Dow futures were pointing to a 200 point decline at Wednesday's open as new U.S. coronavirus cases spike in several states. Gold prices rose to their highest levels in nearly eight years, above $1,796 per ounce, as the resurgence of cases pushed investors into investments perceived as safer. On Tuesday, the Nasdaq was again the big winner, powering to another record high and extending its winning streak to eight sessions. The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average also closed higher.
With the S&P 500 soaring more than 21% for the second quarter with five trading days to go, Wall Street strategists are handicapping the likelihood that institutional and other investors will sell some of their big stock market gains and buy bonds in the course of the next week. The amount of pension fund rebalancing is being estimated in a wide range, $35 billion to $76 billion, according to some forecasts.
Shares of Apple were under some pressure in Wednesday's premarket trading, one day after surging 2% to another record high close. Perhaps contributing to the pause in Apple's rally since Monday's developer conference announcements, data showed that iPhone sales in China fell 7.7% to 3.6 million units month-over-month in May after April's 160% surge. Slowing sales last month came after Apple saw an initial rebound when China reopened its economy as the coronavirus outbreak eased. Apple released in April its second generation iPhone SE, the cheapest device in the iPhone line. As Apple got the iPhone SE into retailers in China, sales of the new device helped boost April's numbers.
White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci is warning that parts of the U.S. are beginning to see a "disturbing surge" in coronavirus infections. States with growing outbreaks might need to consider pausing or rolling back stages of their reopening plans, Fauci said at a House panel hearing Tuesday. He said that states might not need to order complete shutdowns again like in March. Fauci also said doctors are seeing "more and more" complications with Covid-19 in young people. He said he expects a vaccine will be ready by early next year.
The seven-day average of new coronavirus cases in the U.S. soared 30% from a week ago, according to a CNBC analysis of Johns Hopkins University data. Hospitalizations are also increasing in states like Arizona and Texas.
According to health officials, it can take five to 12 days for people to show symptoms, which could delay reporting. Cases are growing in at least 26 states, including Texas, California and Florida. Meanwhile, the District of Columbia and 16 states, including New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, reported declines in new infections.
The European Union is discussing how to reopen its external borders as the region looks to slowly reopen economies. However, visitors from countries like the United States may still be barred from entering. "It is way too early to say which countries will be in the list," an EU official, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the decision-making process, told CNBC on Wednesday. European countries decided to close their external borders in March to contain the spread of Covid-19. The travel restrictions have been extended three times, but they're due to end on Tuesday.
— The Associated Press contribute to this report. Follow all the developments on Wall Street in real-time with CNBC's live markets blog. Get the latest on the pandemic with our coronavirus blog.