Wednesday February 12th


Dow set to rise more than 100 points

U.S. stock index futures rose on Wednesday morning after the S&P 500 and Nasdaq eked out fresh record closing highs in the previous session. Around 7:45 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 121 points, indicating a gain of 119 points at the open. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures also pointed to solid opening gains. Traders continue to monitor the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. As of Tuesday night, China’s National Health Commission had reported 97 additional deaths with total confirmed cases passing 44,000. However, the pace of new reported cases appears to be slowing down. “Investors showed resilience by pushing stocks back to all-time highs, especially in the US, anticipating a strong V-shaped recovery when this is over,” Eylem Senyuz, global macro strategist at SunTrust Advisory, said in a note. But “as the coronavirus continues to spread across China and the globe, much of its impact remains unknown.” Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands, two stocks tied to coronavirus worries because of their exposure to the Chinese market, each rose more than 2% in the premarket. Delta and American Airlines climbed 1% and 0.4%, respectively. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Tuesday testified in front of the House Financial Services Committee that the American economy is in a good place, but that the central bank is “closely monitoring” the potential global economic fallout from the virus. Powell is scheduled to testify again in front of the Senate Banking Committee starting at 9:30 a.m. Corporate earnings remained in focus after Lyft reported more than $1 billion in quarterly revenue, but forecast slower growth in 2020. Lyft shares slid 5.2% in the premarket. CVS Health, Molson Coors, Teva Pharmaceutical and Shopify all reported quarterly results that beat analyst expectations. About 70% of S&P 500 companies have posted calendar fourth-quarter results. Of those companies, 71.1% have beaten analyst expectations, FactSet data shows. Investors also shrugged off Sen. Bernie Sanders’ victory in the New Hampshire Democratic primary. Stocks in Asia rose on Wednesday as investors shrugged off concerns over the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. Mainland Chinese stocks were among the biggest winners regionally, with the Shenzhen component jumping 1.6% to close at 10,940.80 and the Shenzhen composite surging 1.554% to end its trading day at about 1,785.33. The Shanghai composite also gained 0.87% to close at around 2,926.90. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was 1.1% higher, as of its final hour of trading. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.74% to close at 23,861.21. The Topix index, on the other hand, ended its trading day slightly lower at 1,718.92. Meanwhile, South Korea’s Kospi added 0.69% to close at 2,238.38. Oil prices climbed on Wednesday as China reported its lowest daily number of new coronavirus cases since late January, stoking investor hopes that fuel demand in the world’s second-largest oil consumer may begin to recover from the epidemic. Brent crude was up $1.13, or 2%, at $55.14 per barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate rose 79 cents, or 1.6%, to $50.73 per barrel. Gold prices inched down to a near one-week low on Wednesday as investors’ risk appetite picked up on reports of a decline in new coronavirus cases, although concerns over its impact on the global economy persisted. Spot gold was down 0.1% to $1,566.31 per ounce, having touched its lowest since Feb. 6 at $1,561.16 earlier. U.S. gold futures were flat at $1,569.60.