Stock futures cling to hopes of recovery as virus cases rise

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(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures rose on Monday on hopes of stimulus-fueled economic recovery even though sentiment remained fragile amid growing evidence of a surge in the coronavirus infections.

Trillions of dollars in monetary and fiscal support, the reopening of businesses and improving economic data have helped the S&P 500 (SPX) climb about 41% from its March lows, leaving it only about 9% of its Feb. 19 record high.

Rising virus infection rates, however, remained an overhang on the markets, especially after the World Health Organization reported a record rise in global coronavirus cases on Sunday.

On Friday, both the S&P 500 (SPX) and the Dow (DJI) ended a choppy session in the red after Apple Inc’s (O:AAPL) move to temporarily shut some U.S. stores brought back concerns of a delay in recovery of business activity.

At 6:18 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis <1YMcv1> were up 194 points, or 0.76%. S&P 500 e-minis were up 26 points, or 0.85% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 86.5 points, or 0.87%.

American Airlines Group Inc (O:AAL) slipped 5.8% in premarket trading as it planned to secure $3.5 billion in new financing, to improve the airline’s liquidity as it grapples with travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus.

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