Stocks set to open slightly up as traders await more earnings

U.S. stocks

Futures point to a flat open

U.S. stock futures were trading flat on Monday morning as market participants prepared for another busy week of quarterly earnings.

Nearly 130 S&P 500 companies are scheduled to publish their financial reports this week. They include Uber (NYSE: UBER), Beyond Meat (NASDAQ: BYND), and Disney (NYSE: DIS).

Virgin Galactic (NYSE: SPCE), Nikola (NASDAQ: NKLA), Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NYSE: NCLH), and Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ: WYNN) are also expected to report this week.

By 5:30 a.m. ET, the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a gain of 48.25 points, or 0.44% to 10,938.75. The blue-chip Dow futures and the S&P 500 futures were little changed.

White House expert warns coronavirus is extraordinarily widespread

Meanwhile, White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said on Sunday that the U.S. is in a new phase of the coronavirus pandemic, with infections “extraordinarily widespread” in rural areas as well as cities.

“What we’re seeing today is different from March and April,” she said during an interview on CNN. “It is extraordinarily widespread.”

“To everybody who lives in a rural area: You are not immune or protected from this virus,” she added.

Birx gave the warning as coronavirus cases in the country reached 4.68 million with more than 155,000 deaths reported.

Microsoft says it’s in talks to acquire TikTok’s U.S. operations

In other news, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) says its prepared to continue talks to acquire U.S. operations of social media app TikTok after President Donald Trump threatened to ban it over national security concerns.

In a statement published by Microsoft on Sunday, the tech giant said it intends to complete these talks with TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, by Sept. 15.

U.S lawmakers have for weeks asserted that the hugely popular app could pose a national security risk as tensions between Washington and Beijing deteriorate.

Microsoft said that it was committed to buying the app “subject to a complete security review and providing proper economic benefits to the United States,” adding that it would make sure that “all private data of TikTok’s American users is transferred to and remains in the United States.”

Shares of Microsoft were trading 2.63% to $210.40 each in the pre-market trading session Monday.