Coronavirus outbreak set to weigh on U.S. stocks as death toll rises to 17


Stocks poised to slip at open

U.S. stocks were set to open lower on Thursday, as concerns about what the outbreak of a new coronavirus stemming from China may mean for the global economy rattled investors.

The deadly virus, which is understood to be a new strain of coronavirus that had not previously been identified in humans, has so far killed at least 17 people and infected more than 570 worldwide.

On Thursday, Chinese authorities locked down the city of Wuhan where the SARS-like virus is said to have originated. All passenger train services and flights out of the city have been stopped to prevent the spread of the virus.

At around 4:30 a.m. ET, the blue-chip Dow futures were down 30.5 points, or 0.10% to 29,109.5. The S&P 500 futures declined 1.37 points, or 0.04% to 3,318.38 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures dropped 1.25 points, or 0.01% to 9,194.50.

Coronavirus concerns hit crude futures

Oil prices were lower early Thursday, amid fears coronavirus outbreak in China will dampen global growth. Meanwhile, official data released Tuesday by the American Petroleum Institute (API) showed U.S. crude inventories rose by 1.6 million barrels last week, against expectations of a decline.

By 4:30 a.m. ET, U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures traded at $55.89 per barrel, down 85 cents, or 1.50%. International Brent crude oil futures were at $62.44 a barrel, down 77 cents, or about 1.22%.

Earnings Earnings Earnings

Meanwhile, investors are awaiting another batch of quarterly earnings reports from companies including American Airlines (NASDAQ: AAL), Intel (NASDAQ: INTC), and Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA).

Other companies set to report today include Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV), Union Pacific (NYSE: UNP), Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG), Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ: ISGR), JetBlue Airways (NASDAQ: JBLU), and Kimberly-Clark (NYSE: KMB).