U.S. stocks were set to start off the shortened trading week on a sour note. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures traded about 130 points lower. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures indicated declines of at least 0.5% at the open. A decline would mark a three-day losing streak for the Dow. In the past month, investors have been weighing the possibility of slower global economic activity due to the coronavirus outbreak. On Monday, tech giant Apple warned it will take a hit because of disease.
Apple shares traded about 2% lower in the premarket and chip stocks also dropped in Tusday's premarket, a day after Apple warned about a "slower return to normal conditions than we had anticipated" in China due to the coronavirus outbreak. The tech giant warned that the effects of the outbreak will prevent it from meeting its fiscal second-quarter revenue forecast. Originally, Apple issued revenue guidance ranging $63 billion to $67 billion for the quarter. Apple noted its China-based facilities have reopened, but production is "ramping up more slowly than we had anticipated," leading to iPhone supply shortages.
Walmart shares rose about 1% in the premarket despite weaker-than-expected quarterly results. The retail giant reported an adjusted profit of $1.38 per share on revenue of $141.67 billion. Analysts polled by Refinitiv expected earnings per share of $1.43 on revenue of $142.49 billion. Same-store sales — a key metric for retailers — was also softer than expected. The company said weak demand for toys, apparel and video games during the holidays weighed on its results.
Credit-ratings agency Moody's slashed its 2020 GDP growth outlook on China to 5.2% from 5.8% as the coronavirus continues to spread. Moody's said its new forecast reflects a "severe but short-lived economic impact, with knock-on effects for economies across the region."
Billionaire Michael Bloomberg received 19% of support in an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll, qualifying him for Wednesday's Democratic debate in Las Vegas. The former New York mayor is seen by many on Wall Street as a market-friendly candidate given his business ties. However, he still lags Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden in most polls.