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By Peter Nurse    

Investing.com – U.S. stocks are set to post hefty losses at the open Monday, with investors greeting Sunday’s moves by the Federal Reserve to mitigate the economic damage from a spreading coronavirus pandemic with mounting anxiety.

At 7:05 AM ET (1105 GMT), futures for the traded 4.8% lower, futures for the  down 4.6%, while the fell 4.6%. These contracts were suspended after plunging to hit their daily limits, suggesting the cash markets could open even lower.

The Federal Reserve held an emergency meeting Sunday, cutting short-term rates to a target range of 0% to 0.25%, announcing at least $700 billion in purchases of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities in coming weeks and offering cheap dollar financing to financial institutions around the world facing stress in credit markets.

These moves come as governments around the world sought to stem the spread of the virus that has infected over 169,000 people globally and killed more than 6,500.

In the U.S., there have been school closings, runs on grocery stores, shuttered restaurants and retailers, and ends to sports events. 

Shares in United Airlines (NASDAQ:) dropped over 16% in premarket trading after the company said it’s slashing its flight schedule by 50% for the next two months, seeing revenue in March down $1.5 billion from last year. Shares in American Airlines (NASDAQ:) and Delta Airlines (NYSE:) are also sharply lower.

Shares in Apple (NASDAQ:) fell over 11% in premarket trading after announcing it is closing all of its stores outside greater China until at least March 27. This matches the response of a number of retailers, including Nike (NYSE:) and Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ:).

Shares in cruise operator Carnival (NYSE:) dropped over 20% premarket after it cancelled all its North American cruise lines for at least a month, amid a drop in global demand for holidays due to the spread of coronavirus.

Elsewhere, the oil market has been hammered by the combination of a hit to demand from the economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus and a price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia, two of the globe’s largest producers.

AT 07:10 AM ET (1110 GMT), futures traded 6.5% lower at $30.03 a barrel. The international benchmark contract fell 9.4% to $30.66. 

Additionally, fell 2.7% to $1,474.10/oz, while the traded at $1.1160, up 0.5%.

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