Stock index futures were trending slightly higher as Wall Street holds out hope the U.S. economy will be reopened sooner rather than later, plus stocks to watch today in the Money & Markets Opening Bell.

The Top Story

Investors are weighing the potential for the economy firing back up soon against sluggish economic data and poor first-quarter earnings reports.

So far, Wall Street is backing the prospect of a jumpstart over horrendous data and earnings.

The S&P 500 recoiled from a four-week high on Wednesday as the big U.S. banks braced for a wave of potential loan defaults as the coronavirus crushed business activity.

On Thursday, BlackRock Inc. (NYSE: BLK), the world’s largest asset manager, reported a drop in quarterly profit as investors pulled money out of its marquee funds and preferred cash management services.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) said its first-quarter earnings dropped 30% while its trading desks generated $700 million more in revenue than expected.

Then, there are the weekly jobless claims, which are expected to surge past 5 million last week, taking total unemployment claims to 20 million in the past month.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump is expected to announce “new guidelines” for reopening the economy as he said data suggested the United States had passed the peak on new coronavirus infections.

As of 8 a.m. EDT, Dow Jones futures were flat. S&P 500 futures moved 0.2% higher while Nasdaq Composite futures jumped 0.5%.

Stocks to Watch Today

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBY) — The domestic merchandise retailer reported its net store sales dropped 6.1%, but still beat Wall Street projections. Earnings were 68.3% lower but also topped analyst expectations. Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond jumped 14.8% in premarket trading.

United Airlines Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: UAL) — Shares of the airline giant were down 3% after the company said it plans to further reduce its travel capacity in May. Its network will now operate just 10% of its schedule.

Bank of New York Mellon Corp. (NYSE: BK) — The banking and financial services company reported earnings and revenue beats for the first quarter. Earnings were $0.17 higher than expectations. Shares of Bank of New York Mellon were up nearly 4%.

Chinese Export Restrictions Blocking COVID-19 Supplies From Reaching US

Face masks, test kids and other medical devices needed to fight the coronavirus lay stranded in China because of new export restrictions from the Chinese government.

According to The Wall Street Journal, mass quantities of protective gear and other medical supplies are sitting in warehouses across China as the productions don’t have the necessary official clearances.

PerkinElmer Inc. (NYSE: PKI) said there are 1.4 million of its COVID-19 test kits sitting in its Suzhou factory because the company lacks a certification required by the new government rules.

While Equities Bounce, This Commodity Is Up

Despite millions of Americans being forced to work from home due to the coronavirus spread, one thing has remained consistent: Americans love coffee.

So much so that benchmark New York Arabica coffee futures have jumped 15% in the last month, trading at around $1.20 per pound.

It’s a significant rally considering coffee prices hit a 2020 low of $0.97 per pound in early February.

JCPenney Misses $12 Million Debt Payment

Department store chain JCPenney Company Inc. (NYSE: JCP) missed a $12 million debt payment that was due Wednesday.

Instead, the company said it would take advantage of the 30-day grace period to make the payment.

The news comes as reports surface that JCPenney is exploring the option of using bankruptcy to restructure its debt.

What We’re Reading

2021 Social Security COLA Projections Are in — They Aren’t Pretty (Money & Markets)

Can 3D Printing Plug the Coronavirus Equipment Gap (CNN Business)

Fed Increasing Money Supply Is Bullish for Stocks — but History Says Be Careful (Money & Markets)

Earnings Report

Here are the companies releasing earnings reports today:

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT)

BlackRock Inc. (NYSE: BLK)

Lovesac Co. (Nasdaq: LOVE)

Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS)

Rite Aid Corp. (NYSE: RAD)

Check back each morning before the opening bell for stocks to watch today with Opening Bell, here on Money & Markets.