U.S. stock market futures were fairly flat as tensions between Washington and Beijing added to investor’s fears over a slower economic recovery, plus stocks to watch today in the Money & Markets Opening Bell.
The Top Story
On Friday, the Chinese central government in Beijing moved to pass a national security law for Hong Kong that could include Chinese intelligence agencies setting up locations in the special district.
That has stoked fears of more pro-democracy protests similar to ones that virtually shut the city down prior to the coronavirus outbreak.
The decision could also ratchet up tensions between the U.S. and China as President Donald Trump said Washington would react “very strongly” if China moved forward with the law.
The added stress has stoked investor fears over a slowdown in the recovery of the global economy.
Despite that, Wall Street’s main indexes could still end the week with gains after a massive rally on Monday that saw the Dow Jones and S&P 500 gain more than 3%.
Stocks to Watch Today
Hewlett Packard Enterprises Co. (NYSE: HPE) — The information technology company reported a $0.20-per-share drop in earnings and a loss of $821 million in revenue in the last quarter. Shares of Hewlett Packard were down 6.5% in premarket trading.
Nvidia Corp. (Nasdaq: NVDA) — Shares of the graphics processing manufacturer were up nearly 2% after it reported a 39% jump in revenue over last year thanks to increased data center sales. The company beat analysts’ expectations for both earnings and revenue.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) — The Chinese e-commerce company beat both top- and bottom-line estimates for its fiscal fourth quarter thanks to an increase in online shopping due to the coronavirus. Shares of Alibaba, however, were down 0.17% thanks to increased tensions between the U.S and China.
IBM Announces Job Cuts to Revive Growth
IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) has announced plans to cut an unspecified amount of jobs in the near future to try and set the company back to profit.
It will be the first workforce reduction under new company CEO Arvind Krishna, according to The Wall Street Journal. IBM said the cuts were necessary to make it more agile.
The company employs around 352,600 employees. Shares of IBM were up 0.6% in premarket trading.
Hang Seng Index Has Worst Day Since 2015
Tensions between Hong Kong and the Chinese government spilled over into the financial markets overseas.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dropped nearly 5.6% Friday after news the Chinese central government in Beijing would pass a national security law for the city., according to CNN Business.
It was the market’s largest one-day drop since 2015 and carried over into other Asian markets as the Nikkei in Japan closed down 0.8% and South Korea’s Kospi dropped 1.4%.
Banks About to Be Hit With PPP Forgiveness Applications
U.S. banks are preparing for a rush of Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness applications and are working with staff to prepare for the deluge.
The companies that first received PPP funding in early April can start applying for loan forgiveness at the end of May. Banks made about 4.3 billion PPP loans for a total of more than $500 billion, according to Bloomberg.
What We’re Reading
Why the Threat of Delisting Chinese Stocks Is Great News for Investors (Money & Markets)
Macy’s To Open 80 Stores for Memorial Day Weekend (USA Today)
Stock Prices Reflect More Fed Intervention, Not Reality of Hardships Ahead (Money & Markets)
Here are the companies releasing earnings reports today:
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA)
Deere & Company (NYSE: DE)
Foot Locker Inc. (NYSE: FL)
Teligent Inc. (Nasdaq: TLGT)
Tribune Publishing Co. (Nasdaq: TPCO)
Check back each morning before the opening bell for stocks to watch today with Opening Bell, here on Money & Markets.
Note: Markets are closed Monday in observance of Memorial Day. The Opening Bell will return on Tuesday.