Wall Street poised for higher open as China reports fall in coronavirus infections

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U.S. stocks

Futures move higher

U.S. stocks are expected to open in the green Wednesday, after China’s chief medical adviser Zhong Nanshan said yesterday the number of new coronavirus (officially named COVID-19) cases was dropping in some provinces. Zhong also added that he believes the epidemic would peak this month.

Health officials in China’s Hubei province, the epicenter of the flu-like virus, reported 1,638 new cases on Tuesday, down from a peak of over 3,000 new cases on Feb. 4 and the lowest number of new infections since January 31. However, the death toll from the virus in mainland China reached a new high of 1,113 on Wednesday, according to the country’s health officials.

In his semi-annual testimony before Congress on Tuesday, Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank is closely monitoring the coronavirus outbreak and the impact it could have on global economic growth.

By 4:20 a.m. ET, the blue-chip Dow futures were seen gaining 108 points, or 0.37% to 29,337. The S&P 500 futures advanced 11.12 points, or 0.33% to 3,368.62 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 44.87 points, or 0.47% to 9,572.12.

Shopify, Cisco set to report earnings today

Meanwhile, Shopify (NYSE: SHOP) will report fourth-quarter earnings results before the opening bell today. Analysts are expecting the cloud-based commerce company to post earnings of $0.24 per share on revenue of $482.05 million.

CVS Health (NYSE: CVS), Global Payments (NYSE: GPN), Bunge (NYSE: BG), and Moody’s (NYSE: MCO) are also scheduled to release their results ahead of the bell.

After the market close, Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO) is estimated to report quarterly earnings at $0.76 per share on revenue of $11.98 billion. Other earnings to watch after the closing bell include Applied Materials (NASDAQ: AMAT), MGM Resorts (NYSE: MGM), and NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ: NTAP).

Sanders wins New Hampshire primary

In other news, Senator Bernie Sanders has won the New Hampshire Democratic primary. The 78-year-old Vermont senator edged moderate rival Pete Buttigieg by a margin of about 4,000 votes, or less than 2 percentage points on Tuesday night.

Amy Klobuchar came in third with 14% support. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and former vice president Joe Biden finished in fourth and fifth place respectively with 9.4% and 8.4% of the vote. This is the second humiliating defeat for the 77-year-old Biden in the last week after his devastating loss in the Iowa caucuses.

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