Showing posts with label CNBC.. Show all posts
Showing posts with label CNBC.. Show all posts

May 4, 2020

US Market | Futures Indicator: Dow futures drop 300 points to start the week, airline stocks fall on Buffett sale

Yun Li,Fred Imbert

Stock futures fell early Monday morning as traders weighed the reopening of the economy along with brewing tensions between China and the U.S.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 300 points, or 1.2%, pointing to an opening decline of more than 290 points. S&P 500 futures lost 1%. Nasdaq-100 futures fell 0.8%.
Warren Buffett said his Berkshire Hathaway sold all of its airline holdings because of the coronavirus outbreak. While the legendary investor was optimistic over the long term about the outlook for America, the move shows his concern that the pandemic has changed certain industries permanently and could be a sign that other investors are too optimistic about the economy returning to normal quickly.
Airline shares were the biggest losers in the S&P 500 in the premarket. Delta, United Airlines, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines all lost more than 10%, while plane maker Boeing dropped 5.6%.
“Mr Buffett is a long-term investor, so his decision to sell reflects his belief that airline industry is facing future challenges that fundamentally change the value-capture of that business,” wrote Tom Lee of Fundstrat in a note to clients.
Investors are also grappling with worries over another spat between China and the U.S. On Sunday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said there was a “significant amount of evidence” connecting the coronavirus to a lab in the Wuhan region of China.
Those comments came after National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said Friday that China will be “held accountable” for the coronavirus. Earlier in the week, President Donald Trump said he was considering imposing tariffs on China for its handling of the outbreak.
States across the U.S. are letting nonessential businesses reopen and are easing stay-at-home orders in an effort to restart the economy after the coronavirus forced a near-global halt in economic activity. However, this easing comes as data from the World Health Organization showed the U.S. had its deadliest 24 hours of the outbreak between Thursday and Friday.
“The next two to four weeks are critical for both the economic crisis and the health crisis,” said Marc Chaikin, CEO of Chaikin Analytics. “The biggest risk to the stock market is a premature reopening of the U.S. economy. If rising Covid-19 curves reemerge and economies are shut down again, the damage to the stock market’s psyche will be dramatic.”

Buffett sells airline stakes

“The world has changed for the airlines. And I don’t know how it’s changed and I hope it corrects itself in a reasonably prompt way,” Buffett said Saturday from Berkshire’s first-ever virtual shareholder’s meeting.
Berkshire had more than $4 billion invested across United, American, Southwest, and Delta Airlines before the sale. Buffett noted his admiration for the industry but added there are events “on the lower levels of probabilities” that call for a change of plans.
American and United have both fallen more than 60% year to date. Delta is down 57% for 2020 while Southwest has lost nearly half of its value. And the stocks were set for more losses on Monday.
Berkshire also reported a record $137 billion in cash after the first quarter, but Buffett said he doesn’t “see anything that attractive” to deploy that money.
Increasing hopes of a possible treatment from Gilead Sciences also lifted sentiment last month. On Sunday, CEO Daniel O’Day said remdesivir — Gilead’s promising antiviral drug — will be available to coronavirus patients this week. Gilead shares added 2% in premarket trading.
Stocks notched their best monthly performance in over 30 years in April in part because of hopes of an economic reopening. Last month, the S&P 500 rallied 12.7%.
More than 3.4 million cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed globally, including over 1.1. million in the U.S. alone, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Coronavirus: Pharma giants granted coronavirus approvals but doubts remain on manufacturing a global vaccine

Julianna Tatelbaum

GS: GSK lab research 120119
A GSK lab in London.
Oli Scarff | Getty Images

There were several major developments over the last week with the medical community marking progress in all three critical areas: testing, treatments and vaccines.
Experts have welcomed positive data on potential treatments and progress on testing, but warn that vaccine timelines look ambitious and argue more thought is needed on manufacturing.  


On Sunday, Roche’s Covid-19 antibody test received FDA Emergency Use Authorization. The test is designed to help determine if a patient has been exposed to the virus and has developed antibodies against it. Roche will provide high double-digit millions of tests from this month.
Roche CEO Severin Schwan told CNBC on April 22 that, “Unlike with molecular tests which directly measure the virus, with antibody tests, the scaling is much easier from a technical point of view plus there is an enormous base of installed instruments and platforms out there.”


After weeks of speculation and mixed messages from prematurely released data, Gilead’s experimental drug remdesivir was granted emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for Covid-19 on Friday. This will enable broader use of remdesivir to treat hospitalized patients with severe Covid-19 in the United States.
On April 30, the European Medicines Agency announced a “rolling” review of remdesivir, which enables the agency to assess data on the drug as it becomes available, speeding up the evaluation process and potentially paving the way for faster approval.
Separately, initial data on Kevzara, a rheumatoid arthritis drug co-developed by Regeneron and Sanofi seen as a potential treatment, delivered mixed results. It showed promise for treating the sickest patients but no benefit for less severe cases. As a result, the companies decided to stop testing the drug with those patients and are instead proceeding with a larger trial only in critical patients. Results are due in June.
JPMorgan’s U.S. biotechnology equity research team commented on Kevzara in a published note on Friday: “Although this might come as a relative disappointment to some — especially given the heightened sensitivities around Covid-19 — we continue to believe Regeneron may have a better shot treating this pandemic with its antibody cocktail.”


On the vaccine front, more manufacturing partnerships were announced last week, underlining the importance of discovering a vaccine that works but also ensuring there is enough to go around. Bank of America’s U.S. biopharmaceuticals equity research team hosted a biotech policy landscape call for clients last week which concluded that there needs to be some very serious thought on manufacturing.
Moderna announced a 10-year manufacturing agreement with Lonza that could result in the production of 1 billion doses per year. Goldman Sachs equity research said in a research note published May 1 that “based on Moderna’s vaccine portfolio data to date, we remain optimistic into the initial Covid-19 vaccine results, and view the Lonza collaboration as further supporting Moderna’s continued efforts to produce a Covid-19 vaccine to meet global demand.” The company says a phase three trial could begin as soon as the fall of 2020.
AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford announced last week an agreement on the global development and distribution of the university’s potential vaccine. The plan is to produce up to 100 million doses by the end of the year. The Oxford team is aiming to have the vaccine available by September.
Pascal Soriot, the chief executive officer of AstraZeneca, said in a press release: “This collaboration brings together the University of Oxford’s world-class expertise in vaccinology and AstraZeneca’s global development, manufacturing and distribution capabilities.”
Prior to that announcement, India’s Serum Institute, the world’s biggest vaccine manufacturer, said it plans to produce up to 60 million doses of the potential vaccine by the end of the year.
The UBS health-care equity research team hosted a client call with an American infectious disease epidemiologist last week and said in a published note that the expert thinks highly of the scientific group at Oxford University. However, the expert was doubtful on the proposed timeline, considering the amount of data and follow-up time required to establish safety and efficacy of a vaccine.
Furthermore, the expert warned that even if a vaccine demonstrates safety and efficacy, there are significant additional challenges with manufacturing and distributing doses for the global population of nearly 8 billion.
Several other partnerships have already been announced including between Pfizer and BioNTech, and Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline.
There are currently at least 89 vaccines for the coronavirus in development globally, according to the WHO. Experts have predicted that it will take between 12 and 18 months for a vaccine to be deemed safe for distribution to the market. 

