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9:31 am: Dow drops more than 100 points at the open
9:29 am: Oil price drop takes out last leg of US- China trade deal gains
When oil prices started climbing in early December, it was partly on optimism the U.S. and China would strike a trade deal that would help the global economy and oil demand. After this week’s sharp drop, that premium has been wiped out by fears of a sharp drop in demand, due to potentially chilling impact of China’s new coronavirus on global transportation and commerce and travel within China. West Texas Intermediate futures were down 2.7% Thursday and are now off 5.6% for the week. WTI fell through its 200-day moving average at around $57.70 Wednesday, and now is trading just above $55 per barrel. “The downside objective now are the lows from October/November at about $52. $50 would be the big round number,” said energy analyst John Kilduff. “$50 will be a tough nut to crack. It’s held up like a line in the sand. It’s much more than just a round number, or psychological point.” WTI futures hit a high just under $65 in January, when there were fears of a bigger conflict with Iran. The market quickly gave up those gains, but the boost it got from trade had held. —Domm
9:09 am: Disease outbreaks have limited market impacts
While pandemics can exact high human totals, they don’t often amount to much as far as financial markets go.
When scares like the current coronavirus first hit, they can exact short-term damage. For instance, the Chinese stock market fell 10% when the SARS virus appeared in 2003. Concerns about ebola took 8% off global stocks inlet 2014.
But Capital Economics points out that markets quickly recover as the scares are contained and conditions return to normal. In fact, the MSCI China Index rose more than 15% five months after the SARS news broke. The drop in stocks during the ebola panic was erased in three weeks. A bit more caution could be warranted this time around, as China plays a larger role in the world economy. But “the fairly fleeting market fallout from even the most severe of these instances means that we are not minded to change our forecasts for the year as a whole,” Capital wrote. —Cox
9:07 am: L Brands popping on double upgrade
L Brands is poised to pop at the opening of trading after Barclays issued an unusual double upgrade on the equity, with analyst Adrienne Yih telling clients “change is afoot” at the Victoria’s Secret parent. Barclays, which now recommends buying shares, hiked its price target 100% to $30 from $15 and said it expects an announcement from management or an activist investor to launch the struggling stock higher. LB stock is up more than 4% around $20.80 in premarket trading around 8:10am ET. — Franck
9:05 am: Tesla shares slipping after UBS call
The automaker’s stock slipped 2.2% in premarket trading after UBS resumed coverage of Tesla with a sell rating. The firm expects Tesla will drop 28% in the year ahead, saying the stock has “over-shooting right now” after running up more than 120% in the past six months. Tesla is now the second largest automaker in the world by valuation, trailing only Toyota. —Sheetz
9:00 am: Morgan Stanley upgrades GE
The firm raised its rating on GE to overweight from equal weight and lifted its price target to $14 from $11. Morgan Stanley said it sees the company in a “budding turnaround” and that it expects minimal disruption from Boeing’s 737 Max according to analyst Joshua Pokrzywinski. The company will report its fourth-quarter earnings on January 29. — Bloom
8:57 am: Procter & Gamble’s stock slides on sales miss
Shares of Procter & Gamble drop more than 1% in premarket trading after the consumer giant reported quarterly revenue that fell short of estimates for the first time in five quarters. P&G posted $18.24 billion in revenue in the fourth quarter, less than $18.37 billion expected per Refinitiv. The company was hurt by a stronger dollar and a struggling baby segment, which includes Pampers diapers. At these levels, P&G was taking off 11 points from the Dow. — Li
8:54 am: Oil falls nearly 2%, accelerating Wednesday’s decline
Oil prices are down again, as traders worry that the coronavirus outbreak could lead to a substantial slowdown in air travel and therefore soft demand for jet fuel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude and international benchmark Brent crude fell to session lows of $55.57 and $62.08 per barrel respectively, their lowest levels since early December. As demand concerns weigh, investors will be closely watching the numbers released today by the U.S. Energy Information Administration on inventory for the week ending Jan. 17. Analysts are expecting a build of 500,000 barrels, according to estimates from S&P Global Platts. — Stevens
8:50 am: Chinese stocks get crushed as coronavirus fears spread
Stocks in China took a massive hit overnight as worries about the spread of the deadly coronavirus increased. The Shanghai Composite plunged 2.75%, its biggest one-day drop since May 6, when it plummeted more than 6%. The spread of the coronavirus led Chinese authorities to suspend all public transportation in the city of Wuhan, where the outbreak is believed to have originated. —Imbert
8:49 am: Coronavirus sinks travel stocks
Fears about the coronavirus outbreak in China continued to weigh on travel stocks Thursday morning. Deaths from China’s new virus rose to 17 on Wednesday with more than 540 cases confirmed. Shares of casino and hotel chain Wynn Resorts fell more than 4% in premarket trading and Las Vegas Sands dropped 3.9%. Cruise lines also took a hit, with shares of Norwegian Cruise Line down 2.6% and Carnival down nearly 1% in premarket trading. –Fitzgerald
8:47 am: Stock futures dip after Procter & Gamble falls, coronavirus worries
Stock futures are slipping on Thursday as Procter & Gamble’s quarterly results failed to impress investors while worries over the deadly coronavirus spreading dampened sentiment as well. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were down just over 60 points and indicated a loss of 65 points at the open. Thursday’s decline, if it holds, would be the latest pause in the market’s record-setting rally as investors pour through corporate earnings results and grapple with the potential economic implications of the spreading virus in China. —Imbert