U.S. stock market futures have surged as more and more countries — as well as U.S. states — ease restrictions on business and social activities, plus stocks to watch today in the Money & Markets Opening Bell.
The Top Story
General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) rose 3% and Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) 2.2% in premarket trading as they prepared to reopen their North American factories in a push to restart work in an industry that accounts for about 6% of U.S. economic activity.
Oil and gas heavyweights Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM), Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) and Occidental Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: OXY) rose between 2% and 5% after oil prices surged on the prospect of higher demand.
West Texas Intermediate crude futures jumped 9.4% to $32.19 a barrel, while international benchmark Brent crude rose 6.4% to $34.59 a barrel.
Investors were also encouraged by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s views on recovery and hints of more monetary stimulus if required. He is slated to appear before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday to discuss how economic rescue efforts are working.
Wall Street’s three major stock market indexes closed higher on Friday as investors weighed worries about U.S.-China trade relations and weaker-than-expected economic data against growing optimism that easing coronavirus restrictions would boost activity this month.
Stocks to Watch Today
Moderna Inc. (Nasdaq: MRNA) — The American biotechnology company reported that its mRNA coronavirus vaccine produced antibodies in all 45 participants of a human trial conducted by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Shares of Moderna jumped more than 20%.
Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) — Shares of the American technology company were up 1.7% in premarket trading after it announced guidelines for reopening its stores. It also said it plans to open 25 stores in the U.S. this week.
International Gaming Technology PLC (NYSE: IGT) — The electronic gaming equipment manufacturer beat Wall Street expectations for quarterly earnings and said it has enough liquidity to weather the coronavirus pandemic. Shares of International Gaming were up nearly 10%.
Japan’s Economy Falls Into Recession
The world’s third-largest economy shrank 0.9% in the first quarter, according to government data reported Monday by CNN Business.
It was a better-than-expected drop, but the second drop in a row, officially putting Japan in a recession.
Annualizing the latest rate drop calculates Japan’s economy contracting by 3.4%. The Q1 drop does not take into account fully the impacts of the coronavirus, which could make Japan’s economy even worse.
Jack Ma Steps Down From SoftBank Board
On the same day SoftBank Group Inc. announced an $18 billion loss for its Vision Fund in the first quarter, China’s richest man stepped down from its board.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) founder Jack Ma became the third high-profile figure to leave SoftBank. Ma’s resignation from the board is effective on June 25. According to CNBC, there was no reason given for Ma’s resignation, but he has started to focus more on education philanthropy.
SoftBank Eyeing Sale of T-Mobile Shares
In other SoftBank news, The Wall Street Journal is reporting the group is in talks to sell a large portion of its stake in T-Mobile US Inc. (Nasdaq: TMUS).
According to the report, Deutsche Telekom is in line to buy the shares and increase its overall stake in T-Mobile to more than 50%. The deal is still being discussed, but it is likely to be significant as T-Mobile’s market value is around $120 billion.
What We’re Reading
The Bull & The Bear: Sectors Investors Should Buy — And Ones to Avoid (Money & Markets)
Who Will Watch Kids as Nation Reopens? (USA Today)
Gold Is Your Best Bet in This Market. Here’s Why (Money & Markets)
Here are the companies releasing earnings reports today:
Consolidated Water Co. Ltd. (Nasdaq: CWSO)
Flotek Industries Inc. (NYSE: FTK)
Niu Technologies ADR (Nasdaq: NIU)
Nordic American Tanker Ltd. (NYSE: NAT)
Trivago NV (Nasdaq: TRVG)
Check back each morning before the opening bell for stocks to watch today with Opening Bell, here on Money & Markets.