U.S. Stocks May Give Back Ground Amid Rising Coronavirus Cases

Stocks may move to the downside in early trading on Wednesday, giving back ground following the upward move seen over the two previous sessions. The major index futures are currently pointing to a lower open for the markets, with the Dow futures down by 224 points.

Profit taking may contribute to initial weakness on Wall Street, as some traders worry the recovery from the March lows has been overdone.

The advance seen during trading on Tuesday lifted the Nasdaq to another new record closing high, with the tech-heavy index extending its winning streak to eight sessions.

Concerns about the rising number of coronavirus cases in a number of U.S. states may also weigh on the markets amid worries a “second wave” could delay the economic recovery.

A CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University found the nation’s seven-day average of daily new Covid-19 cases spiked more than 30 percent compared with a week ago.

Texas, Arizona and California are among several states that have seen significant increases in coronavirus cases, with California reporting 6,219 new cases on Monday.

During congressional testimony on Tuesday, White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci warned of a “disturbing surge” in coronavirus infections.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly blamed the jump in coronavirus cases on increased testing and doubled-down on his suggestion that testing should be slowed.

With the exception of the sharp pullback seen earlier this month, traders have largely shrugged off the concerns about the increase in coronavirus cases amid continued optimism about a quick economic recovery.

Stocks moved mostly higher on Tuesday, extending the upward move seen over the course of the trading day on Monday. With the continued advance, the tech-heavy Nasdaq reached another new record closing high.

The major averages pulled back off their best levels in late-day trading but remained firmly positive. The Nasdaq advanced 74.89 points or 0.7 percent to 10,131.37, while the Dow climbed 131.14 points or 0.5 percent to 26,156.10 and the S&P 500 rose 13.43 points or 0.4 percent to 3,131.29.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Wednesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index edged down by 0.1 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index rose by 0.3 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all shown notable moves to the downside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index has plunged by 2 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index are both down by 1.7 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are slumping $0.85 to $39.52 a barrel after falling $0.36 to $40.37 a barrel on Tuesday. Meanwhile, an ounce of gold is trading at $1,783.60, up $1.60 compared to the previous session’s close of $1,782. On Tuesday, gold jumped $15.60.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 106.78 yen compared to the 106.52 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Tuesday. Against the euro, the dollar is trading at $1.1273 compared to yesterday’s $1.1308.

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