The devil is in the details as markets are set to drop on uncertainty over the implementation of President Donald Trump’s fiscal stimulus plan, plus stocks to watch today in the Money & Markets Wall Street Wake-Up.
The Top Story
Tuesday’s late rally showed signs that equities could be primed to rebound after a disastrous start to the week.
However, the mood is vastly different this morning as investors’ uncertainty over a potential federal stimulus package grows.
What’s going on: On Tuesday, Trump floated the idea of a 0% payroll tax rate to jumpstart a slumping economy hampered by the spread of the coronavirus. However, the details of that plan and when it could be implemented were lacking.
What it means: Until there are concrete details, expect markets to remain extremely volatile. Stocks have shown the ability to move down even faster and further than they move up.
Stocks to Watch Today
Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HLT) — The international hotel chain pulled its 2020 outlook due to the continued spread of the coronavirus. Company president Christopher Nassetta said they expect the negative impact from travel restrictions and cancellations globally “will be greater than our previous estimate.” Hilton shares were down 2.3%.
Express Inc. (NYSE: EXPR) — Shares of the fashion retailer were up 13.3% in early trading after the company reported beating quarterly earnings and revenue estimates. Express also forecast a larger loss in the current quarter.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (NYSE: FCAU) — The multinational automaker said it will temporarily close its plants in Italy as the coronavirus continues to spread. It is also implementing additional safety measures at its facilities to curb the potential spread of the virus. Shares of Fiat Chrysler were down 2.7%.
In the News
As coronavirus cases continue to rise in the U.S., Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) is battling counterfeit products used to safeguard against the spread.
According to The Wall Street Journal, an investigation found more than 100 safety masks and respirators listed on the e-commerce site were fake or had unverifiable protection claims.
The company is also trying to combat price gouging of items like surgical masks and hand sanitizer. There has been a 50% surge in price for more than half of those items listed.
PepsiCo Acquiring Rockstar Energy for $3.85 Billion
In an attempt to stay ahead of the energy drink market, PepsiCo Inc. (Nasdaq: PEP) is acquiring energy drink maker Rockstar Energy for $3.85 billion.
PepsiCo has had a distribution agreement with Rockstar since 2009.
The acquisition adds the Rockstar Energy brand to PepsiCo’s energy drink portfolio, which includes Mountain Dew’s Kickstart, GameFuel and AMP.
Saudi Arabia Announces Plan to Boost Oil Production
Following through on its plans to flood the oil market, Saudi Arabia announced it is raising its oil production by a million barrels per day.
The government asked state-owned Saudi Aramco on Wednesday to increase its output to 13 million barrels from 12 million “as soon as possible.”
The move escalates the oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia after talks to discuss curbing production broke down.
Both Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude futures dropped 3% in early morning trading.
Other Morning Reads
What Is a Bear Market and What Are Other Ways to Invest When Stocks Sink? (Money & Markets)
Bank of England Slashes Interest Rates to Record Low (CNN Business)
What Is the VIX Volatility Index and How Does it Work? (Money & Markets)
Here are the companies releasing earnings reports today:
Build-A-Bear Workshop Inc. (NYSE: BBW)
Express Inc. (NYSE: EXPR)
Miragen Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: MGEN)
Semtech Corp. (Nasdaq: SMTC)
Talos Energy Inc. (NYSE: TALO)
Check back each morning before the opening bell for stocks to watch today with the Wall Street Wake-Up, here on Money & Markets.