Wall Street set to decline on surging coronavirus infections

FILE PHOTO: The New York Stock Exchange is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., November 10, 2020. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

(Reuters) – Futures pointed to a weak start for Wall Street’s main indexes on Thursday on fears that soaring COVID-19 cases will stifle growth in the world’s largest economy.

The S&P 500 index .SPX was set for its third straight session of losses, retreating further from an all-time high hit on Monday after positive data was released on a coronavirus vaccine.

The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 surpassed a grim new milestone of 250,000 on Wednesday as New York City’s schools called a halt to in-classroom instruction, the latest in restrictions to curb the spread of the virus.

While trillions of dollars in stimulus and optimism around a vaccine have driven Wall Street to record highs following a coronavirus-driven crash in March, investors are wary of the near-term damage caused by tightening restrictions and in the absence of fresh stimulus measures.

All eyes will be on the Labor Department’s weekly jobless claims data due at 8:30 a.m. ET. Claims are expected to edge down to 707,000 in the week ended Nov. 14, from 709,000 in the week before.

At 6:56 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis 1YMcv1 were down 68 points, or 0.23%, S&P 500 e-minis EScv1 were down 6.5 points, or 0.18%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQcv1 were down 36.5 points, or 0.31%.

L Brands Inc LB.N surged 16.1% premarket after posting better-than-expected quarterly results, helped by record sales growth at Bath & Body Works and higher demand for Victoria’s Secret lingerie.

Department store operator Macy’s Inc M.N fell 4% after it reported a more than 20% fall in third-quarter comparable sales.

Nvidia Corp NVDA.O slipped 1.3% after company executives said data center chip sales would fall slightly in the fourth quarter.

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