Stocks expected to open higher as WHO calls coronavirus outbreak “an emergency in China”

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World Health Organization

Futures edge higher

U.S. stocks looked set to open higher on Friday, after the World Health Organization (WHO) said the outbreak of a new deadly coronavirus in China is not yet a global health emergency.

 “I am not declaring a public health emergency of the international concern today,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press conference on Thursday, adding that the outbreak is “an emergency in China.”

The deadly respiratory infection has spread from China to at least six other countries, including the United States. Chinese authorities confirmed on Friday that the virus has thus far killed 26 people and infected 876.

As of 4:30 a.m. ET, the blue-chip Dow futures were up 73.5 points, or about 0.25% to 29,200.5. The S&P 500 futures rose 8.88 points, or around 0.27% to 3,334.88 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a gain of 34.63 points, or roughly 0.37% to 9,282.88.

Intel shares surge on earnings beat

In other news, shares of Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) rallied in premarket trading Friday after the chipmaker reported fourth-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ expectations late Thursday, supported by higher demand for chips to power data centers and an upswing in personal-computer shipments.

The company had net income of $6.91 billion, or $1.58 per share in the December-quarter, up from $5.2 billion, or $1.12 per share, during the same period last year. Adjusted for one-time items, earnings came in at $1.52 per share well ahead of analysts’ estimates of $1.25 per share.

Revenue stood at $20.21 billion, up from $18.66 billion in the prior-year quarter and well ahead of Wall Street forecast for revenue of $19.23 billion.

The stock was seen gaining $4.03, or 6.36% to $67.35 in premarket trade.

Former Wells Fargo CEO fined $17.5 million; banned from banking industry for life

Meanwhile, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has banned former Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) chief executive John Stumpf from the banking industry for life over his role in a toxic sales culture that forced millions of customers to own fake bank accounts and unwanted financial products.

Stumpf must also pay $17.5 million in penalties for his role in scandal, the OCC said on Thursday. The federal agency also settled with two other former Wells Fargo executives that were involved in the scandal.

Michael Loughlin, the bank’s former chief risk officer was slapped with a $2.25 million penalty and former chief administrative officer Hope Hardison will have to pay a fine of $1.25 million.

At the time of writing, Wells Fargo stock was up 0.25% to $48.34 in premarket trade.

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