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US pre-open: Futures point to further losses as coronavirus cases top 75,000

By Iain Gilbert

Date: Friday 21 Feb 2020

US pre-open: Futures point to further losses as coronavirus cases top 75,000

(Sharecast News) - US futures had stocks opening lower on Friday as new cases of the Wuhan coronavirus accelerated overnight, adding to fears that a pronounced global economic slowdown was on the horizon.
As of 1215 GMT, Dow Jones futures were down 0.34%, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures were 0.37% and 0.46% weaker, respectively.

The Dow closed 128.05 points lower on Thursday as indices dropped from the record highs seen at the end of the previous session.

China's National Health Commission reported overnight that total confirmed cases of the virus had hit 75,465 on the mainland, leading to a total of 2,236 deaths. Over 800 new cases were reported, with South Korea announcing 52 new cases, taking its total to 150.

The outbreak has already hit US companies exposed to China, such as Apple, while new data from the China Passenger Car Association revealed that automotive sales had plummeted 92% in the first two weeks of February.

AJ Bell's Russ Mould said: "While the number of new cases of coronavirus continues to slow in China, the spread outside the country is escalating and it seems the market is waking up to the impact on both individual companies and the wider economy.

"Profit warnings linked to the health crisis, as companies are either hit by slowing consumer demand in China or impact on their supply chain, are starting to trickle out with the impact on iPhone sales revealed by Apple earlier this week the most high profile of these."

On the macro front, February's preliminary composite, manufacturing and services PMIs will be posted at 1445 GMT, while existing home sales data will follow at 1500 GMT.

Federal Reserve heads Lael Brainard, Raphael Bostic and Robert Kaplan will all deliver comments throughout the course of the day.

In the corporate space, Access Bio and Escalade will both report earnings on Friday.

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