(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures followed Asian and European markets lower on Tuesday as worries about the fallout from a deadly virus outbreak in China and a gloomy growth outlook from the IMF looked set to stall a record rally on Wall Street.
Officials confirmed the new coronavirus outbreak took six lives and that it could spread between humans, stoking fears of a global pandemic and reviving memories of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) – another coronavirus that killed nearly 800 people in 2002-03.
Travel stocks including Delta Air Lines Inc (DAL.N), United Airlines Holdings Inc (UAL.O) and American Airlines Group Inc (AAL.O) fell over 2% in premarket trading.
Hotel and casino operators Las Vegas Sands Corp (LVS.N) and Wynn Resorts Ltd (WYNN.O), both of which have large operations in China, dropped about 5%.
A top International Monetary Fund official said on Monday that a slowdown in global growth appears to have bottomed out but there is no rebound in sight. The IMF trimmed its global growth forecasts for 2020 and 2021.
The developments weighed on U.S. investors returning from a long holiday weekend. Strong economic data, the signing of the Phase 1 U.S.-China trade deal and an upbeat start to fourth-quarter earnings season had sent Wall Street to new all-time highs on Friday, helping post their strongest weekly gains since August.
However, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told the Wall Street Journal that the Phase 2 trade deal with China would not necessarily be a “big bang” that removes all existing tariffs.
At 7:34 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis 1YMcv1 were down 39 points, or 0.13%. S&P 500 e-minis EScv1 were down 9 points, or 0.27% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQcv1 were down 32 points, or 0.35%.
Halliburton Co (HAL.N) rose 2% after the oilfield service provider beat estimates for quarterly profit, helped by higher drilling activity in international markets.
Bank of America’s fund manager survey showed that U.S. technology and high-growth stocks have been the “most crowded” trade for three months in a row and forecast S&P 500 .SPX index to peak at 3,400 in the third quarter.
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