Despite a stimulus package vote failing twice Monday, investors are feeling optimistic that Congress will pass a coronavirus rescue bill today as futures are up big, plus stocks to watch today in the Money & Markets Opening Bell.
The Top Story
The Senate failed twice to approve a $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package as negotiations on the bill are expected to continue this morning. Because of the stall, House Democrats announced their own stimulus bill Monday night.
Investors responded to the potential by pushing the Dow Jones Industrials to limit-up levels — a 5% jump — in premarket trading.
What happened Monday: Because Congress could not push stimulus across the finish line, markets responded by sinking deeper into bear territory. The Dow fell to a three-year low and is on pace to finish its worst calendar month since 1931. The S&P 500 also dropped nearly 3% and is now down 34% from its February high.
The House bill: House Democrats unveiled a $2.5 trillion bill of their own Monday that includes direct payments to individuals of $1,500 and up to $7,500 for a family of five. It also includes grants and interest-free loans to small businesses and additional funding for unemployment, hospitals and student loan relief.
Where things stand now: As of 8 a.m. EDT, Dow futures were up 4.7%. S&P 500 futures jumped 5% while Nasdaq Composite futures moved 4.6% higher.
Stocks to Watch Today
Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) — The oil and gas giant announced plans to cut capital spending by 20% and suspend its share buyback program in response to current market conditions. The company said it is part of a plan to protect its dividend to shareholders. Shares of Chevron were up 6.3%.
Gilead Sciences Inc. (Nasdaq: GILD) — Shares of the American biotech company were up 4.3% following news the Food & Drug Administration gave its coronavirus treatment special status Monday. The ruling could speed up the time it takes for the treatment to come to market.
Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) — The social media company pulled its Q1 2020 guidance due to the growing impact of the COVID-19 virus. It said it expects revenue to be down slightly as a reduction in expenses is not likely to overcome revenue losses. Shares of Twitter were up 2.5%.
News You Can Use
Executives at big U.S. companies have sold nearly $9.2 billion in shares of their own companies since February, according to analysis by The Wall Street Journal.
That sell-off saved those executives potential losses of $1.9 billion.
The biggest seller was Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos, who sold nearly $3.4 billion in Amazon shares in the first week of February. He sold his shares before the S&P 500 hit its peak on Feb. 19.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. to Implement Firm-Wide Hiring Freeze
The biggest bank in the U.S. is freezing hiring across a majority of the firm, Bloomberg reported.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) has asked managers in most of its divisions to pull any nonessential job listings. One of the only departments not affected was the bank’s mortgage operations, sources said.
The bank is also delaying bringing any new recruits in until April 20.
Report: Domestic Passenger Flights Could Shut Down Completely
As travel continues to be negatively impacted by the spread of the coronavirus, U.S. airlines are contemplating plans of voluntarily shutting down nearly all passenger flights in the U.S.
Industry and government officials said no final decisions have been made, and a number of options to help the airline industry are on the table.
Most U.S. airlines have already halted a majority of their international flights and have announced plans to trim back 40% of all domestic flights.
What We’re Reading
What Is a Recession and How Can You Prepare? (Money & Markets)
Cops in the Toilet Paper Aisle: Supermarkets Beef Up Security (CNN Business)
What is Quantitative Easing? Explaining Open Market Expansion (Money & Markets)
Here are the companies releasing earnings reports today:
At Home Group Inc. (NYSE: HOME)
IHS Markit Ltd. (NYSE: INFO)
Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE)
Synnex Corp. (NYSE: SNX)
Thermogenesis Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: THMO)
Check back each morning before the opening bell for stocks to watch today with Opening Bell, here on Money & Markets.