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US Markets | Futures Indicator: US futures point to slightly higher open

Sam Meredith



U.S. stock index futures were slightly higher Wednesday morning.
At around 2:30 a.m. ET, Dow futures rose 81 points, indicating a positive open of more than 74 points. Futures on the S&P and Nasdaq were both marginally higher.
Market focus remains largely attuned to the potential economic fallout of the coronavirus outbreak.
China’s National Health Commission on Wednesday reported an additional 1,749 cases of the coronavirus nationwide, with 136 deaths. As of Feb. 18., the commission said there had been a total of 74,185 confirmed cases and 2,004 cumulative deaths.
Cases of the deadly flu-like virus, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, have been reported in more than two dozen countries around the world.
Last month, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a global health emergency.

Economic data, earnings

On the data front, the Labor Department will publish its producer price index (PPI) for January at 8 a.m. ET, with housing starts for January, building permits for January and a business leaders survey for February all due at the same time.
An advanced fourth-quarter reading of the Census Bureau’s Quarterly Services Survey (QSS) will be released slightly later in the session.
The Federal Reserve is also scheduled to publish its meeting minutes from December, when policymakers at the U.S. central bank decided to hold the federal funds rate steady between a range of 1.5% to 1.75%.
Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic, Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari, Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan, Richmond Fed President Tom Barkin and Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester are all expected to comment on the world’s largest economy at separate events on Wednesday.
In corporate news, Elanco Animal Health, Garmin and Genuine Parts are among some of the companies scheduled to report earnings before the opening bell.
Host Hotels, Synopsys and Zillow are among some of the companies set to release their latest quarterly figures after market close.

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