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Wall Street Sees Red As Corona Spreads To 50 Countries

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As the Corona virus outbreak spread to around 50 countries outside China, panic about the disease is growing like anything. Several countries have issued travel ban, while Saudi Arabia suspended inflow of foreign pilgrims to Mecca and Medina.

U.S. President Donald Trump has put Vice President Pence in charge of corona response. Amid fears over spread of the disease, Japan has called for shutting down of schools till April. Worries about the economic impact also are growing. The total death toll crossed 2800, while infections recorded across the globe are more than 82,000.

Weekly jobless claims, durable goods orders and pending home sales are the major economic announcements on Thursday.

Asian shares finished lower, while European shares are trading down.
Early cues from the U.S. Futures Index suggest that Wall Street might open lower.

As of 7.50 am ET, the Dow futures were down 380.00 points, the S&P 500 futures were declining 38.50 points and the Nasdaq 100 futures were losing 127.00 points.

Major U.S. stocks closed mostly lower on Wednesday. The Nasdaq closed up 15.16 points or 0.2 percent at 8,980.77, the Dow slid 123.77 points or 0.5 percent to a four-month closing low of 26,957.59 and the S&P 500 fell 11.82 points or 0.4 percent to a nearly three-month closing low of 3,116.39.

On the economic front, the Commerce Department's Durable Good Orders for January will be released at 8.30 am ET. The consensus for new orders is a decline of 1.2 percent, while it was up 2.4 percent.

Gross Domestic Product for the fourth quarter will be issued at 8.30 am ET. The consensus is for an increase of 2.1 percent, unchanged from the prior year. GDP price for the quarter on quarter is expected to increase 1.4 percent.

The Labor Department's Jobless Claims for the week is expected at 8.30 am ET. The consensus is for an increase of 210K, unchanged from the prior week.
The Pending Home Sales Index for January will be published at 10.00 am ET. The consensus is for an increase of 2.2 percent, while it was down 4.9 percent in the prior month.
The Energy Information Administration or EIA's Natural Gas Report for the week will be released at 10.30 am ET. In the prior year, the weekly change was down 151 bcf.
Seven year Treasury note auction will be held at 1.00 pm ET.

Fed Balance Sheet for the week will be issued at 4.30 pm. In the prior week, the level was $4.172 trillion.
Fed's Money Supply for the week will be released at 4.30 pm ET. The M2 weekly change was $18.9 billion.
In the corporate sector, J. C. Penney Company, Inc announced a profit of $27 million, or $0.08 per share, down from $75 million, or $0.24 per share in last year's fourth quarter. On an adjusted basis, earnings were $43 million or $0.13 per share for the period.

The company's revenue for the quarter fell 7.9 percent to $3.38 billion from $3.67 billion last year.

Best Buy Co Inc. revealed earnings of $745M, or $2.84 per share for the fourth quarter, compared to profit of $735 million, or $2.69 per share in the prior year.
The company's revenue for the quarter rose 2.7 percent to $15.20 billion from $14.80 billion last year.

Asian stocks finished broadly lower on Thursday. Chinese stocks bucked the weak regional trend to end a tad higher.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite index inched up 0.11 percent to 2,991.33, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 0.31 percent to 26,778.62.

Japanese shares ended lower for a fourth straight session. The Nikkei average slumped 477.96 points, or 2.13 percent, to 21,948.23, closing below 22,000 for the first time since October. The broader Topix index closed 2.37 percent lower at 1,568.06.

Australian markets fell for a fifth day. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index gave up early gains to end the session down 50.20 points, or 0.75 percent at 6,657.90. The broader All Ordinaries index slid 53.30 points, or 0.78 percent, to 6,737.40.

European shares are trading down. Among the major indexes in the region, the CAC 40 Index of France is falling 143.93 points or 2.53 percent. The German DAX is losing 308.83 points or 2.42 percent, the U.K. FTSE 100 Index is declining 156.28 points or 2.23 percent.

The Swiss Market Index is losing 260.16 points or 2.48 percent.

The Euro Stoxx 50 Index, which is a compilation of 50 blue chip stocks across the euro area, is down 2.64 percent.

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