Futures on the three major U.S. indexes are up as states begin to eye lifting some coronavirus lockdowns while investors look to big-time earnings reports this week, plus stocks to watch today in the Money & Markets Opening Bell.
The Top Story
Futures are edging higher this morning thanks to a late-session rally for technology firms Friday that helped Wall Street end higher, carrying over to the start of this week.
Many more U.S. states have looked to reopen businesses as the health crisis continues to wreak havoc on the economy, with the White House forecasting a staggering jump in the nation’s monthly jobless rate.
Although trillions of dollars in stimulus have helped the benchmark S&P 500 recover nearly 30% from its March drop, analysts say further gains might be limited unless there is progress on developing treatments for the deadly disease. Even with the 30% in gains, the index is still down 12.1% on the year while the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 16.6%.
Focus this week will also be on a two-day Federal Reserve meeting ending Wednesday, although expectations are low for more easing by the central bank and interest rates are already near zero.
Meanwhile, about 173 companies in the S&P 500 are scheduled to report quarterly earnings later in the week, including Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA), Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F), General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) and Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX).
Overall, analysts expect a decline of nearly 15% in first-quarter earnings of S&P 500 companies, with profits for the energy sector estimated to have slumped 68%.
Stocks to Watch Today
Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc. (NYSE: DO) — The offshore drilling contractor has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as sagging oil prices have severely dented the company’s balance sheet. Shares of Diamond Offshore were down 61% in premarket trading.
Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE: DB) — The German-based investment bank reported a preliminary first-quarter profit, which upended most analyst projections. The bank did say it may fall short of capital requirement targets. Shares of Deutsche Bank were up more than 10%.
Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) — Shares of the American plane maker were up 1.4% after the company elected to terminate its joint venture agreement with Embraer. Boeing said the companies will continue working under any existing agreement on the C-390 military aircraft.
Oil Slips Back Below $15 Per Barrel
West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices slipped below $15 per barrel as producers are finding it harder and harder to find places to store what is being delivered.
Futures contracts for WTI dropped more than 16% in morning trading while Brent crude — the international benchmark for oil — slipped 4.6%
Tesla Employees Kept Producing, Despite Orders Not To
Management for Tesla Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) pressed dozens of employees to return to work at the company’s Fremont, California, facility on April 29.
CNBC reported that call to restart production comes despite the fact that health officials are requiring Tesla to “basic minimum operations” until May 3. Tesla was supposed to suspend vehicle production in Fremont on March 19 but continued another five days after that.
Apple Pushing Production of 2020 iPhones Back
Weakened global demand and manufacturing disruptions are forcing Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) to push back the mass production of its iPhones by at least a month.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the company is still planning to release four new iPhone models later this year — including some with 5G connectivity.
What We’re Reading
Dalio: ‘We Shouldn’t Rely on Governments to Protect Us Financially’ (Money & Markets)
Retailer Charged with Hoarding Sanitizer, Masks (USA Today)
The Bull & The Bear: A Money & Markets Exclusive Podcast (Money & Markets)
Here are the companies releasing earnings reports today:
Brown & Brown Inc. (NYSE: BRO)
F5 Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: FFIV)
Keurig Dr. Pepper Inc. (NYSE: KDP)
NXP Semiconductors NV (Nasdaq: NXPI)
QTS Realty Trust Inc. (NYSE: QTS)
Check back each morning before the opening bell for stocks to watch today with Opening Bell, here on Money & Markets.
Editor’s note: Listen to the latest episode of The Bull & The Bear for our take on investing in oil.