May 1, 2020

Health & Science | Coronavirus: Gilead gets emergency FDA authorization for remdesivir to treat coronavirus, Trump says

Berkeley Lovelace Jr., William Feuer

The Food and Drug Administration has granted emergency use authorization for Gilead Sciences remdesivir drug to treat the coronavirus, President Donald Trump announced Friday.
Trump made the announcement in the Oval Office alongside Gilead CEO Daniel O’Day.
“We want to thank the collaborators that brought remdesivir to this point and many of our people that have been part of this, in fact, the caregivers,” O’Day told reporters. He added that the company is donating one million vials of remdesivir.
Gilead shares pared losses, but were still down 4% in trading Friday. The stock, which has a market value of about $101 billion, has gained 21% since the start of the year.
The EUA means that remdesivir has not undergone the same level of review as an FDA-approved treatment, according to an FDA fact sheet on the drug. However, doctors will be allowed to use the drug on patients hospitalized with the disease even though the drug has not been formally approved by the agency.
The intravenous drug has helped shorten the recovery time of some hospitalized Covid-19 patients, new clinical trial data suggests. Without other proven treatments, health-care workers will likely be considering its use.
The FDA previously authorized the emergency use of malaria drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19. However, it later issued a warning against taking the drugs outside a hospital or formal clinical trial setting after it became aware of reports of “serious heart rhythm problems” in patients.
Earlier in the week, White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said data from a coronavirus drug trial testing Gilead’s drug showed “quite good news” and sets a new standard of care for Covid-19 patients.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases released results from its study showing Covid-19 patients who took remdesivir usually recovered after 11 days, four days faster than those who didn’t take the drug.
Gilead also released preliminary results from its own study, showing at least 50% of the patients treated with a five-day dosage of remdesivir improved. The clinical trial involved 397 patients with severe cases of Covid-19. The severe study is “single-arm,” meaning it did not evaluate the drug against a control group of patients who didn’t receive the drug.
Trump has touted remdesivir as a potential treatment for the virus, which has infected more than 3.3 million people worldwide and killed at least 237,000 people, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Earlier this week, he said he wanted the FDA to move “as quickly as they can” to approve the drug.
“We would like to see very quick approvals, especially with things that work,” he said at a roundtable at the White House with business executives Wednesday evening.
The drug has not been formally approved to treat the virus, and U.S. health officials caution new data on the drug has yet to be peer-reviewed.
On Thursday, the company said it expects to produce more than 140,000 rounds of its 10-day treatment regimen by the end of May and anticipates it can make 1 million rounds by the end of this year. Gilead said it will be able to produce “several million” rounds of its antiviral drug next year.
Under the EUA, the FDA will allow the drug to administered for either a five-day or a 10-day dose. A day 10-day treatment regimen is preferred for intubated patients.
“That’s going to allow Gilead to effectively double the supply,” former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said during an interview on CNBC’s “Closing Bell.”
Gilead spent $50 million on the research and development of remdesivir during the first quarter, it disclosed in its earnings report Thursday. The company said it will spend as much as $1 billion for the year.

Read the full press release here.

Apr 30, 2020

Market Insider | Biggest Moves Premarket: Stocks making the biggest moves in the premarket: Twitter, Comcast, McDonald's, Tapestry & more

Peter Schacknow

Take a look at some of the biggest movers in the premarket:

Twitter (TWTR) – Twitter reported quarterly profit of 11 cents per share, a penny a share above estimates. Revenue and the number of monetizable daily active users beating forecasts as well. Twitter is not giving any guidance for the current quarter or the full year due to uncertainty surrounding the current business environment.
Comcast (CMCSA) – The NBCUniversal and CNBC parent beat estimates by 3 cents a share, with quarterly profit of 71 cents per share. Revenue came in below Wall Street forecasts. The company added 477,000 high-speed internet customers during the quarter, the most in 12 years, while NBCUniversal and Sky experienced pressure during the quarter from the cancellations of sports events due to the coronavirus outbreak.
McDonald's (MCD) – McDonald's fell 10 cents a share short of estimates, with profit of $1.47 per share. Revenue beat forecasts however. McDonald's had strong sales prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, but like many other restaurant chains it suffered a sizeable decline once the pandemic hit.
Dunkin' Brands (DNKN) – The restaurant chain beat estimates by 5 cents a share, with quarterly earnings of 67 cents per share. Revenue also topped estimates. Sales fell, however, as the coronavirus outbreak spread, with comparable sales down more than 19% in the final three weeks of the quarter. The company has now suspended its dividend and it withdrew its 2020 outlook.
Tapestry (TPR) – The company formerly known as Coach lost 27 cents per share for its latest quarter, wider than the 12 cents a share loss Wall Street was expecting. Revenue was above forecasts. Tapestry withdrew its full-year forecast after the coronavirus pandemic forced it to close stores, and the company has suspended dividends and share repurchases.
Kraft Heinz (KHC) – The food maker reported quarterly profit of 58 cents per share, 3 cents a share above estimates. Revenue also topped expectations. Organic sales rose 6.2%, as Kraft Heinz benefited from increased consumer demand related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Cigna (CI) – The insurance company earned $4.69 per share for the first quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $4.35 a share. Revenue was above estimates as well. Cigna said it is meeting the challenges of the coronavirus outbreak and said it remains confident in the strength of its various business units.
Microsoft (MSFT) – Microsoft reported quarterly profit of $1.40 per share, 14 cents a share above estimates. Revenue also beat forecasts. Microsoft said the Covid-19 outbreak had minimal impact on revenue and it saw increased business in a number of its cloud-based segments.
Facebook (FB) – Facebook fell 4 cents a share shy of estimates, with quarterly earnings of $1.71 per share. The social media giant's revenue exceeded Street projections. Facebook said that ad sales have stabilized in recent weeks, following a significant reduction in demand.
Tesla (TSLA) – Tesla posted an unexpected profit for the first quarter, with the automaker's revenue slightly above estimates despite shutdowns at its U.S. and China factories. Deliveries during the quarter came in slightly below estimates.
Qualcomm (QCOM) – Qualcomm beat estimates by 10 cents a share, with quarterly profit of 88 cents per share. The chip maker's revenue beat consensus as well. Its current-quarter revenue forecast is in line with Street expectations, as the company signs more contracts for production of 5G phones which use more expensive chips.
EBay (EBAY) – EBay reported quarterly earnings of 77 cents per share, 5 cents a share above estimates. The online marketplace operator's revenue topped estimates as well. The company said its marketplace business has been helped by worldwide shelter-in-place orders, and it gave stronger-than-expected guidance for full-year earnings and revenue.
ServiceNow (NOW) – ServiceNow earned $1.05 per share for its latest quarter, 10 cents a share above estimates. The enterprise cloud computing company's revenue was also above forecasts, however it anticipates the most significant challenges stemming from the coronavirus outbreak to occur during the second and third quarters.
Exxon Mobil (XOM) – Exxon Mobil maintained its quarterly dividend at 87 cents per share, at a time when many energy companies are cutting or eliminating their dividend. Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA) did just that this morning, slashing its dividend by two thirds after reporting a 46% drop in first-quarter profit. It was the company's first dividend cut since World War II.
Boeing (BA) – The jet maker's debt rating was cut by rating agency Standard and Poor's to BBB-, one notch above junk status. The move stems from the expected impact of the coronavirus outbreak on Boeing's profits and cash flow over the next several years.
Align Technology (ALGN) – Align earned 73 cents per share for its latest quarter, well below the consensus estimate of $1.00 a share. The maker of Invisalign dental braces also saw revenue come in below forecasts. Align was impacted by the shutdown of most dental practices in mid-March, and withdrew 2020 guidance due to pandemic-related uncertainty.

