The White House and Senate struck a deal on a $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package in the early morning hours but futures are still lower, plus stocks to watch today in the Money & Markets Opening Bell.
The Top Story
An aid package aimed at combating the economic impact of the novel coronavirus could be voted on by the U.S. Senate as early as today.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced the deal from the Senate floor at 1:30 a.m. EDT.
At last, we have a deal.
After days of intense discussions, the Senate has reached a bipartisan agreement on a historic relief package for this pandemic.
We’re going to pass this legislation later today.
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) March 25, 2020
What’s in the deal: The final version of the bill has not been released but an early draft would give a cash payment of up to $1,200 to individuals, $2,400 for married couples and $500 per child. That amount is reduced if an individual makes more than $75,000 or a couple earns more than $150,000. The earlier bill also includes a $350-billion-bailout fund for small businesses and $150 billion for state and local governments to battle the pandemic.
What’s next: While McConnell said the Senate will vote on the deal later today, it still requires House approval. The fastest way for that to happen is for House members to give unanimous consent to the measure.
How markets are reacting: Despite the agreement, futures moved into negative territory in premarket trading. One piece of news pushing stocks down was that Spain reported a record spike in coronavirus deaths — 504 — on Tuesday. As of 8 a.m., Dow Jones futures were down around 1%. S&P 500 futures were off 1.9% while Nasdaq Composite futures fell 1.6%.
Stocks to Watch Today
Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) — The global apparel company beat Wall Street estimates for profit and revenue in the last quarter. It also reported the business has rebounded in China following the coronavirus outbreak. Shares of Nike were up 8.7%.
Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) — Sources told Reuters the aircraft manufacturer plans to restart production of its 737 Max jetliner in May. The company halted building new jets following a safety ban. Boeing shares jumped 10.8%.
Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) — Shares of the social media company were down 2.3% despite a 70% increase in time spent on its various platforms. The company said it has seen a weakening in its ad business “in countries taking aggressive actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19.”
News You Can Use
Another big U.S. company has pulled its guidance for the year because of the unknown impacts on revenue from the coronavirus.
Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) CEO Brian Cornell said the company is pulling its quarterly and fiscal 2020 guidance as well as delaying plans to remodel stores, open new ones and offer fresh groceries for curbside pickup.
Cornell told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” the retailer will instead focus on adapting to new shopping patterns and keeping staff and customers safe from the virus.
“None of us know how long this virus is going to last,” he said.
Shares of Target were down 0.8% in premarket trading.
Mortgage Applications Fall 29%
A jump in interest rates coupled with an economic shutdown pushed potential homebuyers away from mortgages.
According to the Mortgage Bankers Association index, overall applications for home loans were down 29.4% last week. The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased from 3.82% to 3.74%.
Additionally, the number of applications to refinance a home loan fell 34% last week but were still 195% higher than a year ago.
Occidental Slashes Pay For Staff, Executives
In an effort to trim expenses, Occidental Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: OXY) is cutting the salaries of its U.S. employees by nearly 30%, according to The Wall Street Journal.
In an internal email seen by the Journal, CEO Vicki Hollub’s salary is being cut by 81% while other executive pay will be trimmed by an average of 68%.
The move follows other oil and gas companies, like Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) — who announced on Tuesday it is reducing its capital expenditures by 20% in response to a significant drop in oil prices.
What We’re Reading
3 Ways the Coronavirus Will Impact Social Security (Money & Markets)
Fed Asks BlackRock to Direct Billions in Bonds (The Wall Street Journal)
3 Bear Market Trading Strategies to Profit During the Downturn (Money & Markets)
Here are the companies releasing earnings reports today:
Arcadia Biosciences Inc. (Nasdaq: RKDA)
Exagen Inc. (Nasdaq: XGN)
Micron Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: MU)
Paychex Inc. (Nasdaq; PAYX)
Shoe Carnival Inc. (Nasdaq: SCVL)
Check back each morning before the opening bell for stocks to watch today with Opening Bell, here on Money & Markets.