Investors continue to stay on the sidelines as they wait for the Federal Reserve meeting that will shed more light on the central bank’s view of the U.S. economy, plus stocks to watch today in the Money & Markets Opening Bell.
The Top Story
Those projections and the Fed’s policy statement are expected around 2 p.m. EDT.
Prospects of a rebound in the economy, backed by encouraging economic data have been pivotal in driving stocks higher in recent weeks, with the Nasdaq notching a record-high closing for the second straight session Tuesday and the S&P 500 ending about 5% below its all-time peak.
Some of the heavyweight stocks on the Nasdaq 100 index — Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) and Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) — rose about 0.5% in premarket trading.
Oil majors Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) and Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) dropped about 1.5% each, as oil prices weakened after a rise in U.S. crude inventories raised concerns of oversupply.
As of 9:20 a.m. EDT, Dow Jones futures were up 0.1%. S&P 500 futures were up by 0.3% and Nasdaq futures jumped by 0.9%.
Stocks to Watch Today
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Inc. (Nasdaq: RRGB) — The casual dining chain was rocked by the COVID-19 pandemic as it reported a loss of $6.66 per share in the last quarter. It missed expectations on both earnings and revenue. Shares of Red Robin were down nearly 10%.
GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME) — Shares of the video game retailer were off by 6.2% after it reporting missing expectations for revenue and earnings. The company said it had a net loss of $2.57 per share in the last quarter. It also suspended its guidance for the rest of the year.
AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. (NYSE: AMC) — The American movie theater chain said it plans to reopen theaters in the U.S. by July. The company made the announcement during its quarterly earnings call where it reported a net loss of $2.1 billion. Shares of AMC were up 8.5%.
Retail Store Closures Could Reach Record This Year
The U.S. could see as many as 25,000 retail stores permanently close this year because of shifts to online shopping and a slowdown in consumer discretionary spending.
A report by Coresight Research, a retail research firm, said more than 4,000 stores have already said they are closing. The firm said closures could snowball to nearly 25,000 — breaking last year’s record of 9,302 store closures.
Retailers JCPenney Company Inc. (Over-the-Counter: JCPNQ), Pier 1 Imports Inc. (Over-the-Counter: PIRRQ) and Tuesday Morning Corp. (Over-the-Counter: TUESQ) have already filed for bankruptcy while other chains have announced closing hundreds more stores.
OECD Warns Global GDP Could Contract 6% in 2020
The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic could be prolonged if governments pull back assistance for workers and businesses.
In its latest economic report, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development forecasts a 6% slump in gross domestic product this year — with France, the U.K. and Italy being hit the hardest.
It also suggested that pulling support — like business and individual stimulus packages — threatens to extend the GDP contraction even longer than anticipated.
Banks Using Bots to Process Pandemic-Related Loans
While small businesses can’t use software bots to apply for Paycheck Protection Program loans, the banks processing those loans are considering using bots for the heavy lifting.
The U.S. Small Business Administration banned the use of robotic process automation by businesses to file loan applications, but a flood of applications overwhelmed the loan-processing systems, according to The Wall Street Journal.
To cope with that load, banks are turning to the very bots small businesses couldn’t use to process those applications.
What We’re Reading
Always Exercise Caution in the IPO Market. If You Must Play, Try This ETF (Money & Markets)
AMC Plans to Reopen Theaters in July (CNN Business)
Warning: Why This Greed-Driven Rally Looks Like the Great Depression (Money & Markets)
Here are the companies releasing earnings reports today:
Chico’s FAS Inc. (NYSE: CHS)
Daktronics Inc. (Nasdaq: DAKT)
Guess? Inc. (NYSE: GES)
Oxford Industries Inc. (NYSE: OXM)
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Inc. (Nasdaq: RRGB)
Check back each morning before the opening bell for stocks to watch today with Opening Bell, here on Money & Markets.