Global Economy

U.S. stock futures are flat as global coronavirus cases climb at record pace


A jogger passes in front of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, on June 17, 2020.

Michael Nagel | Bloomberg | Getty Images

U.S. stock futures were flat on Sunday night as the number of coronavirus cases kept surging globally, raising concerns about the world economy and its recovery from the pandemic.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures traded just 14 points higher, or 0.1%. S&P 500 futures also hovered above the flatline and Nasdaq-100 futures climbed 0.2%.

The World Health Organization said Saturday that more than 200,000 coronavirus cases were confirmed over a 24-hour span, a record. At a regional level, the biggest spike was seen in the Americas, where nearly 130,000 new cases were confirmed.

In the U.S., Florida and Texas reported daily record spikes of 11,445 and 8,258, respectively, on Saturday. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said the outbreak is on pace to overwhelm the city’s hospitals in two weeks. Miami Mayor Francis Suarez told ABC this weekend: “It’s clear that the growth is exponential at this point.”

Data compiled by Johns Hopkins University showed that more than 45,000 new cases were confirmed across the U.S. on Saturday.

“We are currently experiencing a spike in COVID-19 cases, particularly in the sunbelt states that were in the vanguard of loosening social distancing restrictions to facilitate the reopening of their economies,” said Marc Chaikin, CEO of Chaikin Analytics, in a post.

“That reopening momentum has been halted by the spike in COVID-19 cases and the temptation to translate this into a bearish outlook for stocks is strong,” he added. “Fatalities have not spiked, however, but are a lagging indicator. Thus the next two weeks are critical for a number of reasons.”

Wall Street was coming off strong gains after a shortened trading week due to the July Fourth holiday. The Dow and S&P 500 rose 3.3% and 4%, respectively, last week and the Nasdaq advanced 4.6% in that time.

The market also wrapped up last week its best quarterly performance in decades. The Dow rallied more than 17% for the second quarter while the S&P 500 jumped nearly 20% in that time period. The Nasdaq posted a gain of 30.6% for the quarter.

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