A 10% bounce in oil prices wasn’t enough to hold back a fall in stock futures amid a massive jump in U.S. jobless claims, plus stocks to watch today in the Money & Markets Opening Bell.
The Top Story
U.S. stock index futures moved lower a day after Wall Street notched its biggest drop in four weeks as investors contemplated an unprecedented surge in unemployment.
Markets rose earlier in the morning thanks to a 10% climb in oil prices on hopes that Russia and Saudi Arabia may end their price war.
Stocks closed sharply down Wednesday after the White House said the U.S. could see between 100,000 and 250,000 deaths due to the spread of the novel coronavirus. All three major indexes fell by 4%.
What about unemployment: The Labor Department released its weekly report this morning with a record 6.6 million Americans filing for unemployment Estimates projected jobless claims shooting up between 3.5 million and 5.25 million — more than the previous week’s record 3.3. million.
Bubbling crude: President Donald Trump said he plans to meet with executives from some of the nation’s biggest oil companies. Reports say the meeting will be Friday. Brent crude moved 10.8% higher to $27.41 a barrel this morning while West Texas Intermediate jumped 10.4% to $22.42 a barrel after Trump said he was confident Russia and Saudi Arabia would work out their price war.
Energy stocks were the biggest gainers in premarket trading. Occidental Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: OXY) jumped more than 11%. Shares of ExxonMobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) and Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) were both up 6%.
Where the market stands now: As of 9:20 a.m. EDT, Dow Jones futures were down 0.8%. S&P 500 futures fell 0.7% and Nasdaq Composite futures were 0.6% lower.
Stocks to Watch Today
Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) — Disney stock was upgraded to “overweight” by Atlantic Equities and its Disney+ streaming service was launched in the United Arab Emirates using a third-party network. Shares of the entertainment company moved 2.2% higher.
Diffusion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: DFFN) — Shares of the biotechnology company jumped 4.3% in premarket trading after the company reported evaluating its acute respiratory distress syndrome treatment TSC in COVID-19 patients.
Wallgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (Nasdaq: WBA) — The holding company of Walgreens stores reported its revenue and earnings ahead of Wall Street projections. The company also said the financial impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak remain unknown. Shares of Wallgreens were up 4.3%.
News You Can Use
President Donald Trump said he is considering grounding domestic flights and rail lines between areas where the coronavirus has hit the hardest.
He said he doesn’t support grounding all domestic flights, but will make a decision soon on halting them between certain “hot spots.”
“I am looking where flights are going into hot spots. Some of those flights I didn’t like from the beginning,” Trump said at a White House briefing on the pandemic.
Major Retailers Furlough Nearly 500,000 Americans
Store closings and sluggish online sales have pushed some of the largest retailers in the U.S. to furlough nearly 500,000 workers, according to CNN Business.
The furloughs extend from hourly associates to corporate employees. In addition, companies have cut pay for their executives and halted bonuses and raises this year.
Boeing to Offer Early Retirement, Buyouts as Coronavirus Takes Toll
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) was in trouble.
The virus spread coupled with the 737 Max production halt has pushed the aircraft manufacturer to offer early retirement and buyout packages to its employees, according to The Wall Street Journal.
An internal announcement is expected as early as today.
What We’re Reading
3 Best Stock Simulators to Practice Trading (Money & Markets)
WeWork Rescue Plan Hits Snag as Softbank Pulls Out of Share Buyout (CNN Business)
Everything You Need to Know About Your Coronavirus Stimulus Check (Money & Markets)
Here are the companies releasing earnings reports today:
Carmax Inc. (NYSE: KMX)
Chewy Inc. (NYSE: CHWY)
Dave & Buster’s Entertainment Inc. (Nasdaq: PLAY)
Franklin Covey Co. (NYSE: FC)
Wallgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (Nasdaq: WBA)
Check back each morning before the opening bell for stocks to watch today with Opening Bell, here on Money & Markets.