US pre-open: Stocks seen up as Wall Street shrugs off coronavirus fears
US futures were pointing to some early gains on Wednesday ahead of an array of corporate releases as investors seemingly shrug off concerns about the spread of a deadly virus in China.
As of 1245 GMT, Dow futures were up 0.33%, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures had the indices opening 0.46% and 0.76% higher, respectively.
The Dow closed 152.06 points lower on Tuesday as traders returned from the Martin Luther King Jr holiday to concerns over a new deadly virus outbreak - with one confirmed case in the US.
China unveiled measures to stem the flow of the deadly Wuhan coronavirus on Wednesday, somewhat tempering the fears of a global pandemic that hit sentiment and sent markets tumbling in the previous session.
While US public health officials confirmed that the first US case had been diagnosed in Washington State, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said overnight that the male patient posed "little risk" to the general public.
CMC Markets analysts David Madden said: "The Chinese government's response to the health situation seems to be more upfront than their handling of the SARS crisis, so traders aren't as fearful."
However, he did note that "huge numbers" of people were expected to be on the move during the Lunar New Year holiday and cautioned that "the situation could worsen", perhaps explaining why some traders weren't "overly bullish this morning".
On the corporate front, Boeing was in focus after the aerospace giant said it did not expect to gain approval for the return of the embattled 737 Max until mid-year, while Netflix was also under scrutiny after forecasting a tough start to 2020 and missing fourth-quarter growth expectations overnight.
Johnson & Johnson, Abbott Labs and Texas Instruments will all report later in the session.
On the macroeconomic calendar, overall mortgage application volume in the US fell 1.2% last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances of $510,400 or less was unchanged at 3.87%.
MBA economist Joel Kan said: "Even with more positive developments surrounding the US and China trade negotiations and healthy retail sales data, investors seemed cautious and maintained their demand for safer US Treasurys, which kept yields lower.
"Our expectation is that rates will stay along this same narrow range."
Still to come, the Chicago Fed's national activity index will be released at 1330 GMT, while existing home sales figures for December will be published at 1500 GMT.