Inventory futures are flat as merchants weigh the virus resurgence and its influence on the economic system

Traders work on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange.


U.S. stock futures were unchanged on Thursday night as Wall Street continues to grapple with the rising number of coronavirus cases and their potential economic impact.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures traded 32 points, or 0.1%. S&P 500 futures fell slightly and Nasdaq 100 futures traded 0.1% higher.

The previous Thursday, the Dow fell more than 300 points during the regular session, recording its second consecutive daily decline. The S&P 500 pulled back 1% and stayed just 0.8% higher for the week after rising sharply on Monday on positive vaccine news.

These losses are due to the fact that coronavirus cases and hospital stays in the United States continue to rise. A CNBC analysis of the data compiled by Johns Hopkins University found that average daily new cases had increased by at least 5% in at least 47 states over the past week. Hospital stays are increasing in at least 46 states.

Sentiment on Thursday worsened after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the country’s economic outlook remained uncertain. “With the virus spreading, the next few months could be challenging,” he said.

The recurrence of coronavirus cases has also resulted in some parts of the country taking stricter social distancing measures. In Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot asked residents to cancel their Thanksgiving plans and stay indoors if cases surfaced in the city. In New York state, Governor Andrew Cuomo said new curfews on bars, restaurants and gyms will come into effect on Friday.

Phillip Colmar, partner at MRB Partners, said in a note that the global economic recovery “continues, but the V-shaped part is over and we have already moved to a slower pace of two steps forward and one step back.”

Disney, Cisco jump to profit

Shares in Dow members Disney and Cisco rose sharply in after-hours trading after both companies reported quarterly results that exceeded analysts’ expectations.

Disney was trading more than 3% higher after the bell when the company said it now has 73 million paid subscribers to its streaming service Disney +. The media giant also reported a less than expected loss for the quarter.

Cisco grew more than 6% on the back of strong earnings and sales. The company also issued a better-than-expected forecast for the current quarter.

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