Stocks futures drifted on Monday, as investors parsed public-health authorities’ efforts to contain the deadly coronavirus outbreak and its impact on health of the global economy.

The virus-associated death toll has recently risen to over 900 in mainland China, exceeding that of the severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS.

The growth of new cases could accelerate further, the WHO warned, even as global officials worked to quarantine the spread.

With analysts forecasting a sharp slowdown in China's economy during the first quarter, markets in Asia have struggled to find ground, with Asian stocks having traded weaker again today following Wall Street's post jobs report selloff on Friday (S&P 500: -0.53%).

Ongoing concerns relating to the potential economic implications of China’s efforts to curtail travel and limit business operations look to extend the market’s increased volatility in the days ahead.

Meanwhile, earnings releases are scheduled today from; Allergen (AGN), RingCentral (RNG), XPO Logistics (XPO), Edgewell Personal Care (EPC), Restaurant Brands International (QSR) and Diamond Offshore Drilling (DO).

TODAY'S TOP HEADLINES
China: Xi Insists China Will Definitely Win Fight Against Outbreak. (CNBC)
Chinese President Xi Jinping has insisted the country will definitely win the fight against the coronavirus outbreak, saying he will adopt more decisive measures in order to contain the spread.

ECONOMIC CALENDAR
Today's Economical Announcements.

10:00AM - ★☆☆ - CB Employment Trends (Jan) (Previous: 109.70)

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

L Brands (LB): [NEWS] Is near a deal to sell its Victoria’s Secret division to private-equity firm Sycamore Partners, according to sources who spoke to CNBC.

Edgewell Personal Care (EPC): [EARNINGS] Reported quarterly profit of 55 cents per share, well above the consensus estimate of 29 cents a share. Revenue exceeded estimates as well, and its full-year outlook is also mostly above Street forecasts. Separately, Edgewell ended its agreement to buy razor maker Harry’s, after the Federal Trade Commission moved to block the deal.

Restaurant Brands (QSR): [EARNINGS] Reported quarterly profit of 75 cents per share, 2 cents a share above estimates. Revenue also came in above forecasts. Comparable sales were shy of expectations at Tim Hortons and Burger King, but well above forecasts at Popeyes. The company said systemwide sales at the Popeyes chain jumped 42%, thanks in large part to its popular spicy chicken sandwich.

World Wrestling (WWE): [DOWNGRADE] Downgraded to “underweight” from “overweight” at Wells Fargo Securities, with the price target slashed to $36 per share from $80 a share. Wells Fargo said there have been “too many misfires,” and that the company needs a new CFO and to issue long-term guidance.

Eli Lilly (LLY): [NEWS] Lilly and partner Genentech said their experimental therapy for a rare form of Alzheimer’s disease missed its primary goal in a study.

FedEx (FDX): [UPGRADE] Upgraded to “buy” from “neutral” at UBS, which thinks consensus expectations are low for the company and that profit margins at FedEx’s Express service will expand.

Apple (AAPL): [NEWS] May postpone the launch of a cheaper iPhone due to the coronavirus, according to published reports in China.

Yum China (YUMC): [NEWS] A Yum China employee in Northwest China responsible for food preparation was confirmed to have the coronavirus, according to the Global Times.

Willis Towers Watson (WLTW): [DOWNGRADE] Downgraded to “neutral” from “outperform” at Credit Suisse in a valuation call. The consulting firm had reported better than expected quarterly earnings last week, but the stock tumbled amid 2020 earnings forecast that fell partially below consensus.

Taubman Centers (TCO): [BUYOUT] Simon Property Group (SPG) will buy rival Taubman for $52.50 per share in cash, or about $3.6 billion.

Allergan (AGN): [EARNINGS] Reported quarterly earnings of $5.22 per share, compared to estimates of $4.57 a share. Revenue also beat Wall Street forecasts, helped by better-than-expected specialized therapeutics and general medicine sales.

Mattel (MAT): [NEWS] Is shutting two factories in Asia and will close another in Canada, as it seeks to cut costs. The toy maker has been seeking to streamline its manufacturing and supply chain.

Nvidia (NVDA): [REVIEW] RBC Capital increased its price target for the graphics chip maker’s stock to $301 per share from $251, saying the quarter ending January 31 is likely to come in above the high end of the company’s guidance due to strong gaming and data center markets.

MOMENTUM STOCKS
GAINERS: SYNA, MRNA
DECLINERS: ZGNX, TTWO, HSC, FNF

TODAY'S IPOs
None.

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