Dow futures fall 110 points as confirmed coronavirus cases jump

U.S. stock index futures fell on Friday after the number of new coronavirus cases escalated, fueling worries over a pronounced global economic slowdown.

Around 8:34 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were down about 115 points, indicating a decline of more than 140 points. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures also declined.


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China’s National Health Commission reported more than 75,00 confirmed cases and over 2,000 deaths on the mainland. More than 800 new cases were reported in China overnight. South Korea reported 52 new cases on Thursday to take its total to 150.

“Even if the outbreak recedes, global growth is still set to fall to zero in the first quarter, before bouncing back over the remainder of the year,” Peter Berezin, chief global strategist at BCA Research, said in a note. “Thus, a near-term hit to corporate earnings now looks unavoidable.”

The spread of the virus is already taking its toll on the Chinese economy. Data from the China Passenger Car Association showed auto sales plummeted by 92% in the first two weeks of February. Some U.S. companies, including Apple, have also warned this week about

U.S. stocks are coming off a negative session driven by a sudden midday sell-off which confounded traders and brought markets back from previous record highs. The Dow also notched its fourth decline in five sessions.

“Markets had their first real ‘shot across the bow’ in a few weeks time, with a sudden swift pullback to multi-day lows, which was severe enough to cause some rapid buying of volatility,” said Mark Newton, managing member at Newton Advisors. “Yet breadth was never down that much even at the height of intraday losses, and ended up positive on the day.”

Traders will also monitor February flash manufacturing and services PMI (Purchasing Managers’ Index) readings due at 9:45 a.m. ET on Friday, while January existing home sales figures are expected at 10 a.m. ET.

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