President Donald Trump expressed hope that there was a “leveling-off” of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S, pushing futures higher to start the week, plus stocks to watch today in the Money & Markets Opening Bell.
The Top Story
Stock futures are pointing to a rebound to start the week after officials said some of the areas hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic may be stabilizing.
Wall Street’s main three indexes all fell more than 1.5% on Friday as a record 113-month expansion in U.S. employment came to an abrupt end, underlining the extent of the pandemic’s economic devastation.
A more optimistic tone: New York, the country’s biggest hot spot, reported for the first time in a week that virus-related deaths in the state had fallen from the day before, while the number of deaths in France and Italy also slowed. Despite markets being deep in bear territory, some on Wall Street said the news is cause for optimism.
I am beginning to get optimistic. Cases appear to be peaking in NY. Almost the entire country is in shutdown. Hydroxychloriquine and antibiotics appear to help. There is increasing evidence that the asymptomatic infection rate could be as much as 50X higher than expected.
— Bill Ackman (@BillAckman) April 5, 2020
Another reason for optimism: Oil has cut some of its losses after Russia’s sovereign wealth chief said Russia and Saudi Arabia are close to a deal on production losses. West Texas Intermediate crude was still off by 1.6%, while Brent crude was down 2.2%. The paring of losses has slowed concerns that the oil market would continue to hamper the global economy.
Stocks to Watch Today
Slack Technologies Inc. (NYSE: WORK) — The software company specializing in workplace messaging, announced a $600 million debt offering due in 2025, convertible into cash, stock or both depending on the debt holder’s preference. Shares of Slack were up 2.6%
JPMorgan & Chase Co. (NYSE: JPM) — Company CEO Jamie Dimon said the bank remains in a strong position to lend out an additional $150 billion to its clients, even in an “extremely adverse scenario” in his annual letter. Shares of JPMorgan were up 4.3%
Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL) — Shares of the airline fell more than 5% after reports that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.B) sold off some of its nearly 11% stake in Delta, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
State Shutdowns Take at Least a Quarter of US Economy Offline
A study by Moody’s Analytics found that at least 25% of the U.S economy is idle amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The study also found that 82% of U.S. counties are under lockdown and the daily GDP lost in the 15 largest GDP states totals around $12.5 billion. California, alone, has a daily loss of $2.8 billion, or 31.5% of its daily GDP.
Big Hotel, Restaurant Chains Can Get Small Business Loans
While the $350 billion Paycheck Protection Program is aimed at small businesses with less than 500 employees, large hotel and restaurant chains can apply for the loans, no matter how big they are.
According to The Wall Street Journal, an exemption in the $2.2 trillion stimulus package has some concerned that big hotels and restaurants will claim a majority of what is meant for much smaller companies.
Wells Fargo Says Fed Cap Limiting Small Business Relief
Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) said Sunday that customers have expressed interest in more funds than the bank has the capacity to lend. The bank said it was limited in the “ability to use our strong capital and liquidity position to extend additional credit.
What We’re Reading
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Boeing Extends Closure of Washington State Facility Because of Coronavirus (CNN Business)
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Here are the companies releasing earnings reports today:
Digital Ally Inc. (Nasdaq: DGLY)
Seachange International (Nasdaq: SEAC)
Simply Good Foots Co. (Nasdaq: SMPL)
Check back each morning before the opening bell for stocks to watch today with Opening Bell, here on Money & Markets.