U.S. Index Futures Slide as Global Sentiment Weakens After Rally

U.S. stock-index futures slid, extending Friday’s sell-off as investor sentiment cooled at the start of May following a recent rally.

Contracts on the S&P 500 Index were down 1.7% as of 8:41 a.m. in Tokyo. Futures fell 1.7% on the Nasdaq 100 Index and 1.4% on the Dow Jones Industrial Average.Oil futures also declined as investors continued to cut their exposure to nearer-term contracts.

Political tensions between the U.S. and China flared up over the origin of the coronavirus. U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeosaid “enormous evidence” shows the outbreak began in a laboratory in Wuhan, China, but didn’t provide any proof for his claims. Global coronaviruscases are near 3.5 million, with deaths topping 246,000. The pace of new U.S. cases slowed for a third day and New York added the fewest new deaths in more than a month.

The S&P 500 Index fell 2.8% to close at 2,830.71 Friday after sobering comments from Amazon.com Inc. and Apple Inc. about the pandemic’s impact. Exxon Mobil Corp. slumped after posting its first quarterly loss in at least 32 years. Equities also retreated in the U.K. and Japan, with many other global markets closed for May Day.

“We are starting to see signs that the market is stalling just under major resistance at the 3,000 level,” J.C. O’Hara, chief market technician at MKM Partners LLC, wrote in a report. With funds boosting equity exposure in April, “the concern now is that much of the shorter term dry powder was just used, which makes further upside less likely in the days ahead.”

The U.S. benchmark gauge advanced nearly 13% in April, marking the best month since 1987. Markets are off to a shaky start in May as corporate earnings have helped renew investor concern. Companies due to report this week include Walt Disney Co., General Motors Co. and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.

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