S&P 500 futures were mostly flat as investors pondered a rapid economic recovery alongside increased tensions between the U.S. and China, plus stocks to watch today in the Money & Markets Opening Bell.
The Top Story
Companies that are sensitive to China’s growth faced added pressure before the market opened Thursday as tensions between Washington and Beijing head higher.
Chipmakers Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) and Advanced Micro Devices (Nasdaq: AMD) were nearly 1% lower in premarket trading.
President Donald Trump has promised action over China’s new national security legislation for Hong Kong by the end of the week. The Chinese government approved the legislation on Thursday.
Analysts have warned of souring relations between the world’s two largest economies in recent weeks over trade and the handling of the coronavirus outbreak, which pose the biggest threat to the stock market’s strong rally off the March lows.
The benchmark S&P 500 hit a nearly three-month high on Wednesday, closing above the key psychological level of 3,000 as business activity picks up.
Investors are also focused on the latest unemployment figures from the Department of Labor which showed another 2.1 million Americans sought jobless benefits.
Stocks to Watch Today
American Airlines Group Inc. (Nasdaq: AAL) — The airline holding company said that while demand for air travel was rising, it was trimming its management and support staff by 30%. The company will offer its 100,000 employees voluntary options to start. Shares of American were down 2.4%
Dollar Tree Inc. (Nasdaq: DLTR) — The American discount variety retailer reported higher earnings and sales during the last quarter. Its earnings were $1.04 per share on sales of $6.29 billion — beating Wall Street forecasts. Shares of Dollar Tree were up 7.6%.
HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) — Shares of the information technology company dropped 6.5% after it reported an 11.2% decline in revenue during the second quarter. The company also lowered its guidance for the next quarter.
Boeing Lays Off 6,770 Workers
As part of an overall plan to reduce its workforce by 16,000, Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) laid off 6,770 workers as the travel industry was hammered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Boeing said it plans to keep those workers on the payroll through the end of July, according to CNN Business. Before the involuntary layoffs, 5,520 workers accepted voluntary buyout packages.
The company said another round of layoffs will come “over the next few months.”
Boeing shares were up 6% in premarket trading.
Amazon Plans to Keep Most of the Jobs It Created During Pandemic
In a signal of expected growth beyond the coronavirus, Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) said it will offer 125,000 of the 175,000 temporary workers brought on during the pandemic a full-time position.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the new jobs will supplement Amazon’s current U.S. job count, which is currently more than 500,000.
The company said it is investing more than $4 billion in coronavirus-related expenses such as protective masks, virus testing and facility cleaning.
Shares of Amazon were down 0.3%.
Business Bankruptcies Sweep US in Fastest Pace Since 2009
According to data compiled by Bloomberg, 27 companies reporting at least $50 million in liabilities sought bankruptcy protection in May.
That’s only slightly lower than the 29 big businesses that declared bankruptcy in May 2009. In all, there have been 98 bankruptcies declared in the first four months of 2020, second-fastest to 2009 when 142 companies filed for court protection from creditors.
What We’re Reading
The Bull & The Bear: Why You Shouldn’t Buy a Company You Don’t Love (Money & Markets)
Another Ford Plant Closes Temporarily After Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19 (CNN Business)
As US, China Inch Closer to Cold War, Watch This Revolutionary Sector (Money & Markets)
Here are the companies releasing earnings reports today:
Burlington Stores Inc. (NYSE: BURL)
Costco Wholesale Corp. (Nasdaq: COST)
Dell Technologies Inc. (NYSE: DELL)
Salesforce.com Inc. (NYSE: CRM)
Toronto-Dominion Bank (NYSE: TD)
Check back each morning before the opening bell for stocks to watch today with Opening Bell, here on Money & Markets.