Stock futures flat as traders weigh virus resurgence and its impact on the economy

Traders work the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.


U.S. stock futures were flat on Thursday night as Wall Street continues to grapple with the rising number of coronavirus cases and its potential economic impact.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures traded 24 points higher, or less 0.1%. S&P 500 futures gained 0.1% and Nasdaq 100 futures advanced 0.3%.

Earlier on Thursday, the Dow dropped more than 300 points during the regular session, notching its second straight daily decline. The S&P 500 pulled back 1%, leaving it just 0.8% higher for the week after surging on Monday amid positive vaccine news.

Those losses came as the number of coronavirus cases, and hospitalizations, keeps climbing in the U.S. A CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University showed average daily new cases are up by at least 5% over the past week in at least 47 states. Hospitalizations, meanwhile, rising in at least 46 states.

Sentiment on Thursday soured even further after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the country’s economic outlook remained uncertain. “With the virus spreading, the next few months could be challenging,” he said.

The resurgence in coronavirus cases has also led some parts of the country to re-adopt stricter social-distancing measures. In Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot asked residents to cancel their Thanksgiving plans and stay indoors as cases rise in the city. In New York state, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said new curfews on bars, restaurants and gyms will take effect on Friday.

Phillip Colmar, partner at MRB Partners, said wrote in a note that the global economic recovery “will be sustained, but the V-shaped portion is over, and we have already transitioned to a slower pace of two-steps forward and one back.”

Disney, Cisco jump on earnings

Shares of Dow members Disney and Cisco rose sharply in after-hours trading after both companies reported quarterly results that beat analyst expectations.

Disney traded more than 3% higher after the bell as the company said it now has 73 million paid subscribers for its streaming service, Disney+. The media giant also reported a smaller-than-expected loss for the quarter.

Cisco popped more than 6% on the back of strong earnings and revenue. The company also issued better-than-expected guidance for the current quarter.

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