Futures ease after five-day run as virus worries weigh

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(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures slipped on Tuesday following the benchmark S&P 500 and Nasdaq’s five-day rally, as investors weighed the risks to the economy from tens of thousands of new coronavirus cases nationwide.

Florida’s greater Miami area became the latest U.S. coronavirus hot spot to roll back its reopening while Texas registered an all-time high in the number of people hospitalized at any one moment with COVID-19 for the eight straight day.

Travel-related stocks, which were among the hardest hit during lockdowns, fell in premarket trading. United Airlines Holdings Inc (O:UAL) and American Airlines Group Inc (O:AAL) were down 3% and 2.8%, respectively.

Royal Caribbean Group (N:RCL) and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd (N:NCLH) also dropped about 3% each, even as they announced a joint task force to help develop safety standards for restarting their businesses.

Alarming spread of the virus could setback the business activity which is attempting to regain momentum after an initial round of lockdowns pushed the economy into a recession in February.

A surprise expansion in the U.S. service sector and a record job additions in June are among the slate of upbeat data recently that have bolstered views that an economic recovery is underway, helping the Nasdaq close at a record level on Monday and pushing S&P 500 about 45% from its March lows.

At 6:15 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis <1YMcv1> were down 287 points, or 1.1%. S&P 500 e-minis were down 28.5 points, or 0.9% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 52.75 points, or 0.5%.

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