Stocks – Wall Street Resumes Its Fall at Opening After G7 Dud

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By Geoffrey Smith

Investing.com — U.S. stock markets turned lower again on Tuesday, after the disappointment of a G7 conference call that stopped short of announcing concrete measures to support the global economy as it struggles with the spreading coronavirus outbreak.

The G7 statement was strong on principle but short on detail, saying: “finance ministers are ready to take actions, including fiscal measures where appropriate, to aid in the response to the virus and support the economy during this phase. G7 central banks will continue to fulfil their mandates, thus supporting price stability and economic growth while maintaining the resilience of the financial system.”

Markets had entertained – arguably unrealistic – hopes of immediate measures to deal with what is a shock to both supply and demand across the world economy.

By 9:40 AM ET (1440 GMT), the was down 225 points, or 0.8%, while the S&P 500 contract was down 0.7% and the was up 0.6%.

Among individual companies, Apple (NASDAQ:) stock fell 0.6%, reversing an early gain after its biggest manufacturing contractor Hon Hai Precision said it expected its Chinese factories to be working roughly as normal by the end of March.

Apple (NASDAQ:) had cited supply chain constraints at its Chinese factories as one of two factors for its warning in February that it would not meet its sales targets in the current quarter.

Qiagen stock was up 15.2% at its highest since early December after Thermo Fisher agreed to buy the diagnostics group for $11.5 billion. Qiagen is, among other things, developing kits to test for the Covid-19 virus.

Thermo Fisher stock opened up 4.4% but pared gains to be up 3.7%.

Target (NYSE:) stock was up 1.0% after the retailer reported adjusted earnings per share up 10.6% from a year earlier in the final quarter of 2019 – some 2.5% ahead of expectations.

For 2020, Target (NYSE:) said it expects a low-single digit increase in comparable sales and a mid-single digit increase in operating income.

The company made no mention of any potential impact from the Covid-19 outbreak. Earlier in the day, German consumer group Beiersdorf – the maker of Nivea hand cream – had said it was impossible to quantify the virus’ impact on the outlook for this year and refused to factor it into its forecasts for the year.

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