US futures point to lower open on Wall Street

U.S. stock index futures fell on Thursday morning. At around 2:30 a.m. ET, Dow futures were down 42 points, indicating an implied negative open of more than 45 points. Futures on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq were also lower.

The spread of the China coronavirus has placed renewed downward pressure on global equity markets, with the death toll rising to 17 and the World Health Organization set to reconvene Thursday to decide whether to declare a global health emergency.

On Wednesday, the number of confirmed cases of the new strain of coronavirus, which originated in China’s Wuhan city and has now been detected throughout Asia and as far away as the U.S., reached 571.

Asian shares tumbled overnight, while Chinese Treasury futures surged, as fears of an economic fallout from the virus sent investors running for cover.

Thursday’s focus will also be attuned to individual stock moves arising from corporate earnings season, with a strong session for IBM lifting the tech sector on Wednesday.

Comcast, Procter & Gamble, Union Pacific and American Airlines are all due to report earnings before the opening bell on Thursday, with Intel reporting after the close of trade.

On the data front, initial and continuing jobless claims figures for January are due at 8:30 a.m. ET.