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Stock futures set to extend losses as coronavirus deaths climb

Stocks were poised to extend losses Monday as the coronavirus pandemic deepened over the weekend, with the U.S. death total escalating. 

On Sunday evening, futures for the Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 400 points, signaling another volatile week on Wall Street after it tumbled more than 900 points on Friday. Standard & Poor’s 500 futures lost 2%.

President Donald Trump late Sunday extended the national social distancing guidelines to April 30 as U.S. fatalities from the pandemic climbed above 2,300. The announcement comes after Trump said last week he hoped to open up the country by Easter. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, projected between 100,000 and 200,000 people could die from the virus. 

The stock market has shed more than 20% since touching records just over a month ago. Despite Friday’s losses, the Dow still notched its biggest weekly gain since 1938, helped by promises from Congress and the Federal Reserve to provide aid for the economy and markets. But analysts caution that the recent rally could fade until there’s a long-term solution to fight coronavirus infections.

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