Pre-open movers

U.S. stock futures traded lower in early pre-market trade, ahead of earnings from Halliburton Company (NYSE: HAL) and International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE: IBM). The Chicago Fed National Activity Index for March is scheduled for release at 8:30 a.m. ET.

The U.S. is now the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic with the highest number of cases and deaths around the world. Total COVID-19 cases in the U.S. exceeded 759,760 with around 40,680 deaths. Spain confirmed a total of over 200,210 cases, while Italy reported a total of at least 178,970 confirmed cases.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 248 points to 23,911 while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index futures traded fell 27.1 points to 2,843.00. Futures for the Nasdaq 100 index declined 45.5 points to 8,763.50.

Oil prices traded lower as Brent crude futures fell 3.6% to trade at $27.08 per barrel, while US WTI crude futures fell 22.8% to trade at $14.10 a barrel.

A Peek Into Global Markets

European markets were mostly higher today, with the Spanish Ibex Index falling 0.9%, STOXX Europe 600 Index climbing 0.2% and German DAX 30 index gaining 0.3%. The UK’s FTSE index was trading lower by 0.2%, while French CAC 40 Index rose 0.1%.

In Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei fell 1.15%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.21%, China’s Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.50% and India’s BSE Sensex rose 0.19%.

Broker Recommendation

Analysts at BMO Capital downgraded Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) from Outperform to Market Perform and announced a $79 price target.

Gilead Sciences shares rose 0.7% to $84.55 in pre-market trading.

Breaking News

  • American Virtual Cloud Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVCT) and Cytiva announced collaboration on COVID-19 rapid test.
  • Immunic Inc (NASDAQ: IMUX) reported the resignation of its CFO, Sanjay S. Patel.
  • Univision and Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) disclosed a multi-year agreement for audio measurement.
  • The FTC has approved PepsiCo, Inc. (NASDAQ: PEP) acquisition of Rockstar Energy for $3.85 billion, the NY Post reported.

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