Companings Earnings: Twitter reports strong first-quarter results, despite expected downturn from coronavirus

Lauren Feiner

GP: Twitter CEO Dorsey And Facebook COO Sandberg Testify Before Senate Intelligence Committee 1
Jack Dorsey, co-founder and chief executive officer of Twitter Inc., listens during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018.
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Twitter reported first-quarter 2020 earnings Thursday that beat estimates despite an expected hit to its ads business due to the coronavirus pandemic. The stock was up more than 11% during premarket trading.
Here’s what Twitter reported:
  • Earnings per share (EPS): 11 cents
  • Revenue: $808 million
  • Monetizable daily active users (mDAUs): 166 million
Wall Street had been anticipating earnings per share of 10 cents on revenue of $776 million, based on Refinitiv consensus estimates. Monetizable daily active users (mDAUs) was expected to come in at 164 million, based on StreetAccount estimates. However, it’s difficult to compare reported earnings to analyst estimates for Twitter’s first quarter, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to hit global economies and makes earnings impact difficult to assess.
Twitter did not provide guidance for the second quarter and is still suspending full year guidance, but it noted that its plans to build a new data center will likely be delayed, impacting capex spend in the 2020 fiscal year. It still expects stock-based compensation to grow sequentially in the second quarter by at least 25%.
The company pulled its guidance for the current quarter at the end of March, blaming the coronavirus for a slowdown in advertising revenue that made it hard to pin down its results.
The company said its mDAU growth represented the strongest ever year-over-year at 24%. It saw double digit growth in its top 10 markets, according to the shareholder letter. By the end of March, Twitter said, “The absolute number of mDAUs stabilized ... as many people around the world settled into new routines.”
Twitter said in the letter that its revenue growth of 3% was due to “a strong start to the quarter that was impacted by widespread economic disruption related to COVID-19 in March.”
Total advertising revenue was $682 million, up about $3 million compared to last year. But the company said its ad revenue should be viewed as two distinct periods, with January through the beginning of March performing as expected and the end of March taking a hit.
“As an indication of the rapid change in advertising behavior, from March 11 (when many events around the world began to be canceled and we made working from home mandatory for nearly all our employees globally) until March 31, our total advertising revenue declined approximately 27% year over year,” the company wrote in its shareholder letter. “The downturn we saw in March was particularly pronounced in the US, and advertising weakness in Asia began to subside as work and travel restrictions were gradually lifted.”
To weather the pandemic, Twitter is shifting resources to focus on revenue products including its Mobile App Promotion (MAP) product. It’s also lowering hiring and non-labor expense plans while continuing to invest in engineering, product and trust and safety.
Prior to the pandemic, Jack Dorsey’s role as CEO was challenged by activist investment firm Elliott Management. The firm wanted Dorsey removed in part because of his split responsibility as chief executive of both Twitter and Square and his previous plans to move to Africa for several months. As the coronavirus spread throughout the world, Dorsey said he was reconsidering the move to Africa and Twitter struck a deal with Elliott and Silver Lake, leaving Dorsey in place for the time being.
Analysts at Bernstein said earlier this month that the involvement of Elliott and Silver Lake will help catalyze innovation at Twitter, especially in ad products. The deal included a $1 billion investment in the company by Silver Lake.
But in the near term, the analysts said, Twitter, like other digital ad platforms, will likely suffer from lower ad revenue even as engagement climbs since many brands are wary of advertising on coronavirus-related content.

US Market | Futures Indicator: US stock futures rise after solid tech earnings, Facebook up more than 10%

Thomas Franck

Futures contracts tied to the major U.S. stock indexes were higher in the overnight session Wednesday evening after both Facebook and Microsoft issued better-than-expected revenue projections in their earnings reports.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 116 points, implying an opening gain of around 155 points. S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures also pointed to Thursday opening gains.
Both Facebook and Microsoft equity climbed in after-hours trading Wednesday evening after each reported promising revenue figures despite the global coronavirus outbreak.
Facebook soared more than 10% in the overnight session after it reported that, after an initial “significant” pullback in advertising revenues in March thanks to Covid-19, it’s seen sales stabilize in the first three weeks of April. It reported first-quarter per-share earnings of $1.71 and revenues of $17.74 billion.
Microsoft rose about 2.15% in after-hours trading after the company reported fiscal third-quarter sales growth of 15% thanks to growth in its cloud business. The software giant said in a statement that the disease “had minimal net impact on the total company revenue” in the three months ended March 31, but cautioned that “effects of COVID-19 may not be fully reflected in the financial results until future periods.” 
The overnight moves followed a bounce in U.S. equities during normal trading hours on Wednesday that put the S&P 500 up more than 13% for the month and on track for its biggest one-month gain since 1974.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 532.31 points, or 2.2%, to 24,633.86 during Wednesday’s session. The S&P 500 gained 2.66% to 2,939.51 while the Nasdaq Composite closed 3.57% higher at 8,914.71.
Investors cited developments at Gilead Sciences for the market’s pop during Wednesday’s session after the biotech company reported positive results from two tests that showed its drug remdesivir could be a Covid-19 treatment. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said remdesivir shows a “clear-cut” positive effect when treating the virus.
U.S. traders will on Thursday pore over the Labor Department’s latest report on jobless claims. Another 3.5 million workers are expected to have filed for benefits last week, which would bring the total number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits over the last six weeks to about 30 million.
The Labor Department’s prior jobless claims report — released April 23 — showed the number of Americans who had filed for unemployment insurance benefits over the previous five weeks was 26.45 million.
That number exceeded the 22.442 million positions added to the American economy since November 2009, when the U.S. economy began to add jobs back to the economy after the Great Recession.
Click here for the latest news on the coronavirus.

