U.S. stocks were indicated lower on Friday as the impact of coronavirus continues to weigh on multinational companies and is now limiting travel in Japan.
Coca-Cola Co. said the outbreak of COVID-19, the infectious disease that originated in Wuhan, China last year, will crimp its coming quarterly results.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average YMH20, -0.33% were down 114 points, or 0.4%, at 29,057, those for the S&P 500 ESH20, -0.35% were off 13.95 points at 3,355.25, a decline of 0.4%, while Nasdaq-100 futures NQH20, -0.32% retreated 46.50 points, or 0.5%, to 9,578.25.
On Thursday, the Dow DJIA, -0.44% closed down 128.05 points, or 0.4%, at 29,219.90, after hitting an intraday low at 28,959.65. The S&P 500 SPX, -0.38% lost 12.92 points, or 0.4%, to end at 3,373.23. The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -0.67% shed 66.21 points, or 0.7%, to settle at 9,750.96, after hitting an intrasession nadir at 9,636.94.
The small-cap Russell 2000 index RUT, +0.21%, meanwhile, added 3.5 points, or 0.2%, to finish at 1,696.07.
For the week, the Nasdaq Composite is clinging to a 0.2% gain, the Dow was off 0.6%, the S&P 500 was on track for a 0.2% decline, while the Russell 2000 was aiming for a weekly gain of 0.5%, as of Thursday’s close.
The spread of COVID-19 inside and outside of China has been unsettling the market lately, likely contributing to gains in havens like government bonds and gold, with investors showing reluctance to hold on to equities heading into the weekend — a recent trend.
South Korea has reported 48 more cases, bring its total infections from the novel coronavirus to 204, and in Japan, officials from Tokyo and Osaka said they wouldn’t hold large events such as school graduation ceremonies and entrance examinations for three weeks through mid-March, in an effort to contain the viral outbreak, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization said Friday that there are 76,767 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 2,247 deaths, marking another day in which the number of new cases world-wide has slowed.
The full economic impact of the disease is unclear but early indications suggest that it is already denting China’s car sales. Chinese passenger car sales data for the first two weeks of February showed a year-over-year decline of 92%, Bloomberg News reported. And in the first 16 days of the month, only about 5,000 passenger cars were sold compared with nearly 60,000 in the same period of last year, the data showed.
“How pronounced and persistent the further fallout on the Chinese and global auto sector will be in the next few months is impossible to forecast,” wrote UniCredit economist Andreas Rees in a Friday research report.
Separately, Coca-Cola KO, -0.08% said it estimates an approximate 2- to 3-point impact to unit case volume, 1- to 2-point impact to organic revenue and 1- to 2-penny impact to earnings per share for the first quarter, citing coronavirus. China ranks as the third-largest market in the world in terms of unit case volume.
“Needless to say, the most important factor is the evolution of the coronavirus,” Rees wrote.
Looking ahead, investors will be watching a flash reading of U.S. private-sector manufacturing activity, the PMI Composite Flash, due at 9:45 a.m. Eastern Time, and a reading of existing home sales for January at 10 a.m.
The price of a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude for March delivery US:CLH20 fell 91 cents, or 1.7%, at $52.97 a barrel on Friday on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after rising 0.9% on Thursday.
Gold for April delivery GCJ20, +1.54% was headed for seventh straight gain, jumping 1.1% to $1,637.80 an ounce on Comex, adding to its rise to its loftiest levels since February of 2013.
The benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury note TMUBMUSD10Y, -2.28% shed 3.3 basis points to 1.49% while the yield on the 30-year T-bond TMUBMUSD30Y, -2.27% extended its retreat toward an all-time low. Bond yields fall when prices rise.
In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP, +0.05% traded 0.1% higher, while the FTSE 100 UKX, -0.07% was trading flat.
Trade was mixed in Asia overnight. The China CSI 300 000300, +0.12% rose 0.1%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI, -1.09% fell 1.1%, while the Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, +0.31% advanced 0.3%. Japan’s Nikkei NIK, -0.39% retreated 0.4%, while South Korea’s Kospi 180721, -1.49% tumbled 1.5%.
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