Market Snapshot: U.S. stock futures wobble lower as Wall Street watches for global policy response to coronavirus

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Reuters

The G-7 was slated to have a call on a coronavirus response on Tuesday

U.S. stock-index futures were trading modestly lower in choppy trading Tuesday morning after G7 finance ministers and central bank governors indicated a willingness to use fiscal and monetary policy to fight the coronavirus epidemic’s impact on the global economy but did not outline any specific steps.

How are major benchmarks faring?

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average YMH20, +0.05% were down 37 points, or 0.1%, at 26,431, those for the S&P 500 ESH20, -0.10% were down about 9 points, or 0.3%, at 3,057. Nasdaq-100 futures NQH20, +0.28% were advancing 15 points to reach 8,806, a rise of 0.2%.

On Monday, the Dow DJIA, +5.09% rose 1,293.96 points, or 5.1%, to end at 26,703.32 — its largest one-day percentage rise since March 23, 2009. The S&P 500 SPX, +4.60% rebounded 136.01 points, or 4.6%, to end at 3,090.23., while the Nasdaq Composite COMP, +4.49%  advanced 384.80 points, or 4.5%, to finish at 8,952.16 — marking the biggest one-day percentage gain for both indexes since Dec. 26, 2018. Monday’s point gains were the largest on record for all three major indexes.

What’s driving the market?

Group of Seven finance ministers held a conference call Tuesday and issued a statement indicating their “commitment to use all appropriate policy tools to achieve strong, sustainable growth,” but signalling no concrete steps.

Stock index futures turned negative after the statement was released.

The moves come after worries about the economic harm from the epidemic emanating from China resulted last week in the sharpest sell off in U.S. equities since the 2008 financial crisis. However, hopes for a policy response from central banks and governments saw a significant partial recovery in global equities on Monday.

A number of countries have already acted independently, including the Reserve Bank of Australia and Malaysia’s central bank, which both reduced their benchmark interest rates Monday, citing coronavirus as the reason. The European Central Bank, meanwhile, is working on measures to provide liquidity to businesses harmed by the outbreak, according to Reuters.

Looking ahead, investors also will be watching for speeches from Federal Reserve officials, including Cleveland Federal Reserve President Loretta Mester at 2:50 p.m. and Chicago Fed President Charles Evans after the market’s close.

Read: Buy the dip? Here’s how some analysts say investors should play it

How are other markets faring?

Asian markets were mixed overnight. The Hang Seng HSI, -0.03%   was virtually unchanged at about 26,285, but the Nikkei NIK, -1.22%   was more than 1.2% lower. The China CSI 300 000300, +0.53%   rose 0.5%.

The dollar DXY, +0.18%   was 0.2% higher against a basket of currency trading partners.

The benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury note TMUBMUSD10Y, -3.09%   jumped 5 basis points to 1.14%, one day after touching the lowest on record. Yields rise as prices fall.

Gold for April delivery GCJ20, +0.57%   jumped 0.5%, while the price of a barrel of oil CLJ20, +1.75%   was nearly 3% higher on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Which stocks are in focus?
  • Target Corp. TGT, +5.88%  reported fiscal fourth-quarter profit and same-store sales that topped expectations early Tuesday, while revenue came up a bit shy, and provided an in-line outlook.
  • Shares of Kohl’s Corp. KSS, -1.81%   surged in premarket trading after reporting earnings that beat expectations and announcing it would raise its dividend.
  • AutoZone Inc. AZO, +1.39%   shares slipped premarket after reporting profit that was better than expected, but sales that missed Wall Street expectations.
  • Shares of Qorvo Inc. QRVO, -0.14%   were slightly lower before the bell even after the chip maker cut its outlook for revenue in the face of coronavirus-induced supply chain snarls.
  • General Electric Co. GE, +3.03%   shares were more than 1% higher Tuesday, one day after a J.P.Morgan analyst upgraded his outlook on the conglomerate, sending the stock more than 3% higher.
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