Apr 29, 2020

Market Insider | Biggest Moves Premarket: Stocks making the biggest moves in the premarket: Boeing, GE, ADP, Hasbro, LabCorp, Spotify & more

Peter Schacknow

Take a look at some of the biggest movers in the premarket:

Boeing (BA) – Boeing lost $1.70 per share, larger than the $1.61 per share predicted by Wall Street analysts, with revenue also below estimates. Boeing also announced plans to cut commercial jet production rates as well as reduce payroll.
General Electric (GE) – GE reported quarterly profit of 5 cents per share, below the consensus estimate of 8 cents a share. Revenue came in above forecasts. CEO Larry Culp said the coronavirus outbreak materially challenged first-quarter results, with an impact of $700 million on operating profit.
ADP (ADP) – The payroll processing company came in 3 cents a share ahead of estimates, with quarterly earnings $1.92 per share. Revenue beat forecasts as well, however the company lowered its earnings and revenue outlook for the year.
Anthem (ANTM) – The health insurer matched analysts’ forecasts, with quarterly earnings of $6.48 per share. Revenue topped expectations. Overall results were hurt by weaker sales for its employer-sponsored health plans, although it benefited overall from higher premiums. Anthem is also standing by its prior full-year forecast.
Garmin (GRMN) – The maker of GPS devices beat estimates by 7 cents a share, with quarterly profit of 91 cents per share. Revenue came in above projections as well. The company said it had strong momentum during the quarter ahead of the coronavirus outbreak, but is withdrawing 2020 guidance due to uncertainty surrounding the pandemic.
Hasbro (HAS) – The toymaker came in a penny a share short of estimates, with quarterly earnings of 57 cents per share. Revenue was just below forecasts. The toymaker saw a 40 percent jump in games category sales during the quarter, but expects sales of its toys and games to fall in the current quarter due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Yum Brands (YUM) – The restaurant operator’s profit fell 68% from a year earlier, falling one cent a share shy of estimates with profit of 64 cents per share. Global same-store sales for the operator of KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut fell 7% during the quarter as many restaurants closed due to the pandemic.
LabCorp (LH) – The medical lab operator reported better-than-expected revenue and profit, and expects to deliver solid earnings and free cash flow this year. The company is withdrawing 2020 guidance due to the pandemic, however, and taking other actions including furloughing workers, delaying hiring, and suspending 401(k) contributions.
Spotify (SPOT) – The music streaming service reported a smaller-than-expected loss, with revenue essentially in line with forecasts. The company added more users in both the paying and ad-supported categories, however it lowered its revenue guidance for the year as ad sales fall due to the pandemic.
Alphabet (GOOGL) – Alphabet reported quarterly earnings of $9.87 per share, missing the consensus estimate of $10.33. The Google parent’s revenue beat Street forecasts. The company said the current quarter would be a difficult one for Google’s advertising business due to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
Starbucks (SBUX) – Starbucks missed estimates by 2 cents a share, with quarterly profit of 32 cents per share. The coffee chain’s revenue beat consensus. Global same-store sales fell a greater-than-expected 10% during the quarter, as the virus outbreak closed stores.
Mondelez (MDLZ) – Mondelez came in 3 cents a share ahead of estimates, with the snack maker reporting quarterly earnings of 69 cents per share. Revenue beat estimates, as the maker of Oreo cookies saw consumers stockpile food items as the Covid-19 pandemic spread. The company withdrew its 2020 forecast due to uncertainty surrounding the impact of the virus.
Ford (F) – Ford lost 23 cents per share for the first quarter, nearly double the 12 cents a share loss that analysts were anticipating for the automaker. Revenue also fell short of forecasts, and Ford warned that its $2 billion loss would more than double during the current quarter. Ford also said it had enough money to weather the pandemic through the end of 2020.
FireEye (FEYE) – FireEye lost 2 cents per share for its latest quarter, better than the 4 cents a share loss that Wall Street had projected. The cybersecurity company’s revenue also topped estimates. FireEye gave a weaker-than-expected forecast and announced it was laying off workers.
iRobot (IRBT) – iRobot reported a quarterly loss of 32 cents per share, smaller than the consensus forecast of a 47 cents a share loss. The maker of the Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner’s revenue beat Street forecasts, although it also said the current economic environment will weigh heavily on a consumer’s decision to buy its products.
Uber Technologies (UBER) – Uber said Chief Technology Officer Thuan Pham – the ride-hailing company’s longest-serving executive – is resigning effective May 17. Separately, Uber is reportedly considering laying off as much as 20% of its workforce, or about 5,400 workers. In response, the company said it is looking at “every possible scenario” to weather the current crisis.
AMC Entertainment (AMC) – The world’s largest theater operator said it would no longer show movies produced by Comcast’s (CMCSA) Universal Pictures unit in its theaters. That comes in response to the NBCUniversal and CNBC parent’s plans for future releases, which include digital releases when “that distribution outlet makes sense.” Universal recently released its “Trolls: World Tour” movie directly to streaming platforms, with movie theaters closed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
WW (WW) – WW lost an adjusted 4 cents per share for the first quarter, smaller than the 23 cents a share loss predicted by analysts. The Weight Watchers parent’s revenue came in very slightly above estimates, and saw subscriber rolls jump by 9%.

Business News | Company´s Revenue: GE says first-quarter revenue declined 8%, expects this quarter to be worse because of pandemic

Fred Imbert

General Electric reported Wednesday a steep decline in first-quarter revenue as the industrial giant took a hit amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The company posted total revenue of $20.524 billion, which represents a year-over-year decline of 8%. On an adjusted per-share basis, the company earned 5 cents. That’s below a Refinitiv estimate of 8 cents per share.
“The impact from COVID-19 materially challenged our first-quarter results, especially in Aviation, where we saw a dramatic decline in commercial aerospace as the virus spread globally in March,” CEO Larry Culp said in a statement.
As global travel screeched to a halt, General Electric’s aviation business saw revenue fall by 13% to $6.892 billion on a year-over-year basis in the quarter, with profit tumbling 39% to $1.005 billion from $1.66 billion in the division. Orders also declined by 14%. The company’s power and renewable energy businesses also saw revenues decline in the first quarter.
Larry Culp, CEO, General Electric
Scott Mlyn | CNBC
GE’s health care segment, however, saw revenues expand by 7% to $5.292 billion and profit grow to $896 million from $781 million in the year-earlier period. The company cited “surge demand for products used in the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19.”
Culp said the company is eyeing cost cuts of more than $2 billion along with $3 billion in cash preservation to cushion the coronavirus blow. GE’s earnings release also indicated the industrial giant expects this quarter to be worse than the first.
“The second quarter will be the first full quarter with pressure from COVID-19, and GE expects that its financial results will decline sequentially,” GE said.
Shares of General Electric traded 2.2% lower in the premarket. GE shares have lost about 40% of their value this year through Tuesday.
The company announced earlier this month that it was withdrawing its 2020 forecast. The company also said its cash and cash-equivalent holdings topped more than $47 billion along with a revolving debt facility of $15 billion to ride out the virus-induced downturn.

