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US stocks open lower ahead of key earnings, economic data

By AFP - Apr 13,2020 - Last updated at Apr 13,2020

Traders work during the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on March 19, 2020, at Wall Street in New York City. (AFP file photo)

NEW YORK — Wall Street stocks retreated in early trading on Monday ahead of key earnings reports from banks and other companies that will highlight the initial impact of shutdowns imposed to counter the coronavirus.

 

      About 15 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 1.3 per cent at 23,411.97.

 

      The broad-based S&P 500 shed 1.2 per cent to 2,756.98, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index declined 0.6 per cent to 8,101.60.

 

      Earnings season for the first quarter gets underway in earnest on Tuesday with reports from JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, followed by reports from other banking giants later in the week.

 

      The results for the quarter ended March 31 will offer insight into how much the coronavirus shutdowns and layoffs are affecting mortgage and credit card payments.

 

      The banks are also deeply involved in Washington-launched programmes to stimulate the economy and provide relief to small businesses.

 

      The results come as investors debate the likelihood that US stocks could face another big selloff in the coming weeks after bouncing somewhat from its mid-March lows.

 

      Some market watchers say the US economy could bounce back relatively quickly once the coronavirus situation is managed, but others warn of a more protracted slowdown because of the risk of second-wave outbreaks.

 

      This week's economic reports include critical data on March retail sales, as well as the weekly jobless claims.

 

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