A pedestrian passes in front of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, June 3, 2020.
Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Stocks futures were slightly lower in early trading on Thursday, following a steep market sell-off triggered by intensifying worries about the rising number of coronavirus cases.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 130 points, or 0.5%, implying an opening loss of 53 points. S&P 500 futures dipped 0.4% and Nasdaq-100 futures were marginally lower.
More than 45,000 new coronavirus cases were confirmed on Wednesday, a record that surpassed the previous April 26 peak by over 9,000 cases, according to an NBC News tally. States such as Texas, Florida, California and Arizona have all seen major spikes. New York, New Jersey and Connecticut also ordered visitors from certain hotspot states to quarantine for 14 days.
This resurgence led Apple to re-close some stores in Houston, where intensive-care unit beds are near capacity. It also prompted Disney to delay the reopening of its California-based parks beyond July 17.
The negative headlines sent the market into a downward spiral on Wednesday. The Dow dropped about 700 points, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq fell 2.5% and 2.1%, respectively. All three benchmarks posted their worst day since June 11. The tech-heavy Nasdaq also snapped an eight-day winning streak.
“The market has been optimistic that the economy is re-opening and that life would get somewhat back to normal, but the virus may have other ideas,” Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer at Independent Advisor Alliance, said in an email. “The market has again gotten caught up in the crossfire of increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases, trade protectionism and politics.”
The Trump administration is considering new tariffs on $3.1 billion exports from France, Germany, Spain and the U.K., according to a notice from the U.S. Trade Representative released Tuesday evening. The new duties on olives, beer, gin and trucks can be up to 100%.
Investors will monitor the latest weekly jobless claims data on Thursday at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected a total of 1.35 million first-time claims for unemployment insurance for the week ending June 20, which would be a decline from 1.508 million for the week prior. Weekly jobless claims have stayed above 1 million for 13 weeks as the pandemic roiled the labor market.
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