Stock futures opened slightly lower Monday evening after a regular-session rebound sent the S&P 500 to its highest level since March 13.
During the regular session on Monday, the three major indices each rallied more than 7% as investors considered early signals that the coronavirus outbreak could be leveling off in some domestic and global epicenters.
New York state, which houses the largest number of cases in the U.S., reported about the same number of new deaths from COVID-19 on Monday at 599 as on Sunday. Total cases in the state rose to more than 130,000, up from the just over 122,000 on Sunday.
And while New York state-wide hospitalizations grew by just 2% on Monday – the third consecutive day of just single-digit percentage growth – health-care centers remain strained with high numbers of patients. In other hot spots for the coronavirus across the country, demand for test materials and devices including ventilators remains overwhelming.
Italy, another global epicenter of the outbreak, reported new coronavirus-related deaths on Monday but new cases declined, also underpinning a potential easing of the outbreak. Italy’s death toll on Monday was 636, versus 525 of Sunday. The number of confirmed cases rose by 3,599, marking the lowest number of new cases recorded over a one-day period since March 17.
And in other countries, governments have begun to outline an exit plan for peeling back social distancing measures as the coronavirus outbreak begins to diminish, with Germany reportedly drafting an action plan to allow businesses and schools to reopen, with some restrictions.
Despite the early signs of optimism around the outbreak’s timeline, market analysts and economists are bracing for the fall-out from the coronavirus pandemic to generate a lingering impact on corporate profitability and economic activity this year.
In a new note Monday afternoon, Capital Economics economists led by Paul Ashworth said they anticipated an “unprecedented” 40% annualized decline in second-quarter U.S. gross domestic product, with the unemployment rate rising to 12.5% within a few months.
“Even allowing for a recovery in the second half of the year, we estimate that GDP growth for this year as a whole will be -5.0%, with a 6.5% rebound in 2021,” they said.
Likewise, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, in his widely read annual letter to shareholders released Monday, said he expects the COVID-19 outbreak will generate “at a minimum … a bad recession combined with some kind of financial stress similar to the global financial crisis of 2008.”
6:01 p.m. ET Monday: Stock futures edge lower after rebound
Here were the main moves at the start of the overnight session for U.S. equity futures, as of 6:02 p.m. ET on Monday:
S&P 500 futures (ES=F): down 5 points, or 0.19% to 2,639.50
Dow futures (YM=F): down 49 points, or 0.22% to 22,439.00
Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): down 19.5 points, or 0.24% to 8,010.25
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