By Pawel Goraj
July 1 – U.S. stock index futures fell on Wednesday as a record single-day spike in coronavirus cases in the country heightened fears of another lockdown and threatened to derail a nascent economic recovery.
After notching up its biggest three-month gains since 1998 in the previous session, the benchmark S&P 500 looked set to begin the third quarter on a glum note as COVID-19 cases rose by more than 47,000 on Tuesday, with California, Texas and Arizona emerging as new epicenters.
A warning from the government’s top infectious disease expert that the number could soon double also took the shine off data showing a slump in global manufacturing was easing as economies reopened from sweeping lockdowns imposed to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Figures on U.S. manufacturing activity and private payrolls for June are due later in the day, followed by the Labor Department’s closely watched nonfarm payrolls report on Thursday.
At 7:12 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 242 points, or 0.94%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 20 points, or 0.65%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 48.5 points, or 0.48%.
Battered cruise line operators Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Inc, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd and Carnival Corp tumbled between 2.3% and 2.6% in premarket trading.
In a bright spot, FedEx Corp jumped 11.5% after posting better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue, helped by a surge in pandemic-fueled home deliveries. (Reporting by Pawel Goraj in Gdansk; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)