U.S. Stocks May See Further Downside In Early Trading

After experiencing the worst week since the 2008 financial crisis, stocks are likely to see some further downside in early trading on Monday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a lower open for the markets, with the Dow futures down by 74 points.

The downward momentum on Wall Street comes as the deadly coronavirus continues to new spread, with more than 89,000 cases confirmed around the world along with more than 3,000 virus-related deaths.

The U.S. reported its first virus-related death over the weekend, adding to worries about the disease spreading in the U.S.

Disappointing economic data out of China may also weigh on the markets, with a reading on manufacturing activity falling to a record low in February.

Selling pressure may be somewhat subdued, however, as some analysts feel last week’s sell-off on Wall Street was overdone.

Shortly after the start of trading, the Institute for Supply Management is scheduled to release its report on activity in the manufacturing sector in the month of February.

The purchasing managers index is expected to dip to 50.5 in February from 50.9 in January, although a reading above 50 would still indicate growth.

The Commerce Department is also due to release its report on construction spending in the month of January. Construction spending is expected to rise by 0.4 percent.

After experiencing yet another sell-off early in the session, stocks fluctuated over the course of the trading day on Friday. The major averages largely maintained a negative bias, although the tech-heavy Nasdaq ended the day nearly unchanged.

While the Nasdaq inched up 0.89 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 8,567.37, the Dow tumbled 357.28 points or 1.4 percent to a nearly nine-month closing low of 25,409.36 and the S&P 500 slid 24.54 points or 0.8 percent to a four-month closing low of 2,954.22.

For the week, stocks turned in their worst performance since the 2008 financial crisis. The Dow plunged by 12.4 percent, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq plummeted by 11.5 percent and 10.5 percent, respectively.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Monday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index jumped by 1 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index spiked by 3.2 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have moved to the downside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index has edged down by 0.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index are down by 1.1 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are climbing $0.84 to $45.60 a barrel after plunging $2.33 to $44.76 a barrel last Friday. Meanwhile, an ounce of gold is trading at $1,595.30, up $28.60 from the previous session’s close of $1,566.70. On Friday, gold plummeted $75.80.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 107.63 yen compared to the 107.89 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Friday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1145 compared to last Friday’s $1.1026.

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