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Wall Street Wake-Up: Thursday’s Top News and Stocks to Watch

Wall Street Wake-Up: Thursday’s Top News and Stocks to Watch

Demand for oil is dropping, Amazon has a new grocery store plus stocks to watch today in the Money and Markets Wall Street Wake-Up.

The Top Story

The global demand for oil is expected to see its first decline in nearly a decade, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

For the first quarter of 2020, demand is expected to fall by approximately 435,000 barrels per day. The agency cut its 2020 growth forecast by 365,000 barrels to 825,000 barrels per day.

The dip in demand comes as fears over the spread of the coronavirus continue to impact global markets.

Sinking oil demand has negatively impacted prices. As of early Thursday morning, West Texas crude dropped 0.7% to $50.79 per barrel while Brent crude fell nearly 1% to $55.24 per barrel.

In other market news, U.S. equities are poised to open down Thursday.

As of 8 a.m. Eastern time, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were off 0.7%, as were S&P 500 futures. Nasdaq Composite futures were down nearly 1%.

Stocks to Watch Today

Tesla Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) — The company announced a $2 billion common stock offering Thursday, causing shares to dip 4.4% in premarket trading.

Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB) — Shares of the Canadian cannabis producer dropped 0.6% after the company reported lower-than-expected revenue, which it said will continue to be impacted due to negative industry headwinds.

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) — Despite reporting strong earnings and revenue, the technology company forecast a revenue decline of nearly 3.5% for the current quarter. Shares of Cisco were down 4.6% before the market open.

In the News

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the U.S. government will likely forgive up to $207.4 billion in student loan debt in the next 10 years.

The agency said there will be $1.05 trillion in new student loans taken out from 2020 to 2029 and much of that will wind up as income-driven repayment.

A large part of the forgiveness will come to students who take out loans to pay for graduate school. The CBO said $167.1 billion, or 56% of the amount extended, will be attributed to grad school students.

About $40.3 billion of the loans forgiven will be for new loans made for undergraduates.

Presently, about 43 million Americans owe $1.51 trillion in federal student loans. Income-driven repayment plans set monthly payments at 10% of the borrower’s discretionary income. Those payments, in most cases, do not cover the interest. That causes loan balances to continue to increase.

After the payment plan expires, the federal government forgives the balance of the loan.

Regulators Investigating Barclays CEO Over Links to Jeffrey Epstein

Officials in the U.K. are looking into the professional relationship between British bank Barclays PLC CEO Jes Stanley and deceased financier Jeffrey Epstein.

The Wall Street Journal reported the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority is investigating the relationship and how Stanley presented that relationship to both the bank and U.K. authorities.

Stanley, an American was recently penalized in 2018 for attempting to find out the identity of a whistleblower. The penalties equaled about a quarter of Stanley’s annual salary.

Stanley said he met Epstein when Stanley worked for JPMorgan & Chase Co. (NYSE: JPM) in 2000. Epstein was found dead in August 2019 in a New York detention center where he was awaiting federal charges of sex trafficking.

Amazon’s New Grocery Store Looks Like a Supermarket

Buried in a Woodland Hills strip mall is the first in a new chain of grocery stores being constructed by Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN).

According to Bloomberg, the new Los Angeles neighborhood store looks an awful lot like … well … a grocery store.

The 33,000-square-foot store is the first of several the company plans to open in cities around the country.

Other Morning Reads

3 Cheap 5G Stocks to Buy Right Now (Money and Markets)

Japan to Spend 10.3 Billion Yen to Fight Coronavirus (Reuters)

Here’s Why Cannabis Stocks Continue to Struggle (Money and Markets)

Earnings Report

Here are the companies releasing earnings reports today:

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA)

American International Group Inc. (NYSE: AIG)

Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB)

PepsiCo Inc. (Nasdaq: PEP)

Roku Inc. (Nasdaq: ROKU)

Chart of the Day

Tech companies COTD

The top five companies by market value on the S&P 500 are all tech companies — and it’s not even close.

Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: APPL), Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), Alphabet Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG), Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) make up the top five with a collective value of close to $5 trillion.

The total valuation of the S&P 500 is around $27 trillion.


Check back each morning before the opening bell for stocks to watch today with the Wall Street Wake-Up, here on Money and Markets