Europe | Italy's Economy:Italy's credit rating downgraded to one notch above junk by Fitch

Holly Ellyatt

Premium: Colisseum
Elias Kordelakos photography | Flickr | Getty Images

Italy’s credit rating has been downgraded to one notch above junk level by Fitch ratings agency as the coronavirus hurts Italy’s already fragile economy further.
Fitch downgraded Italy’s credit rating from ‘BBB’ to ‘BBB-’, just one level above its junk rating, reflecting increasing doubts around Italy’s credit-worthiness as it tries to recover from the economic and societal damage inflicted by the coronavirus.
The ratings agency said the downgrade reflects “the significant impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic on Italy’s economy and the sovereign’s fiscal position.”
Fitch forecast that Italy’s economy will contract by 8% in 2020 and said the risks to this baseline forecast are tilted to the downside, as it assumes that the coronavirus can be contained in the second half of the year, leading to a relatively strong economic recovery in 2021.
But “in the event of a second wave of infections and the widespread resumption of lockdown measures, economic outturns would be weaker for 2020 and 2021,” Fitch warned.
The ratings agency believes that Italy’s debt to GDP ratio will increase by around 20 percentage points this year to 156% of GDP by at the end of 2020. Italy is one of the most indebted nations in the world after Japan and Greece.
According to Fitch’s baseline debt dynamics scenario, the debt-to-GDP ratio “will only stabilize at this very high level over the medium term, underlining debt sustainability risks.”
Fitch’s appraisal of Italy’s creditworthiness was not scheduled (its next review is due in July) but was taken, Fitch said, because “situations where there is a material change in the creditworthiness of the issuer ... we believe makes it inappropriate for us to wait until the next scheduled review date.”
The Italian economy was already in a weak position when the COVID-19 shock hit the country hard in February, making it the epicenter of Europe’s coronavirus outbreak. Real GDP grew by only 0.3% in 2019, Fitch noted, adding that the economy has effectively stagnated over the past two years.
The ratings agency put a stable outlook on its latest Italy rating, saying that it partly reflects its view that the European Central Bank’s net asset purchases will facilitate Italy’s substantial fiscal response to the COVID-19 pandemic and ease refinancing risks by keeping borrowing costs at very low levels at least over the near term.
“Nevertheless, downward pressure on the rating could resume if the government does not implement a credible economic growth and fiscal strategy that enhances confidence that general government debt/GDP will be placed on a downward path over time,” the ratings agency said.
Italy has recorded the highest death toll from the coronavirus so far in Europe, with 27,359 fatalities as of Tuesday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
It has over 200,000 confirmed cases of the virus but it has tentatively started to lift its lockdown with some smaller stores, such as stationers and booksellers, already allowed to reopen although generally the quarantine and travel restrictions, first imposed in early March, remain in place until May 3.
On Sunday, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte outlined further steps, or its “phase 2” for lifting the lockdown, saying that parks, companies and factories will be allowed to reopen from May 4 as long as social distancing measures are in place; bars and restaurants can also provide a takeaway service from then and on May 18, museums could re-open. Schools will stay closed until September, however.

US Market | Futures Indicator: Dow futures point to opening gain of nearly 200 points ahead of Fed decision

Yun Li

Stock futures rose in early morning trading on Wednesday as investors looked for guidance from the Federal Reserve on the future path of interest rates with a gradual reopening of the economy in sight.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 144 points higher, implying a Wednesday opening gain of 193 points. S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures also pointed to Wednesday opening gains for the two indexes.
All eyes will be on the Fed’s monetary policy decision at 2 p.m. ET Wednesday. Investors will look to the central bank’s statement and chairman Jerome Powell’s virtual press conference for clues about how long interest rates will stay near zero as the economy seeks to emerge from coronarivirus crisis.
“It doesn’t look like the Fed will raise interest rates beyond 0% until well-past the pandemic, which we think might be around 2023,” said Jim Caron, head of global macro strategies at Morgan Stanley Investment Management. “The market is pricing a recovery that starts in Q3, but there’s wide variability, and we need the Fed to give its input.”
While no one is expecting any change to its benchmark interest rate, the Fed could potentially adjust the rate on bank reserves and announce asset purchases targeted toward driving down longer-term rates.
Another big market catalyst on Wednesday will be a reading on real gross domestic product at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones forecast the U.S. economy shrank by 3.5% in the first quarter as the pandemic disrupted economic activities. U.S. GDP grew by 2.1% in the fourth quarter.
Stocks fell slightly on Tuesday as a slide in mega-cap tech shares put pressure on the broader market. The S&P 500 ended the day 0.5% lower, but the equity benchmark is still up more than 10% this month alone.
The possibility to reopen the economy soon boosted the areas of the market that had been hit the hardest. Retailers rebounded sharply with Simon Property Group and Kohl’s jumping 10.7% and 6.7%, respectively.
President Donald Trump said in a press conference Tuesday the U.S. will “very soon” run five million coronavirus tests per day. The number of most tests the country has run was 314,182 on April 22, according to the Covid Tracking Project. The lack of testing remains an obstacle for many states anxious to reopen for business.
Meanwhile, earnings season remains in focus with Boeing reporting its first-quarter results before the opening bell on Wednesday. Facebook, Tesla and Microsoft are set to drop earnings after the bell.

Apr 28, 2020

Market Insider | Best Biggest Moves Premarket: Stocks making the biggest moves in the premarket: 3M, Caterpillar, Pfizer, PepsiCo, Merck & more

Peter Schacknow

Take a look at some of the biggest movers in the premarket:

3M (MMM) – 3M reported quarterly earnings of $2.16 per share, beating the consensus estimate of $2.03 a share. The health-care and safety products maker’s revenue also beat forecasts, but the company withdrew its full-year outlook due to virus-related uncertainties.
Caterpillar (CAT) – The heavy equipment maker missed forecasts by 9 cents a share, with quarterly earnings of $1.60 per share. Revenue fell short of estimates as well amid a slowdown in demand. As many other companies have done, Caterpillar is not providing any full-year 2020 guidance due to uncertainties surrounding the pandemic.
Merck (MRK) – Merck came in 16 cents a share ahead of estimates, with quarterly profit of $1.50 per share. The drugmaker’s revenue also topped Wall Street forecasts. Merck’s results were helped by strong sales of its Keytruda cancer drug, but it cut its 2020 forecast due to coronavirus-related uncertainties.
Pfizer (PFE) – The drugmaker earned 80 cents per share for the first quarter, 7 cents a share better than consensus. Revenue also beat forecasts and Pfizer reaffirmed its full-year financial outlook. A drop in sales of off-patent pain drug Lyrica contributed to a more than 12% drop in profit compared to a year ago.
PepsiCo (PEP) – The beverage and snack giant came in 4 cents a share ahead of estimates, with quarterly earnings of $1.07 per share. Revenue came in above estimates as well. PepsiCo is joining those withdrawing its outlook due to pandemic-related uncertainties. The company said it still expects to buy back $2 billion in shares this year and pay $5.5 billion in dividends.
Harley-Davidson (HOG) – The motorcycle maker earned 45 cents per share for its latest quarter, 4 cents a share above estimates. Revenue was slightly above forecasts. However, profit was down 45% from a year ago as global lockdowns hit sales. Harley also suspended share repurchases, and cut its quarterly dividend to 2 cents a share from 38 cents a share.
DR Horton (DHI) – The home builder beat consensus forecasts by 18 cents a share, with quarterly profit of $1.30 per share. Revenue was also above estimates. The company said sales and profits are slowing, however, and cancellations are increasing due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Boeing (BA) – Boeing will resume production of its 787 Dreamliner aircraft at its South Carolina factory on May 4. It had suspended production on April 8 because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and plans to institute a series of safeguards at the factory before workers return.
BP (BP) – BP’s latest earnings beat estimates, but profit fell by two thirds and debt levels rose to the highest level in five years. The energy producer kept its dividend intact, however, even as it warned of extreme uncertainty in the energy markets and its future results.
HSBC (HSBC) – HSBC reported lower-than-expected quarterly profit, as the bank earmarked $3 billion for possible bad loans amid the coronavirus outbreak.
UBS (UBS) – UBS saw profits rise by 40% for its latest quarter, as the world’s largest wealth manager saw increased portfolio activity by its high-end clients.
Novartis (NVS) – Novartis reported first-quarter profits and sales that came in above analysts’ estimates, with the drugmaker benefiting from customers stocking up on their prescriptions as the coronavirus outbreak took hold.
Verizon (VZ), AT&T (T), Comcast (CMCSA), T-Mobile (TMUS) – These companies are among wireless service providers who have agreed to extend customer concessions through June 30, and will not cancel service or charge late fees to customers impacted by the pandemic. Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC.
JetBlue (JBLU) – JetBlue became the first U.S. airline to mandate face coverings for passengers, with the rule taking effect May 4. Airlines have already asked flight attendants to wear masks, and worker unions have been pushing for a similar rule for passengers.
Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP) – The company reported quarterly earnings of 29 cents per share, 2 cents a share above estimates. The beverage maker’s revenue also beat forecasts and the company reaffirmed a full-year forecast that is above current consensus, with stay-at-home consumers stocking up on the company’s offerings like Dr Pepper and 7UP.
F5 Networks (FFIV) – F5 earned $2.23 per share for its fiscal second quarter, compared to a consensus estimate of $1.95 a share. The computer networking company’s revenue also beat forecasts, as it benefits from an increasing number of companies asking employees to work from home. F5 also gave an above-consensus current-quarter forecast for earnings and sales.
Tesla (TSLA) – The automaker canceled plans to bring employees back to work at its Fremont, California plant, following a weekend request to some furloughed workers to return.

