as part of a contract.

  • YETI Holdings Inc. stock YETI, + 1.43%

    On Thursday, the rally increased 2.1%.

  • Southwest Airlines Co. LUV + 0.95%

    said Thursday he will extend the deadlineBoeing Co.'S

    BA, + 0.89%

    737 MAX aircraft are removed from flight schedules until August 10 from June 6.

  • HSBC Holdings HSBC, + 0.92%

    HSBA, -1.38%

    is considering a potential merger of two of its largest divisions.

  • American International Group Inc. AIG, -0.35%

    switched to fourth quarter profit which exceeded expectations.

  • Ralph Lauren Corp. RL + 2.76%

    says fiscal year 2020 sales could be $ 55-70 million affected by the new coronavirus outbreak.

What are other markets doing?

Oil prices are falling. The price of a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil for delivery in March

CLH20, -0.20%

rose 21 cents, or 0.4%, to $ 50.96 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In precious metals, gold for delivery in April

GCJ20, + 0.36%

up 0.3% to $ 1,576.90 an ounce on Comex.

The US dollar

DXY, -0.06%

was down 0.1% 0.2% from a basket of half a dozen currency rivals.

US government bonds rebounded, pushing yields down, with the 10-year benchmark rate

TMUBMUSD10Y, -1.35%

down 4 basis points to 1.59%. Bond prices rise as yields fall.

In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600

SXXP, -0.54%

paid 0.7%. The FTSE 100

FTSE -0.50%

1.5% lower.

In Asia overnight, the China CSI 300

000300, -0.62%

Shanghai composite index fell 0.6%

SHCOMP, -0.71%

fell 0.7%, and the Hang Seng Index

HSI, -0.34%

closed down 0.3%. NIKKEI 225 Index of Japan

NIK -0.14%

slipped 0.1%.

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