Futures rise on China stimulus hopes, signs of slowing virus spread

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© Reuters. Futures rise on China stimulus hopes, signs of slowing virus spread© Reuters. Futures rise on China stimulus hopes, signs of slowing virus spread

By Medha Singh

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures advanced on Wednesday as signs of slowing coronavirus infections and expectations that China would take more steps to bolster its virus-hit economy helped investors return to equities after Apple’s sales warning.

The number of new coronavirus cases dropped in mainland China, helping world stocks rise, although global health officials cautioned it was too early to predict how the epidemic will play out.[MKTS/GLOB]

China has unveiled several fiscal and monetary measures in an attempt to limit the damage from business shutdowns and travel curbs on the world’s second-largest economy, and many analysts predict further policy easing is likely.

China’s stimulus measures, confidence in the U.S. economy and hopes that the damage from the outbreak will be short-lived helped Wall Street’s main indexes notch fresh highs last week.

The Dow Industrials () and the S&P 500 () fell on Tuesday as a warning from Apple Inc (O:) that it would be unable to meet its current-quarter sales targets highlighted concerns about disruptions to global supply chains.

However, the iPhone maker’s shares closed off their session lows as many analysts saw the forecast update as a near-term problem. Apple shares were up 0.6% in premarket trading.

At 7:32 a.m. ET, were up 83 points, or 0.28%. S&P 500 e-minis were 9.5 points, or 0.28%, higher and were up 38.5 points, or 0.4%.

Market participants now await the minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting, where the central bank pointed to continued moderate growth for the domestic economy and said it was monitoring risks from the coronavirus outbreak.

Several Fed policymakers are also scheduled to speak before the minutes are released at 2:00 p.m. ET (1900 GMT).

Among stocks, Garmin Ltd (O:) rose 8% after the wearable fitness devices maker forecast full-year revenue above analysts’ estimates.

Co-Diagnostics Inc (O:) climbed 6.2% after the molecular diagnostics company said it was moving towards obtaining clearance from regulatory bodies to market and sell its screening test for coronavirus.

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