February 5, 2020 / 2:15 PM / 4 months ago

US STOCKS-Futures surge on private jobs data, talks of coronavirus treatment

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* Jan. private-sector payroll rise more than expected

* Coty surges on profit, revenue beat

* Ford slumps after weak 2020 forecast

* Futures up: Dow 0.86%, S&P 0.86%, Nasdaq 1.10% (Adds comment, details, updates prices)

By Medha Singh

Feb 5 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures climbed on Wednesday on strong monthly domestic private jobs data and reports of a treatment to fight the fast-spreading coronavirus.

Private-sector payrolls increased by 291,000 in January, the ADP National Employment Report showed, far above expectations of 156,000 job additions.

"Investors are looking at economic data which is better than expected and earnings season which have been good," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities in New York.

"Markets are trying to price in a more realistic view of the economic damage which will follow this disease."

Earlier in the day, futures gained after a report that a Zhejiang University team had found some drugs that could inhibit the coronavirus in vitro cell experiments.

Separately, researchers in the UK told Sky News that they have made a "significant breakthrough" in finding a vaccine.

Reuters could not independently verify the reports, but several traders cited them for the sharp moves in global stock markets.

The World Health Organization played down the reports, saying "there are no known effective therapeutics against this 2019-nCoV (virus)".

Wall Street has staged a stellar comeback in the past two sessions from last week's steep declines after China pumped in billions of dollars into the financial system this week to limit the economic impact of the virus outbreak.

The country's central bank is likely to lower its key rate on Feb. 20, sources told Reuters, as the death toll from the epidemic climbs to nearly 500.

At 8:41 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 247 points, or 0.86%. S&P 500 e-minis were up 28.5 points, or 0.86% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 102.5 points, or 1.1%.

The U.S. earnings season has reached the halfway mark and corporate America has largely beaten Wall Street expectations.

Coty Inc climbed 10.8% as the cosmetics maker beat estimates for quarterly profit and revenue.

Ford Motor Co tumbled 8.5% after the No. 2 U.S. automaker delivered a weaker-than-expected 2020 forecast.

Markets await the Institute of Supply Management's (ISM) January data for the U.S. services sector, due at 10 a.m. ET. Earlier this week, ISM's manufacturing report had showed a surprise expansion in activity for last month. (Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru Editing by Anil D'Silva and Arun Koyyur)

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