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US pre-open: Futures point to mixed trading as global Covid-19 cases top 713,000

By Iain Gilbert

Date: Monday 30 Mar 2020

US pre-open: Futures point to mixed trading as global Covid-19 cases top 713,000

(Sharecast News) - Wall Street futures were pointing to a mixed open on Monday as confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the US continued to rise over the weekend.
As of 1210 BST, Dow futures were down 0.15%, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures had the indices opening 0.08% and 0.19% firmer, respectively.

The Dow closed 915.39 points lower on Friday despite the US House of Representatives voting in favour of an approximately $2.2trn economic relief package following a late bout of selling.

The deal will include business loans, increased unemployment benefits and government payments of $1,200 to adults and $500 per child, making it the largest stimulus package in US history.

Dow futures initially pointed to gains but a sharp downturn in oil prices pushed the blue-chip index into the red. West Texas Intermediate prices were down 4.70% at $20.50 per barrel, while Brent Crude was 7.58% lower at $23.04 a barrel.

In terms of the outbreak, the total count of global Covid-19 cases hit more than 713,000, raising uncertainty regarding as to when lockdown and quarantine measures would be removed and the US economy can return to normal.

On Sunday, Donald Trump also seemingly accepted the scientific reality that it would be impossible to turn the ride of the outbreak before Easter and extended social distancing guidelines until 30 April.

The President also predicted the death toll in the US, which doubled from Thursday to Sunday, would peak within two weeks but stated that the country could reach "the bottom of the hill" by 1 June.

Governors of at least 21 US states closed "non-essential businesses" over the weekend and implored resident to stay at home.

On the macro front, pending homes sales data for February was due out at 1400 BST, while the Dallas Fed's Manufacturing Index for March was scheduled for release at 1430 BST.

No major corporate results were set for release on Monday.

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