Business News | Industrials: Caterpillar says first-quarter sales decline 21%, does not give 2020 outlook because of pandemic

Yun Li

GP: Caterpillar Inc. Manufacturing Facilities As Profit Outlook Raised Despite Expected Tariff Impact
An employee assembles an excavator at the Caterpillar Inc. manufacturing facility in Victoria, Texas.
Callaghan O’Hare | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Caterpillar experienced a sales drop of 21% in the first quarter as the coronavirus pandemic disrupted demand for construction and mining.
The industrial giant on Tuesday reported revenues of $10.6 billion in the first quarter, compared with $13.5 billion in the first quarter of 2019. The decline was due to lower sales volume driven by “lower end user demand” and the impact from changes in dealer inventories, the company said.
Shares of Caterpillar rose about 0.7% in premarket trading on Tuesday following the quarterly results.
Caterpillar said it earned $1.98 per share in the first quarter, compared with $3.25 profit per share in the same quarter a year ago. Wall Street was anticipating earnings per share of $1.69 on revenue of $10.916 billion, based on Refinitiv consensus estimates.
“We have taken decisive actions to enhance our strong financial position, while continuing to execute our strategy for profitable growth,” Caterpillar chairman and CEO Jim Umpleby said in a statement. “Caterpillar has faced and overcome many challenges in our 95-year history. Our goal is to emerge from the pandemic an even stronger company.”
Caterpillar’s stock tumbled 22% this year as it experienced a drop in machine sales amid the coronavirus-triggered shutdowns. In February, Caterpillar said its machine sales dropped 11% on a rolling three-month period, its biggest decline since the end of 2016.
The heavy equipment maker said Tuesday about 75% of the company’s primary production facilities continue to operate amid the pandemic, while some facilities that were temporarily closed have reopened.
Morgan Stanley on Monday downgraded Caterpillar to underweight from equal weight, saying it sees a possible multi-year downturn in non-residential construction.

China Markets: China cracks down on fraud and tries to clean up image with Luckin probe

Evelyn Cheng

GP: 180825 China's CSRC 
The entrance of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC).
Zhang Peng | LightRocket |Getty Images

In a period fraught with tensions with the U.S., China is trying to show it’s being serious about tackling fraud.
Nasdaq-listed Luckin Coffee said Monday it was cooperating with regulators, following reports of government investigation into the company over recently disclosed financial fraud.
The rare crackdown comes after an update to China’s securities law took effect in March. A new clause said the Chinese government will take legal action against overseas securities issuance and trading activity that hurts domestic investors.  

‘Poster child’

The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) and other authorities have not directly confirmed an investigation into Luckin — China’s challenger to Starbucks. But the commission has been more vocal in denouncing the coffee company’s fraud, and talked up efforts to cooperate with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
“The particular timing and particular nature of this case (will) probably become a poster child for China’s attempt to step up or improve its implementation ... regarding securities law,“ Zhu Ning, a professor of finance at Tsinghua University, said Tuesday.  “The update to the securities law is definitely making it clear that China is trying harder to maintain the order and discipline of the market.” 
He said that for some Chinese people, there was an element of national pride in the success of Luckin and the revelation of fraud was humiliating. Increased U.S. scrutiny of Chinese companies will affect their prospects for listing in New York, he said, adding “it’s also hurtful for China for establishing its global leadership image.”
Just over two years old, the Luckin burst onto the market with the aim of being a homegrown rival to Starbucks in China by relying on minimal storefronts, mobile delivery and coupons.
The start-up listed in New York in May 2019. It was the first company since the dotcom bubble from 1999 to 2000 to achieve a $3 billion public valuation less than two years after its launch.
Then on April 2, Luckin announced that an internal investigation found the chief operating officer fabricated sales by about 2.2 billion yuan ($314 million) for much of last year. Shares plunged more than 80% before being halted, and have been suspended since April 7. 

Still a long road ahead for China

The company said Monday it was cooperating with China’s State Administration for Market Regulation, and that stores nationwide are operating normally.
Zhu pointed out that what’s needed more is systematic improvements to China’s financial reporting standards, since problems at many local companies have hurt local investors without any punishment.
″(There’s) still a long way for China to go,“ he said. There are “still widespread irregularities in China’s securities market.”
On top of the ongoing trade dispute between the U.S. and China, the global coronavirus pandemic has aggravated geopolitical tensions with controversy over the origin of the Covid-19 disease, the trade and donation of medical supplies, and China’s ability to control the virus’ spread ahead of much of the world.
The virus, which has infected more than 3 million people and killed more than 211,000 worldwide, first emerged late last year in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
Last week, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton and other U.S. regulators issued a statement on how the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) is still unable to inspect financial paperwork in China, raising concerns about significant risks for U.S. investors.
“The CSRC claims that it has cooperated successfully with the PCAOB, but the PCAOB disagrees; its website lists 241 instances where it was denied access to audit; all but a few are in China,“ said James Early, CEO of investment research firm Stansberry China.
However, Beijing has made some progress. Early noted that the Chinese investigation into Luckin contrasts with the government’s previous inaction about a decade ago, when more than 100 companies attempted to evade scrutiny through a “reverse-merger” process. 

