U.S. stock futures were sharply lower Thursday, as world markets were under pressure on concerns about the widening coronavirus outbreak. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was set to drop about 200 points at Wall Street's open, giving up nearly all of its remaining 2020 gains. On Wednesday, the Dow closed up just 11 points after trading some 220-points higher earlier in the session. The government on Thursday morning said its first look at fourth-quarter gross domestic product showed growth of 2.1%, matching estimates, and closed out a year that saw GDP decelerate to its slowest pace in three years. The numbers came one day after the Federal Reserve kept interest rates steady and struck an upbeat tone on the health of the U.S. economy.
Chinese health officials said the coronavirus death toll rose to 170 as confirmed cases in China increased to more than 7,700. To help contain the spread, Russia closed border crossings with China. India and the Philippines reported their first cases. The U.S. State Department said Thursday that more evacuation flights for Americans from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epic-center of the virus, are set for Monday. The new coronavirus has now infected more people in China than were sickened there during the 2002-2003 SARS outbreak. Severe acute respiratory syndrome killed 774 people.
The earnings flood continues, with Dow component Coco-Cola reporting before-the-bell Thursday fourth-quarter earnings that matched estimates and revenue that beat estimates. Shares were moving more than 1% higher in the premarket. Dow stock Verizon is also set to deliver Thursday morning. Dow stock Visa reports after the bell. Also Thursday afternoon, Amazon issues earnings, with one-day delivery investments expected to be a drag.
Shares of Tesla, already up nearly 40% in 2020, were set to add 10% at Thursday's Wall Street open. The electric auto maker reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings after the market close Wednesday. Tesla said vehicle deliveries should "comfortably exceed 500,000 units" this year. On the post-earnings analyst call, CEO Elon Musk said Tesla has no plans to raise capital at this point.
The Senate is expected to vote Friday on whether to call witnesses or subpoena additional documents in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Mitt Romney of Utah and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska are seen as the most likely Republicans to side with Democrats in favor of additional witnesses. On Wednesday, senators peppered House Democrats and Trump defense lawyers with questions.