A massive U.S. stimulus package stalled in the U.S. Senate on Sunday, raising continued uncertainty for markets and triggering yet another limit down hold on futures trading, plus stocks to watch today in the Money & Markets Opening Bell.
The Top Story
A proposed $2 trillion stimulus package failed to reach a 60-vote requirement in the U.S. Senate on Sunday, pushing investors to feel more uncertain about a recovery.
Negotiations between Republicans and Democrats continued late into the night Sunday. The Senate is adjourned until noon today, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has floated the idea of another vote shortly after the markets open this morning.
What’s in the package: The stimulus includes a $600-per-week increase in unemployment benefits per worker, $75 billion for public health and billions more to help transit, education, nutrition and other programs.
What’s the issue: The biggest sticking point is over $500 billion earmarked for corporations. Democrats contend the bill language gives too much latitude to the Treasury department and “lacks transparency and accountability.” Additionally, they say aid for state and local governments and health care providers is “far short” of what is needed.
What’s happening now: As of 8:50 a.m. EDT, Dow futures were up 1.8% after hitting a “limit down” when Asian markets opened earlier in the morning. S&P 500 futures were up 1.9% after hitting a limit down Sunday, while the Nasdaq Composite futures were up 2.6%.
Stocks to Watch Today
Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) — Shares of the e-commerce giant were down 1.4% early after customers and merchants reported Amazon Prime delivery could be as long as a month for nonessential items. That’s a far cry from the normal one- to two-day delivery for Prime customers.
GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME) — The video game merchandiser joined a rash of other retailers in closing its U.S. locations over the weekend. Shares of GameStop were down 5.3% in premarket trading.
Occidental Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: OXY) — Shares of the petrochemical company were down 2.2% amid news it is reaching a deal with billionaire Carl Icahn to end nearly a year of bickering between the two parties.
News You Can Use
U.S. credit markets continue to experience a crunch as the coronavirus takes a stronger hold on the economy.
On Sunday, the AlphaCentric Income Opportunities Fund listed nearly $1.25 billion worth of securities to sell as the fund joins others looking to raise cash. The fund dropped 17% on Friday, bringing its total decline for the week to 31%.
Real estate billionaire Tom Barrack told Bloomberg Sunday the U.S. commercial mortgage market “is on the brink of collapse,” and he said there could be a “domino effect” of catastrophic economic consequences if banks and the federal government don’t take immediate action.
Germany Prepares to Unveil Large Stimulus as Virus Death Toll Rises in Europe
The U.S. isn’t the only government eyeing a significant stimulus package to head off the economic impact of the coronavirus.
The German government is preparing a package that increases borrowing by as much as $160 billion along with a $167 billion supplemental budget. The government is also considering a $534.5 billion bailout fund to take stakes in critical industries, according to CNBC.
Marriott, Hotel Owners Furlough Thousands, Cut Staff
Some of the world’s largest hotel owners are furloughing several thousand workers or cutting staff in order to held weather the storm of the coronavirus outbreak.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Marriott International Inc. (Nasdaq: MAR), Hilton Hotels Corp. (NYSE: HLT) and Hyatt Hotels Corp. (NYSE: H) are among those furloughing employees.
Dallas-based asset management company Ashford Inc., which owns 130 hotels across the U.S., is laying off or furloughing 7,000 employees — or 95% of its workforce. Ashford CEO Monty Bennett said he expects about one-third of those won’t be coming back.
What We’re Reading
Coronavirus Crushing Your Retirement Plans? Here Are 4 Ways to Max Social Security (Money & Markets)
A Fresh Wave of Coronavirus Job Losses Is About to Come Crashing Down (CNN Business)
Penny Stocks to Buy in 2020 — Look to Cheap Companies for Gains (Money & Markets)
Here are the companies releasing earnings reports today:
Brainsway Ltd. (Nasdaq: BWAY)
Cango Inc. (NYSE: CANG)
DiaMedica Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: DMAC)
electroCore, Inc. (Nasdaq: ECOR)
Pangaea Logistics Solutions Ltd. (Nasdaq: PANL)
Check back each morning before the opening bell for stocks to watch today with Opening Bell, here on Money & Markets.