Higher barriers for potential IPOs

Several analysts expect more cases of fraud will soon come to light, adding further pressure to Chinese companies that were planning to tap U.S. financial markets.
Chinese listings in the U.S. reached an eight-year high in 2018 with 32 such offerings, according to Renaissance Capital, which sells IPO-focused exchange-traded funds. But that figure has fallen, first with U.S.-China trade tensions and now the coronavirus outbreak.
Luckin’s case has made U.S. investors angry and closed for discussion, said Douglas Menelly, who has worked in the Chinese IPO business for the last several years.
“In my opinion,” he said, “the only step that would provide a modicum of satisfaction would be for CSRC to (1) share with the media and publicize the key findings of the investigation and (2) follow through on an enforcement action against Luckin and the guilty participants.”
Menelly noted that this week, in wake of the Luckin Coffee situation, he saw an average increase of 200% for certain corporate insurance premiums for a Chinese client that had been planning a Nasdaq listing potentially for late next year.

Apr 27, 2020

Market Insider | Biggest Moves Premarket: Stocks making the biggest moves premarket: AutoNation, Caterpillar, Boeing, Beyond Meat & more

Peter Schacknow

Check out the companies making headlines before the bell:

AutoNation – AutoNation will return $77 million it received in forgivable loans from the Paycheck Protection Program. The car retailer said it had intended to use the funds entirely for payroll, but decided to return the money after the Small Business Administration issued new guidelines for the program.
Boeing – Boeing has pulled out of its deal to pay $4.2 billion for an 80% stake in the commercial jet business of Brazil’s Embraer. Boeing said the two sides had failed to agree on final terms by a deadline, but Embraer accused Boeing of wrongfully terminating the deal.
Deutsche Bank – Deutsche Bank reported a preliminary first quarter profit, surprising analysts who had been predicting a loss for the German bank. Deutsche Bank did say it might miss its capital requirement targets, due to extending more credit in light of the coronavirus outbreak as well as a jump in loan defaults.
Diamond Offshore – Diamond Offshore filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, after saying demand for its drilling services had “dropped precipitously” amid the significant drop in oil demand. Diamond Offshore is 53% owned by Loews.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Sanofi – The drug makers shut down part of their study of the arthritis drug Kevzara as a Covid-19 treatment. The companies say the drug did not benefit hospitalized Covid-19 patients who were not on ventilators. The study, however, will continue for patients who do require a ventilator or other oxygen support.
Caterpillar – The heavy equipment maker’s stock was downgraded to “underweight” from “equal-weight” at Morgan Stanley, which sees a risk from a possible multi-year downturn in non-residential construction, among other factors.
Check Point Software – The cybersecurity company reported adjusted quarterly earnings of $1.42 per share, 4 cents above estimates, with revenue also beating Wall Street forecasts. The company’s results were boosted by increased demand for network security as more people work from home during the coronavirus outbreak.
Tesla – Tesla has asked dozens of workers to return to work at its Fremont, California, plant on Wednesday, according to internal memos seen by CNBC. That comes even though health orders related to the Covid-19 outbreak have not yet been changed or relaxed.
Revlon – Revlon has lined up an additional $100 million in financing to help it navigate financial difficulties prompted by the coronavirus outbreak. However, Reuters reports that Revlon’s overall restructuring plan is running into objections from some of the cosmetics maker’s lenders, with Revlon needing votes from holders of more than half of its outstanding debt to move forward.
Hertz Global – Hertz was downgraded to “underweight” from “equal weight” at Barclays, cutting the price target to $2 per share from $10. Barclays is concerned about a capital call by investors in the car rental company.
Wayfair – Wayfair was downgraded to “hold” from “buy” at Stifel Nicolaus, citing valuation for the online home goods seller’s shares. Wayfair shares dipped as low as $21.70 on March 19, before surging and closing Friday at $122.41 per share.
Armstrong World Industries – The designer of commercial and residential wall and ceiling solutions missed estimates by 1 cent with adjusted quarterly earnings of $1.10 per share, with revenue slightly below forecasts as well. Armstrong is withdrawing 2020 financial guidance as the coronavirus pandemic slows demand, and said it is reducing spending, suspending hiring, and suspending its share repurchase program.
Beyond Meat – UBS downgraded the plant-based burger maker’s stock to “sell” from “neutral”, noting the stock’s 142% jump from its March low and saying that the rebound does not price in the impact of the economic risks related to Covid-19.

Business | Company Earnings: Adidas projects a 40% decline in sales for the second quarter

Elliot Smith

GP: Daily life in Beijing, China, amid coronavirus outbreak 200219 EU
People in face masks walk in a street during an outbreak of the 2019-nCoV coronavirus.
Artyom Ivanov | TASS via Getty Images

Adidas has predicted that sales will fall by 40% in the second quarter, as the impact of the coronavirus takes hold.
The German sportswear giant on Monday reported a 19% decline in net sales for the first quarter from the year before to 4.75 billion euros ($5.16 billion), as 70% of its stores worldwide closed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Its first-quarter net income was 26 million euros, down 96% from the same period last year, and Adidas said that owing to uncertainty over the duration of store closures, it would be unable to offer a full-year outlook at present.
E-commerce — which it described as “the only channel that has remained fully operational in most parts of the world” — rose 35%, but failed to offset the loss from pandemic-induced lockdowns around the world.
Looking ahead to the second quarter, the company said it expects “both top- and bottom-line declines in the second quarter of 2020 are currently expected to be more pronounced than those recorded in the first quarter.” It forecast sales to come in more than 40% below last year’s.
CEO Kasper Rorsted told CNBC that despite the current situation, the sporting goods industry would emerge favorably over the medium-term due to increased focus on health and fitness around the world.
“The personal exercise, as soon as people are allowed to go outside, I think that will grow very quickly because having spent six, eight, 10 weeks inside, I think that desire to go out and move is going to be quite outspoken,” he said.
Rorsted also suggested looking to the business’s recent performance in China for an idea of what emerging from the crisis may eventually look like elsewhere in the world.
“What we have seen in China in March is growth in our own retail stores, a very strong growth in our e-commerce — we grew 35% for the quarter, we grew 55% globally for e-commerce in the month of March, and we grew even quicker in China — and we are seeing that trend in China continuing in the month of April,” he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe.”

