February 25, 2024


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Stock futures fall as US-China concerns rise, earnings roll in

Stock futures fell Friday morning as relations between the US and China were tested further.

China on Friday ordered that the US close its consulate in the populous city of Chengdu, in response to the Trump administration’s directive to force Beijing to shut down its consulate in Houston earlier this week.

The pre-market session came following a tech-led selloff on Wall Street during the regular session. The three major indices ended the day lower, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq both posting their largest declines in four weeks. Apple (AAPL) – a stock weighed relatively heavily in each of the major indices – dropped by the most since June 11 amid a broad decline in big tech shares and an Axios report that the company was facing a multi-state consumer protection probe.

Early Friday, shares of Intel (INTC) slid after the chipmaker warned in earnings results Thursday that it faced another production delay for its advanced chips, this time of about one year.

Investors also nervously eyed signs of backsliding in the virus-stricken economic, with new jobless claims last week shown to have risen for the first time since March. New jobless claims came in at about 1.42 million, versus the just over 1.3 million from the prior week.

“Like we have seen in several other economic indicators, the initial claims data signal that the economy has lost some momentum lately following the solid improvement that occurred throughout much of April and May when restrictions on activity were being relaxed across much of the nation,” JPMorgan economist Daniel Silver wrote in a note.

Virus cases also mounted further, with US cases topping four million on Thursday to have doubled over the past six weeks alone, and now comprise about one-quarter of the global total, according to Johns Hopkins data. New deaths in each of California and Florida were at records as of Thursday’s counts, and the US death toll rose to more than 143,000. California’s cases rose by more than 12,000 for the second-highest increase since the start of the pandemic.

Individual companies have also sounded the alarm on the pace of recovery in their respective industries. Southwest CEO Gary Kelly told Yahoo Finance Wednesday that it will likely take five to 10 years for business travel to recovery to pre-pandemic levels.

Market participants also continue to monitor progress in Washington over talks for another round of coronavirus stimulus measures. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday that the White House and Senate Republicans had a “fundamental agreement” on a GOP stimulus bill of about $1 trillion, which would not rule out future stimulus, according to Bloomberg. The Republican plan would also include another round of $1,200 stimulus checks to taxpayers, under the same income thresholds as the first round.

7:18 a.m. ET Friday: Futures drop after China announces retaliation

Here were the main moves in markets, as of 7:18 a.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,221.5, down 6 points (-0.19%)

  • Dow futures (YM=F): 26,491.00, down 52 points (-0.2%)

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 10,488.25, down 60 points (-0.57%)

  • Crude (CL=F): +$0.34 (+0.83%) to $41.41 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): -$0.20 (-0.01%) to $1,889.80 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): +0.2 bps to yield 0.544%

6:09 p.m. ET Thursday: Stock futures rise after selloff

Here were the main moves at the start of the overnight session for U.S. equity futures, as of 6:09 p.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,234.25, up 6.75 points or 0.21%

  • Dow futures (YM=F): 26,580.00, up 37 points, or 0.14%

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 10,583.75, up 35.5 points, or 0.34%

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MARCH 20: Traders, some in medical masks, work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on March 20, 2020 in New York City. Trading on the floor will temporarily become fully electronic starting on Monday to protect employees from spreading the coronavirus. The Dow fell over 500 points on Friday as investors continue to show concerns over COVID-19. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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