Stocks – Wall Street Seen Higher; Apple Tops Earnings Deluge

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By Peter Nurse – U.S. stock markets are set to edge higher Tuesday, rebounding after Monday’s sharp losses as the earnings season kicks into top gear. This is despite continued concerns over the deadly coronavirus in China.

At 6:55 AM ET (1155 GMT), futures for the traded 11 points, or 0.3%, higher, futures for the 49 points, or 0.6%, higher, while the contract rose 75 points, or 0.3%.

The death toll from the new strain of coronavirus climbed overnight to 106, while the number of total confirmed cases in China surged to 4,515, the country’s National Health Commission said. All but six of those to die were in Wuhan, the city where the disease was first noticed.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the World Health Organization’s director general, expressed confidence in the Chinese authorities dealing with the outbreak, adding that he didn’t advocate the evacuation of foreign nationals from China.

Additionally, China’s central bank said Tuesday that it will inject funds to keep banking system liquidity at a reasonably ample level. In a statement, it also said the holiday for the interbank markets would be extended to Monday.

On Monday, the had ended down 1.6%, or 51 points, while the slumped 1.6%, more than 450 points. These were the biggest falls for these two indexes since October. The tech-heavy fell 1.9%, or 175 points, its biggest drop since August.

On Wall Street, Apple (NASDAQ:) will be in focus after it reports earnings after the bell, with many eager to see whether its latest slate of phones has revived sales. The stock has more than doubled over the last 12 months.

Additionally, three more components will issue results ahead of trading – 3M (NYSE:) missed expectations with its earnings release, posting EPS of $1.95 compared with $2.10 expected, while revenues of $8.12 billion were largely as expected. United Technologies (NYSE:) reported EPS of $1.94 on revenue of $19.55 billion, ahead of expectations of EPS of $1.84 on revenue of $19.4 billion. Pfizer (NYSE:) disappointed with its earnings release, with EPS of $0.55, below forecasts for $0.58. Revenues were largely as expected at $12.69 billion

Whirlpool’s (NYSE:) fourth-quarter results, released after the close Monday, came in ahead of expectations while its outlook for 2020 also impressed.

Boeing (NYSE:) will also be in the spotlight after CNBC reported the company has managed to obtain more financing than it was originally seeking, shoring up its balance sheet amid the lengthy grounding of its 737 MAX airline series.

Economic data releases will also be studied carefully at the start of the Federal Reserve’s two-day meeting. are due at 8:30 AM ET (1330 GMT), and are expected to have risen 0.3% last month, while at 10 AM ET, the January consumer confidence index is expected to come in at 128, up from 126.5 in December.

Losses have continued in the oil complex, although not to the same dramatic extent as Monday.

By 6:55 AM ET (1155 GMT), futures had fallen another 0.4% to $52.95 a barrel and the international benchmark contract fell 0.7% to $58.20, approaching the levels these contracts last saw in October.

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