Stock index futures started the third quarter down after a record spike in coronavirus cases increased fears of another lockdown and threatened a rapid economic recovery, plus stocks to watch today in the Money & Markets Opening Bell.

The Top Story

After recording its best quarter since 1998, the benchmark S&P 500 looked to start the third quarter slightly higher despite coronavirus cases rising by more than 47,000 in one day.

America’s top infectious disease expert warned that the number of COVID-19 cases could soon double, which took the shine off data showing better-than-expected global manufacturing output.

Figures on U.S. manufacturing activity and private payrolls for June are due out later today, following by the Labor Department’s nonfarm payroll report on Thursday.

Cruise line operators Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Inc. (NYSE: NCLH), Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL) and Carnival Corp. (NYSE: CCL) were down between 2.5% and 3.4% in premarket trading.

As of 9:20 a.m. EDT, Dow Jones futures were up by 0.39%. S&P 500 futures were up 0.34% and Nasdaq composite futures inched 0.06% higher.

Stocks to Watch Today

FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) — The delivery service company said its adjusted earnings for the three months ending in May were $2.53 per share — beating analysts’ expectations of $1.52. FedEx said its surge in domestic deliveries sparked the earnings beat. Shares of FedEx were up 11.5% in premarket trading.

T2 Biosystems Inc. (Nasdaq: TTOO) — Shares of the American medical diagnostic products company shot up 77% in premarket trading after reporting preliminary Q2 sales of $2.4 million to $2.6 million compared to $1.8 million a year ago.

Beyond Meat Inc. (Nasdaq: BYND) — The plant-based meat producer is entering the Chinese grocery market at the end of the week (see more below). Shares of Beyond Meat were up 9.6%.

Beyond Meat Hits Mainland China

A partnership with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) is putting plant-based meat from the U.S. in Chinese grocery stores.

Beyond Meat said that Alibaba’s Freshippo grocery stores would start carrying its meatless burger patties. Sales of Beyond Meat burgers are expected to start on Saturday, according to CNBC.

The Beyond Burgers will be on the shelves of 50 Freshippo locations in Shanghai and, by September, the patties will be available in an additional 48 locations in Beijing and Hangzhou.

United Airlines Planning to Add 25,000 Flights in August

As the airline industry starts to see an uptick in travel, United Airlines Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: UAL) said it plans to add 25,000 flights to its schedule in August.

The increase only constitutes about half of United’s 2019 domestic capacity and 25% of its international service, according to CNBC.

This month, United plans to fly about 30% of its domestic service as the same month last year and just 16% of its international service.

Specialty Lenders Heading Off Potential Funding Challenges

Companies that specialize in lending to mid-sized businesses are attempting to get ahead of potential loan defaults and a lack of funding.

According to The Wall Street Journal, lenders Bain Capital Specialty Finance Inc. (NYSE: BCSF) and Golub Capital BDC Inc. (Nasdaq: GBDC) have raised additional capital by selling stock at deep discounts to their net asset values.

Other middle-market lenders like Antares Holdings LP and FS KKR Capital Corp. (NYSE: FSK) have issued bonds at high interest rates to help take the pressure off what business development companies could soon face.

What We’re Reading

How to Put Your Cash on the Sidelines to Work During a Recession (Money & Markets)

This Early Warning Indicator Signals the End of the Stock Market’s Rally (Money & Markets)

Charge Your Gains With This Solar Power Boom Stock (Money & Markets)

Earnings Report

Here are the companies releasing earnings reports today:

Constellation Brands Inc. (NYSE: STZ)

General Mills Inc. (NYSE: GIS)

Macy’s Inc. (NYSE: M)

Schnitzer Steel Industries Inc. (Nasdaq: SCHN)

UniFirst Corp. (NYSE: UNF)

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