Stock market futures trended lower on Thursday as an uptick in COVID-19 infections mixed with the upcoming weekly jobless claims report to sour investors’ moods, plus stocks to watch today in the Money & Markets Opening Bell.
The Top Story
That mood carried over to Thursday morning as several states, including Texas, Florida and Oklahoma reported a surge in new coronavirus infections. However, President Donald Trump said late Wednesday that the country would not close businesses again.
After recent data showed a record jump in U.S. retail sales, investors are turning their attention to the weekly jobless claims report — the most timely indicator of the economy’s health — from the Labor Department.
Those jobless claims are expected to fall for the 11th straight week but still remain elevated following mass furloughs and layoffs during the nationwide lockdown.
As of 9:20 a.m. EDT, Dow Jones futures were down 1%. S&P 500 futures were off by 0.78% and Nasdaq futures were 0.26% lower.
Stocks to Watch Today
Carnival Corp. (NYSE: CCL) — The American cruise line operator reported a fivefold drop in revenue from a year ago as the coronavirus halted travel. The company posted an earnings loss of $3.30 per share. Carnival shares were down 6.7% in premarket trading.
Hertz Global Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HTZ) — Shares of the car rental company continued to slide early Thursday — dropping 7.5% — following the suspension of plans to sell $500 million in potentially worthless shares after the Securities and Exchange Commission raised questions about the sale. Trading Hertz stock was paused Wednesday following the news.
Spotify Technology SA (NYSE: SPOT) — The Swedish-based podcast and music streaming provider reportedly inked an exclusive podcast deal with Kim Kardashian West. The deal comes a month after it signed a similar deal with podcaster Joe Rogan. Shares of Spotify jumped 3%.
Foreclosures, Evictions Put on Hold Through the Summer
Federal lenders Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are extending the moratorium on foreclosures and evictions on single-family homes through Aug. 31.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development is also extending Federal Housing Administration loan forgiveness for homeowners with FHA-insured single-family mortgages, according to CNN Business.
Under the CARES Act, homeowners impacted by the coronavirus who have federally-backed loans can delay or reduce payments for up to a year.
Bank of England Steps Up Bond-Buying Program
In an attempt to help lift the British economy out of recession, the Bank of England is boosting its purchases of bonds by $125 billion.
According to Bloomberg, the bank’s board voted to boost the purchases while keeping the benchmark interest rate at a record-low 0.1%.
The decision on additional quantitative easing will hold back government borrowing costs even as the Treasury increases bond sales.
JD.com Sees Spike in Hong Kong Market Debut
Chinese e-commerce company JD.com Inc. (Nasdaq: JD) jumped more than 3% on its first day of trading on the Hong Kong stock exchange.
It is following other Chinese companies — like Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) and online gaming company NetEase Inc. (Nasdaq: NTES) — by listing in Hong Kong
One reason for listing in Hong Kong is because tensions between the U.S. and China have grown to include financial regulations and accounting standards related to Chinese companies listed on American exchanges, according to The Wall Street Journal.
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Here are the companies releasing earnings reports today:
At Home Group Inc. (NYSE: HOME)
Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR)
Lee Enterprises Inc. (NYSE: LEE)
Regis Corp. (NYSE: RGS)
Smith & Wesson Brands Inc. (Nasdaq: SWBI)
Check back each morning before the opening bell for stocks to watch today with Opening Bell, here on Money & Markets.