Stock futures are pointing upward despite the U.S. posting a record single-day jump of more than 1,800 deaths attributed to the coronavirus outbreak, plus stocks to watch today in the Money & Markets Opening Bell.
The Top Story
Volatility continued from the closing stages of Tuesday’s session when a sudden drop in oil prices wiped out big early gains in a market struggling to rally out of bear territory.
Wall Street is facing daily doses of bad news on corporate layoffs, cutbacks and losses. But, President Donald Trump indicated the U.S. may be nearing the top of the curve of the coronavirus outbreak, despite New York and other states posting their highest number of daily virus-related deaths.
“Traders are trying to pick a bottom in shares and scientists are trying to pick the peak in the pandemic. Both exercises typically result in a lot of false starts before the real thing,” Jasper Lawler, head of research at London Capital Group, said.
With corporate earnings season just around the corner, companies are expected to outline drastic measures as they look to bolster dwindling cash reserves.
What happened Tuesday: Thanks to a late drop in oil prices, the Dow Jones index surrendered a 900-point surge from earlier in the day to close 0.1% down. Both the Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 also erased 3% rallies to close in the negative.
If the S&P 500 Index closes red, it'll be the biggest gain surrendered since October 17, 2008.
— Luke Kawa (@LJKawa) April 7, 2020
Measures to contain the coronavirus have had devastating effects across American businesses, with the benchmark S&P 500 down nearly 22%, or about $6 trillion in market value, from its record high in mid-February.
Where things stand now: As of 9:20 a.m. EDT, Dow Jones futures were up 1.5%. S&P 500 futures moved 1.5% higher and Nasdaq Composite futures jumped 1.5%.
Stocks to Watch Today
Pinterest Inc. (NYSE: PINS) — The social networking service said it expects revenue between $269 million and $272 million in the first quarter. The company also said it will end Q1 with a balance sheet of $1.7 million in cash along with no financial debt. Shares of Pinterest rose 12.2% in premarket trading.
Zoom Video Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: ZM) — Shares of the video conferencing app dropped 2.4% after news broke that it was being sued by a shareholder for privacy issues and security flaws (see below for more).
Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) — Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said he would pledge $1 billion to charity, including coronavirus relief. The proceeds will come from nearly 20 million shares Dorsey holds on Square Inc. (NYSE: SQ). Shares of Square were up nearly 2% while Twitter shares moved 3% higher.
Weekly Mortgage Applications Fall as COVID-19 Pushes Homebuyers Away
Confidence in buying a home is quickly losing steam due to the economic impacts of the coronavirus and higher mortgage rates.
The Mortgage Bankers Association weekly index found a 17.9% drop in mortgage applications last week. Mortgage refinance applications fell 19% from the previous week but remained 144% higher than a year ago.
Auto Insurers Giving Back Millions to Customers
Auto insurance companies like Allstate Corp. (NYSE: ALL) and Geico — which is owned by Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.B) are giving policyholders credits as Americans drive less during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Geico said auto and motorcycle policyholders will get a 15% credit — estimated to be around $2.5 billion. Allstate announced earlier this week it is returning $600 million in premiums to customers.
Zoom Sued For Fraud Over Privacy, Security Fraud
A complaint filed in San Francisco federal court alleges Zoom Video Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: ZM) and its officials concealed the truth about issues with software encryption, according to Bloomberg.
The suit, filed by a shareholder, comes as security loopholes were discovered as the usage of the video communication app exploded around the world.
What We’re Reading
Bear Market Bottoms Are Volatile, and Volatility Is About to Explode (Money & Markets)
Many Rush to Leave Wuhan After Coronavirus Lockdown Lifted (The Wall Street Journal)
‘America 2.0’: Mark Cuban Floats 2020 Presidential Run (Money & Markets)
Here are the companies releasing earnings reports today:
MSC Industrial Direct Co. Inc. (NYSE: MSM)
PriceSmart Inc. (Nasdaq: PSMT)
Richardson Electronics Ltd. (Nasdaq: RELL)
RPM International Inc. (NYSE: RPM)
Check back each morning before the opening bell for stocks to watch today with Opening Bell, here on Money & Markets.