Wall Street set to open lower as crude slump batters energy stocks

FILE PHOTO: The floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) stands empty as the building prepares to close indefinitely due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in New York, U.S., March 20, 2020. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures fell on Monday as a slump in oil prices pounded energy stocks, with investors also bracing for another batch of dour first-quarter earnings reports and economic data.

Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) and Chevron Corp (CVX.N) shed between 3.6% and 4.3% in premarket trading as crude prices fell to levels last seen in 1999 on concerns of oversupply. [O/R]

Wall Street’s main indexes have rallied this month, with the S&P 500 .SPX ending Friday with its biggest two-week percentage gain since 1974 on a raft of global stimulus and hopes the virus was nearing a peak in the United States.

The benchmark index is up 30% from its March trough, but is still about 15% off its all-time high and analysts have warned of a deep economic slump from the halt in business activity and millions of layoffs.

After U.S. banks kicked off the quarterly earnings season with painful forecasts for 2020, investors will keep a close watch on reports from Halliburton (HAL.N) on Monday as well as Delta Air Lines Inc (DAL.N), Southwest Airlines Co (LUV.N) and Netflix Inc (NFLX.O) later in the week.

Surveys on April U.S. manufacturing are due on Thursday.

At 06:22 a.m. EDT, Dow e-minis 1YMcv1 were down 372 points, or 1.52%, S&P 500 e-minis EScv1 were down 41.5 points, or 1.43% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQcv1 were down 82.5 points, or 0.94%.

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SPDR S&P 500 ETFs (SPY.P) were down 1.21%.

The S&P 500 index .SPX closed up 2.68% at 2,874.56​ on Friday.

Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru

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