Stock futures wobbled on Monday, after government officials signaled that measures to contain the Covid-19 pandemic may remain in place for an extended time, as the number of infections grew exponentially.
President Trump abandoned his ambition to ease restrictions on Americans in the coming days to limit the economic damage, instead opting to extended social distancing in the country until April 30.
The shift reflects how the focus of the pandemic had shifted from China, to Europe and now North America, with public-health measures bringing economic activity to a near standstill.
Meanwhile, a top US infectious disease expert said deaths from virus may reach 200,000, with over 2,500 US deaths reported thus far.
Ahead, in today's economic calendar, Monday includes; the Pending Home Sales Index for February at 10am EST.
Today's earnings calendar includes; Cal-Maine Foods (CALM).
TODAY'S TOP HEADLINES
Coronavirus: China Gets Back to Work While US Extends Coronavirus Shutdowns. (The WSJ)
Nearly all of China’s major industrial companies have resumed production, the government reported Monday, as US officials signaled that measures may remain in place for an extended time.
Today's Economical Announcements.
10:00AM - ★★★ - Pending Home Sales (Feb) (Previous: 5.2%)
STOCKS IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Pre-Market Movers & News Related Stocks.
Cal-Maine Foods (CALM): [EARNINGS] Reported quarterly earnings of 28 cents per share, 10 cents a share above estimates, Revenue also beat forecasts and Cal-Maine said it is not seeing any supply chain disruptions as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
Eldorado Resorts (ERI): [NEWS] Eldorado’s deal to buy rival casino operator Caesars Entertainment (CZR) could be in danger, according to the New York Post. The paper said regulators have delayed their review of the $17.3 billion deal due to the virus outbreak, while the casino industry takes a hard hit from ongoing closures.
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ): [NEWS] Announced it has identified a lead COVID-19 vaccine candidate, and plans to begin phase 1 clinical trials by September at the latest. Its intention is to have the first batches of vaccine available for emergency use by January.
Tegna (TGNA): [NEWS] Said it has held talks with two of four interested parties about their takeover proposals for the regional TV station operator. Those talks have stopped, however, due to the disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
La-Z-Boy (LZB): [NEWS] Furloughed 6,800 workers, cut the pay of senior management by 50%, and of salaried workers by 25%. The furniture maker also eliminated its June dividend and stopped its share repurchase program indefinitely.
Gilead Sciences (GILD): [NEWS] Said it would stop taking individual emergency requests for its experimental coronavirus drug due to overwhelming demand.
Jefferies (JEF): [NEWS] Said its Chief Financial Officer, Peg Broadbent, has died from the coronavirus.
Papa John’s (PZZA): [NEWS] Investor advisory firm ISS said retired basketball superstar Shaquille O’Neal should not be re-elected to the board of the pizza chain, according to a Bloomberg report. ISS said O’Neal skipped too many board meetings and that shareholders should vote against his re-election at the April 23 annual meeting.
Apple (AAPL): [NEWS] Could see an 18% year-over-year drop in iPhone orders during the current quarter, according to a Reuters report.
Procter & Gamble (PG), Kimberly-Clark (KMB): [UPGRADE] Jefferies upgraded both consumer products makers to “buy” from “hold,” noting that both are benefiting from the “pantry-loading” taking place due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Sanofi (SNY), Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN): [NEWS] Expanded a clinical trial of their rheumatoid arthritis drug Kevzara as a coronavirus treatment. The trial now includes patients outside the U.S., after beginning in America last week.
United Technologies (UTX), Raytheon (RTN): [NEWS] Received all regulatory approvals for their all-stock merger, and expect to close the deal prior to the open on Friday. United Technologies will be renamed Raytheon Technologies and trade under the ticker “RTX.” The Carrier and Otis businesses of United Technologies will become separate publicly traded companies, trading under ticker symbols “CARR” and “OTIS,” respectively.
Novartis (NVS): [NEWS] CEO Vas Narasimhan told a Swiss newspaper that its malaria drug hydroxychloroquine is the drugmaker’s biggest hope against COVID-19.
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