US Market | Futures Indicator: Dow futures up more than 100 points as oil declines; traders weigh prospects of re-opening the economy

Fred Imbert

GP: Wall Street bull seen quite due to Coronavirus pandemic
Charging Bull Statue is seen at the Financial District in New York City, United States on March 29, 2020.
Tayfun Coskun | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Stocks futures were higher in early Monday morning trade, as oil prices fell, while investors assessed the possibility of re-opening the global economy after the coronavirus outbreak.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 177 points, implying a Monday opening gain of around 168 points. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures also pointed to a higher Monday open for the two indexes. West Texas Intermediate futures were down more than 10% at $15.18 per barrel.
Wall Street’s coming off its first weekly decline in three as a record plunge in oil prices sent investors for a wild ride. Both the Dow and S&P 500 fell over 1% last week while the Nasdaq Composite dipped 0.2%.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday the state plans to re-open its economy in phases. The first phase, Cuomo said, would involve New York’s construction and manufacturing sectors. As part of the second phase, businesses will need to design plans for a re-opening that include social distancing practices and having personal protective equipment available.
Cuomo also noted that coronavirus-related hospitalizations have fallen for 14 days and that virus deaths in New York hit a near one-month low. Those comments came as Georgia started to re-open its economy.
“As various states begin to reopen their economies and relax social distancing rules, we will get a glimpse of what the new normal looks like,” said Marc Chaikin, CEO of Chaikin Analytics. “The biggest risk to the stock market is a premature reopening of the U.S. economy which results in an increase in COVID-19 cases and requires an abrupt reversal of these efforts to awaken the economy out of its engineered coma.”
Shelter-in-place orders and social distancing guidelines forced thousands of businesses to shut down starting in March as the federal and state governments tried to contain the coronavirus outbreak. Nearly 3 million cases have been confirmed worldwide with over 900,000 in the U.S., according to data from Johns Hopkins.
The outbreak, and subsequent business closures, sparked a wave of job losses. Data from the Labor Department shows that more than 26 million people have filed for unemployment benefits over the past five weeks.
To be sure, a decline in new virus infections and unprecedented monetary and fiscal stimulus have sparked a massive stock-market rally from the lows reached on March 23. Since then, the major averages are all up more than 20%, with the S&P 500 retracing about half of its decline from a record set Feb. 19.
Investors have also cheered the prospects of Gilead Sciences’ remdesivir as a potential treatment for the coronavirus. On April 16, STAT News reported patients at a Chicago hospital with severe coronavirus symptoms were quickly recovering after being treated with the drug in a trial.
A Financial Times report on Wednesday quelled some of that excitement, however, as it stated remdesivir did not improve patients’ condition during a trial in China. Gilead pushed back on the report and the study it cited, noting the trial was “was terminated early due to low enrollment,” making it “underpowered to enable statistically meaningful conclusions.”
“This drug has become the single most important macro topic/theme/trend in the entire market,” Adam Crisafulli, founder of Vital Knowledge, said in a note. “Investors are dismissing the “flop” headline from the FT and continue to anticipate positive results of some kind out of (at least) one of the many Remdesivir trials now underway (while FDA approval is widely assumed).”
“The present setup is such that Remdesivir anticipation will very likely be more beneficial/powerful than the actual results themselves (the data most likely will show efficacy to some extent in certain instances, but a medical “silver bullet” isn’t about to emerge),” Crisafulli added.
—CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed to this report.

Apr 23, 2020

Market Insider | Biggest Moves Premarket: Stocks making the biggest moves in the premarket: Target, Eli Lilly, Hershey, Blackstone, Gap & more

Peter Schacknow

Take a look at some of the biggest movers in the premarket:

Eli Lilly (LLY) – The drugmaker reported quarterly earnings of $1.75 per share, beating the $1.48 a share consensus estimate. Revenue was also above Street forecasts. Lilly's worldwide revenue was boosted by $250 million due to Covid-19, but the company said the virus could negatively impact results later in the year.
PulteGroup (PHM) – The home builder's bottom line came in 4 cents a share above estimates at 74 cents per share, with revenue essentially in line with expectations. PulteGroup said consumer traffic and sales slowed in mid-March and it is suspending guidance due to uncertainties related to the pandemic.
Hershey (HSY) – The candy maker missed estimates by 8 cents a share, with quarterly earnings of $1.63 per share. Revenue came in slightly below forecasts. Hershey declared its regular quarterly dividend and said it believes it has sufficient liquidity to meet its cash needs.
Blackstone (BX) – The private-equity firm reported distributable earnings per share of 46 cents for the first quarter, 4 cents a share below estimates. It also reported an overall loss due to the write-down of its investment portfolio. It did see a 20% increase in fee-earning assets under management compared to a year ago.
Target (TGT) – The retailer said digital sales increased nearly fourfold so far in April, with same-store sales up more than 5%. It added that its quarterly profit will be hurt by a shift toward lower-margin product purchases by consumers as well as increased labor costs.
Gap (GPS) – The apparel retailer has suspended rent payments due under its leases, and is negotiating with landlords to defer and abate rents as long as virus-related closures continue. Gap also warned existing cash may not be enough to fund operations.
O'Reilly Automotive (ORLY) – The auto parts retailer beat estimates by 6 cents a share, with quarterly profit of $4 per share. Revenue came in slightly above forecasts. O'Reilly said it began to see a significant negative impact in mid-March as the coronavirus outbreak took hold.
AstraZeneca (AZN) – The Swiss drugmaker began late-stage testing of its diabetes drug Farxiga as a possible treatment for Covid-19 patients. This particular trial is aimed at reducing the risk of complications in patients with existing heart and kidney problems.
Unilever (UN, UL) – Unilever withdrew its full-year forecast due to uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus outbreak. The consumer products giant said it would pay its quarterly dividend as planned.
Delta Air Lines (DAL) – Delta plans to raise $3 billion through a debt offering and a new credit line. The airline is trying to mitigate the financial impact of the severe slowdown in travel demand due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Marathon Petroleum (MRO) – Marathon warned it will take a roughly $7.8 billion charge for the first quarter due to the plunge in fuel demand, and expects to report a quarterly loss.
Las Vegas Sands (LVS) – Las Vegas Sands reported a first-quarter loss, as the virus outbreak kept gamblers away from its casinos. The company expects a relatively quick recovery in its Asian markets, however.
Tyson Foods (TSN) – Tyson will close its pork processing plant in Logansport, Indiana, as more than 2,200 workers are tested for the coronavirus. The meat processor had announced the shutdown of its Waterloo, Iowa pork plant on Wednesday.
Boeing (BA) – Boeing was sued for $336 million by a Kuwaiti leasing company, which accused the jet maker of refusing to return advance payments on a now-canceled order for 40 737 Max aircraft.
Lam Research (LRCX) – Lam Research matched estimates with quarterly earnings of $3.98 per share, but the semiconductor equipment maker's revenue missed forecasts. The company said customer demand for its equipment remains strong, even amid limited visibility on macroeconomic conditions.
La-Z-Boy (LZB) – La-Z-Boy plans to partially resume production at several U.S. plants next week. The furniture maker and retailer is also slowly reopening stores, after temporarily closing them last month and furloughing 6,800 workers.
Discover Financial Services (DFS) – Discover reported a quarterly loss of 25 cents per share, compared to an expected profit. The financial services company's revenue matched Street forecasts. The loss stems largely from an increase in Discover's provision for credit losses to $1.81 billion from $809 million a year earlier.
Sleep Number (SNBR) – Sleep Number posted quarterly profit of $1.36 per share, well above the consensus estimate 72 cents a share. The mattress retailer's revenue also topped forecasts. The company is not providing financial guidance due to uncertainties surrounding the virus outbreak, but said it expected to be able to meet its liquidity needs.
Netgear (NTGR) – The maker of networking products earned 21 cents per share for its latest quarter, 5 cents a share above estimates. Revenue also beat analysts' projections. Netgear has withdrawn prior financial targets due to supply and demand uncertainties stemming from Covid-19.
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