U.S. Futures Fluctuate on Virus Worry; Bonds Gain: Markets Wrap

U.S. equity futures fluctuated while European stocks turned higher on Thursday as investors attempted to look past a global resurgence incoronavirus infections that sapped risk appetite earlier in the week.

Contracts on the S&P 500 and Dow Industrials struggled for traction, while pre-market gains in tech shares helped Nasdaq 100 futures erase an earlier loss. In Europe, stocks edged higher, with Deutsche Lufthansa AG rallying as its biggest shareholder backed a government rescue package. The dollar nudged higher versus a basket of its peers, while Treasuries and core European bonds gained.

Worries that lockdowns may be reimposed and economies re-opened more slowly has hurt but not poisoned sentiment, as investors weigh reports of new daily records for infections in Texas, Florida and California. Meanwhile, health leaders called on the U.K. to prepare for a possible second wave, and Australia recorded its largest spike in cases since April.

“The market really got the shivers over the prospect of a big increase in Covid and maybe starting to see places that were opening up have to close up,” Margie Patel, portfolio manager at Wells Fargo Asset Management, said on Bloomberg TV. “We’ve had such a great run from the end of March it’s only inevitable that we should get at least a little step back.”

Elsewhere, stocks in Asia fell the most in almost two weeks. China and Hong Kong were shut for holidays. West Texas crude oil fell below $38 a barrel, while gold pared an earlier gain.

Here are some key events coming up:

  • U.S. jobless claims, durable goods and GDP data are due Thursday.
  • A rebalance of Russell indexes is due on Friday.

These are the main moves in markets:


  • The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 0.2% as of 5:54 a.m. New York time.
  • Futures on the S&P 500 Index dipped 0.2%.
  • Nasdaq 100 Index futures were little changed.
  • The MSCI Emerging Market Index fell 0.7%.


  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index climbed 0.1%.
  • The euro declined 0.2% to $1.1227.
  • The British pound increased 0.1% to $1.2436.
  • The Japanese yen weakened 0.1% to 107.18 per dollar.
  • South Africa’s rand weakened 0.5% to 17.4634 per dollar.


  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell one basis point to 0.67%.
  • Germany’s 10-year yield dipped two basis points to -0.46%.
  • France’s 10-year yield decreased two basis points to -0.119%.
  • Britain’s 10-year yield declined three basis points to 0.163%.


  • Brent crude decreased 0.4% to $40.15 a barrel.
  • Gold strengthened 0.1% to $1,762.36 an ounce.
  • LME aluminum dipped 0.8% to $1,564 per metric ton.

— With assistance by Joanna Ossinger, and Adam Haigh

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