Futures surge as China liquidity measures calm investor fears

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By Medha Singh

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures jumped 1% on Tuesday, signaling a recovery for Wall Street from a sharp coronavirus-led pullback last week, with fresh intervention by China’s central bank calming investor nerves.

In a bid to cushion the economic blow of the epidemic, China injected 1.7 trillion yuan ($242.74 billion) via reverse repos on Monday and Tuesday, helping Chinese stocks reverse some losses and lifting the world equity index ().

The monetary intervention boosted investor sentiment even as several economists cut their forecasts for 2020 global growth as the death toll from the outbreak mounts and business operations in China remain suspended.

Premarket gains on Wall Street were led by technology stocks, with Intel Corp (O:), Apple Inc (O:) and Microsoft Corp (O:) climbing between 1.5% and 2.2%.

Of the 30 Dow-listed industrial components (), 29 were trading higher.

But Alphabet Inc’s (O:) shares slipped 3.2% after Google’s advertising business and new data about YouTube and Google Cloud broadly disappointed.

At 8:16 a.m. ET, were up 350 points, or 1.23%. S&P 500 e-minis were up 41 points, or 1.26% and were up 137.5 points, or 1.51%.

Markets rebounded on Monday, supported by a surprise expansion in U.S. factory activity, following the S&P 500’s () worst weekly decline in six months.

Fears about the coronavirus outbreak have overshadowed a largely positive fourth-quarter earnings season. About 70% of nearly half of the S&P 500 companies that have reported so far have surpassed earnings estimates.

Health insurer Centene Corp’s (N:) better-than-expected quarterly revenue was eclipsed by a surge in medical costs, sending its shares down 2.6%.

MGM Resorts International (N:), Wynn Resorts (O:), Las Vegas Sands (N:) and Melco Resorts & Entertainment (O:) dropped between 0.5% and 1.9% after Macau, the world’s biggest gambling hub, asked casinos to suspend operations for two weeks to stem the coronavirus outbreak.

Investors were also eyeing the U.S. Democratic presidential nominating race that got off to a chaotic start on Monday, with officials blaming “inconsistencies” for an indefinite delay in the state’s caucus results.

In economic news, data at 10 a.m. ET is likely to show U.S. factory orders rose 1.2% in December after a 0.7% slip in the prior month.

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