May 11, 2020 / 1:16 PM / 16 days ago

US STOCKS-Wall St set to drop on fear of new infection wave

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* Coty jumps after selling majority stake in unit

* Marriott drops as profit misses lowered estimates

* Cardinal Heath surges as pandemic drives sales

* Futures off: Dow 1.20%, S&P 1.24%, Nasdaq 0.97% (Add comment, details; Updates prices)

By Medha Singh

May 11 (Reuters) - Wall Street’s main indexes were set to fall at the open on Monday after last week’s rally, as investors worried about a second wave of coronavirus infections with the reopening of several economies.

Germany and South Korea reported a surge in new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, in an ominous sign for all countries beginning to lift virus lockdowns.

“That’s going to put water on the fire today,” said Gerald Sparrow, portfolio manager of the Sparrow Growth Fund in St. Louis, Missouri.

“(Still), the difference now than four months ago is that governments and health organizations have more specific plans. The big tipping point is going to be if we can’t come up with a medicine to treat the virus.”

Battered travel-related stocks, including Carnival Corp , Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd, American Airlines Group Inc and United Airlines Holdings Inc dropped more than 2% each in premarket trading.

Marriott International Inc shed 2.5% as its quarterly profit fell short of already drastically lowered expectations, as bookings plunged.

Hopes of a pickup in business activity powered a Wall Street rally last week, with the Nasdaq recouping all its losses for 2020 as investors looked past dire economic data, including a historic 20.5 million jobs wiped out in April.

However, the benchmark S&P 500 is still more than 13% below its February record high and analysts have warned of another selloff as macroeconomic data gets worse, foreshadowing a deep and lasting global recession.

“We think it’s likely a stretch for investors to chase the move much higher from here,” said Eoin Murray, head of investment at Federated Hermes.

After financial markets began pricing in negative U.S. interest rates for the first time ever last week, all eyes will be on Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s outlook on the economy at a webcast event on Wednesday.

At 8:48 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 291 points, or 1.2%. S&P 500 e-minis were down 36.25 points, or 1.24% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 89 points, or 0.97%.

Cosmetics maker Coty Inc jumped 12.5% after agreeing to sell a majority stake in its professional beauty and retail hair businesses to investment firm KKR in a deal valued at $4.3 billion.

Drug distributor Cardinal Health Inc jumped 8% as the pandemic drove a surge in third-quarter sales, which topped market estimates. (Reporting by Medha Singh and Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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