US stock futures declined the maximum allowed on Wednesday, giving up all of yesterday's gains, as efforts by the US government to curb the impact of the coronavirus pandemic were deemed insufficient.

The sharp moves laid the groundwork for another choppy day of trading on Wall Street; following yesterday’s session, where stocks finished higher after the Trump administration looked into sending checks to Americans to help them during the coronavirus outbreak.

S&P 500: +5.40%, Nasdaq Composite: +7.58%, Dow Jones: +5.42%.

“Americans need cash now, and the president wants to give cash now. And I mean now, in the next two weeks”, Steven Mnuchin said.

The administration is expected seek a stimulus package of more than $1 trillion, which could include $1,000 checks sent directly to individual Americans, to help stimulate the economy as it teeters toward what economists and analysts expect is a likely recession.

Ahead, in today’s economic calendar, Wednesday includes; Building Permits and Housing Starts for February at 8:30am EST, followed by Crude Oil Inventories for the week ended March 13 at 10:30am EST.

Earnings reports are expected today from; General Mills (GIS), Nio (NIO), Five Below (FIVE), Guess (GES), PagerDuty (PD), Tailored Brands (TLRD) and Williams-Sonoma (WSM).

TODAY'S TOP HEADLINES
Coronavirus: Coronavirus Infections Pass 200,000 Globally. (The WSJ)
The number of confirmed coronavirus infections passed 200,000, more than doubling in a span of two weeks, despite an escalation in global travel restrictions and the imposition of home quarantines.

ECONOMIC CALENDAR
Today's Economical Announcements.
08:30AM - ★★★ - Building Permits (Feb) (Previous: 1.550M)
08:30AM - ★★☆ - Housing Starts (Feb) (Previous: 1.567M)
10:30AM - ★★★ - Crude Oil Inventories (Previous: 7.664M)

STOCKS IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Pre-Market Movers & News Related Stocks.

Boeing (BA): [NEWS] Is seeking access to $60 billion in public and private liquidity for the US aerospace industry. Boeing has already told the government it cannot meet its liquidity needs under current market conditions.

Tesla (TSLA): [NEWS] Was ordered to halt production at its Fremont, California, factory, despite CEO Elon Musk’s plan to keep the factory in operation. Counties in the San Francisco Bay area issued a shutdown order earlier this week for all nonessential businesses.

Kontoor Brands (KTB): [NEWS] Will close its North American and European retail locations, effective today, in response to the coronavirus outbreak. The apparel company currently plans to keep the stores closed through March 27, and will pay workers during that period.

General Mills (GIS): [EARNINGS] Beat estimates by a penny a share, with quarterly earnings of 77 cents per share. Revenue missed forecasts. General Mills, like numerous other companies, said the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on full-year results is still uncertain.

Exxon Mobil (XOM): [NEWS] Raised $8.5 billion in new debt, but had to pay a higher premium than usual because of the recent tumble in oil prices.

Amazon.com (AMZN): [NEWS] Is prioritizing medical supplies, household staples, and other high-demand products in its warehouses. Independent sellers will not be allowed to ship other products to Amazon’s warehouses until April 5.

Walmart (WMT): [UPGRADE] Upgraded to “outperform” from “neutral” at Credit Suisse, which thinks the retail giant may grow market share due to a virus-inspired, long-term structural change in consumer buying habits.

Dunkin’ Brands (DNKN): [UPGRADE] BTIG upgraded the restaurant chain to “buy” from “neutral,” saying that as the virus outbreak takes its toll on restaurant operators, investors should increase exposure to companies in the sector with strong brands and balance sheets.

Ralph Lauren (RL): [UPGRADE] Bank of America Securities upgraded the apparel maker to “buy” from “neutral,” noting that potential downside from the virus outbreak is now largely priced in and that the company stands out from peers for its strong balance sheet.

Ford Motor (F), General Motors (GM), Fiat Chrysler (FCAU): [NEWS] Struck an agreement with the United Auto Workers Union to slow production at U.S. factories and limit the number of workers on the job at the same time to keep the coronavirus from spreading among employees.

FedEx (FDX): [EARNINGS] Reported quarterly profit of $1.41 per share, matching estimates, with the delivery company’s revenue exceeding Street forecasts. FedEx also suspended its 2020 profit outlook, pointing to the impact of the virus outbreak, and made plans to cut costs due to the pandemic.

Cinemark (CNK): [NEWS] Is closing all 345 of its U.S. movie theaters due to the coronavirus outbreak. The move prompted Fitch Ratings to place the movie theater operator on “rating watch negative,” with Fitch noting that under normal circumstances, Cinemark has a relatively strong balance sheet compared to its peers.

Target (TGT): [NEWS] Announced a reduction in store hours to allow more time for cleaning and restocking. Target will also close the eateries and cafes located within its stores.

MOMENTUM STOCKS
GAINERS: INFI, RAD
DECLINERS: PLCE, CIM, WEN

TODAY'S IPOs
None.

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