U.S. stock futures fell amid concerns about Covid-19 vaccine distribution and as investors awaited a bumper day of earnings reports.
Futures tied to the broad S&P 500 index were down 0.7% and Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 0.8%. Futures tied to the technology-heavy Nasdaq-100 fell 0.2%.
Delays in the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines, coupled with lingering lockdown measures, marked a “double whammy” of bad news for investors, said Hani Redha, a portfolio manager at PineBridge Investments.
“I think the market expected that by now we would be talking about loosening, not tightening restrictions,” he said. “On the vaccine rollout, this is very problematic for the near term. It is very critical for shaping the growth bounce back, and these issues are just adding more delay to that.”
AstraZeneca rebutted reports Wednesday that it had pulled out of a meeting with European Union officials, as a spat between the two groups regarding a vaccine shortfall deepened.