US stock futures fell sharply on Friday, while a powerful rally in US Treasuries gathered pace, amid mounting concerns over the global economic fallout surrounding the coronavirus epidemic.

While concerted efforts by central banks and governments stimulated buying across equity markets earlier in the week, investors have seemingly resumed their selling into the weekend; instead piling into the world’s safest and most liquid assets.

The rising number of cases between western Europe and the United States has hammered risk assets around the world, driving investors into safe-havens such as US Treasuries, gold and the Japanese yen.

These developments come after Thursday’s session, where the S&P 500 (-3.32%) ended sharply lower after infections in the United States rose while California declared a medical state of emergency.

Ahead, with all eyes on the virus, investors may pay less attention than usual to Friday’s US payrolls report at 8:30am EST. Forecast show the US to have added 174,000 jobs last month vs. a 225,000 increase in January. The unemployment rate is expected to hold steady at 3.6%.

The calendar also includes; Trade Data for January at 8:30am EST.

TODAY'S TOP HEADLINES
Coronavirus: Coronavirus’s True Lethal Power Still Eludes Disease Experts. (Bloomberg)
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the virus has killed about 3.4% of those diagnosed, a chilling mortality upgrade that far eclipses seasonal flu’s death toll.

ECONOMIC CALENDAR
Today's Economical Announcements.

08:30AM - ★★★ - Nonfarm Payrolls (Feb) (Previous: 225K)
08:30AM - ★★★ - Unemployment Rate (Feb) (Previous: 3.6%)
08:30AM - ★★☆ - Imports (Previous: 258.50B)
08:30AM - ★★☆ - Exports (Previous: 206.60B)

STOCKS IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Pre-Market Movers & News Related Stocks.

American Outdoor Brands (AOBC): [EARNINGS] Reported adjusted quarterly earnings of 13 cents per share, falling short of the 23 cents a share consensus estimate. The Smith & Wesson parent also lowered its sales and earnings guidance for the current fiscal year. The company said it saw a shortfall in anticipated orders from certain strategic retailers across multiple product segments.

Big Lots (BIG): [NEWS] Is the target of activist investors Macellum Advisors and Ancora Advisors, who have taken a more than 10% stake in the discount retailer. The funds have nominated nine directors, saying underperformance in earnings and the stock’s price necessitates a change.

H&R Block (HRB): [EARNINGS] Reported a quarterly loss of 59 cents per share, 4 cents a share wider than anticipated. Revenue beat Wall Street forecasts. The bottom line was impacted by higher-than-anticipated expenses.

Costco (COST): [EARNINGS] Reported quarterly earnings of $2.10 per share, 4 cents a share above estimates. Revenue also beat forecasts. Costco has been experiencing a surge in sales of consumer staples in recent weeks due to the coronavirus outbreak, and reported a 12.1% jump in comparable sales for February.

Starbucks (SBUX): [NEWS] Cut its China sales forecast due to the coronavirus outbreak, and the coffee chain also announced that it would suspend new store openings in China. Starbucks expects same-store sales to drop by 50% in China for the second quarter.

Lyft (LYFT): [RATING] Needham rates the ride-hailing service’s stock a “buy” in new coverage. The firm notes a 30% drop in the stock price since Lyft’s fourth-quarter earnings report, saying this creates an unreasonably wide valuation discount compared to competitor (UBER).

JPMorgan Chase (JPM): [NEWS] CEO Jamie Dimon is said to be “recovering well” after undergoing emergency heart surgery Thursday. The bank said Dimon experienced an aortic dissection, an abnormal separation of tissues in the aortic wall.

Gap (GPS): [NEWS] Appointed Sonia Syngal, the head of its Old Navy unit, as its new chief executive officer. She replaces interim CEO Robert Fisher, who took over after the exit of then-CEO Art Peck.

BJ’s Wholesale (BJ): [UPGRADE] JPMorgan Chase upgraded the warehouse retailer’s stock to “overweight” from “neutral,” saying a stock decline compared to peers is outsized given BJ’s earnings outlook. The firm also added the stock to its “US Equity Analyst Focus List” as a value play.

Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG): [UPGRADE] William Blair upgraded the restaurant chain’s stock to “outperform” from “market perform,” following a 22% pullback in the past two weeks amid no discernible change in traffic trends.

Okta (OKTA): [EARNINGS] Reported a quarterly loss of 1 cent per share, smaller than the 5 cents a share loss projected by Wall Street analysts. The identity management software provider also reported better-than-expected revenue for the quarter, as subscription sales increased.

MOMENTUM STOCKS
GAINERS: VIPS, KR
DECLINERS: SAVE, SABR, RCL, ANF, CSTM, CCL, AMBA

TODAY'S IPOs
Flying Eagle (FEAC.U) (Price: 10) (Est. Vol: $600.0M)
LifeSci (LSACU) (Price: 10) (Est. Vol: $60.0M)

WE WILL SHOW YOU THE WAY!