US equity-index futures edged higher on Wednesday, a day after the S&P 500 fell -1.99%; ahead of comments on the outlook for monetary policy by Federal Reserve Chairman, Jerome Powell, at 9:00am EST.

Stocks fell under pressure yesterday after Fauci, in testimony before a Senate committee, said premature lock-down lifting could lead to needless “suffering and death” and could set back reopening plans.

Ahead, Powell’s speech will be watched for cues regarding any further stimulus measures or the cutting of interest rates to below zero.

President Donald Trump tweeted on Tuesday in support of negative rates, writing that the US “should also accept the `GIFT’”, with other foreign nations also benefiting from subzero borrowing costs.

Today's economic calendar also includes; the Producer Price Index for April at 8:30am EST and Crude Oil Inventories at 10:30am EST.

Earnings reports are expected today from; Cisco Systems (CSCO), Dillard's (DDS), Jack in the Box (JACK), Flowers Foods (FLO), SmileDirectClub (SDC) and CyberArk Software (CYBR).

TODAY'S TOP HEADLINES
Coronavirus: China Seals Cities; Europe Starts To Open. (Bloomberg)
China is sealing off cities amid a growing cluster of cases. Hong Kong’s 23-day streak without a case of local transmission ended and Germany aims to fully reopen borders with European nations by June 15.

ECONOMIC CALENDAR
Today's Economical Announcements.
08:30AM - ★★☆ - Core PPI (Apr) (Previous: 0.2%)
08:30AM - ★★★ - PPI (Apr) (Previous: -0.2%)
09:00AM - ★★★ - Fed Chair Powell Speaks
10:30AM - ★★★ - Crude Oil Inventories (Previous: 4.590M)

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

CyberArk Software (CYBR): [EARNINGS] Reported quarterly profit of 50 cents per share, beating the consensus estimate of 36 cents a share. Revenue also beat forecasts. CyberArk said that due to the pandemic, it expected customers to make “more cautious” purchasing decisions, and it has withdrawn full-year guidance. Separately, CyberArk announced the acquisition of ID security company Idaptive for $70 million in cash.

JD.com (JD): [UPGRADE] Upgraded to “buy” from “neutral” at Mizuho Securities, which said the Chinese e-commerce company will benefit from the deregulation of pharmacy sales, as well as a jump in demand for essential items.

J.C. Penney (JCP): [NEWS] Is in talks to line up a $450 million debtor-in-possession loan, according to people familiar with the situation who spoke to CNBC. The loan would be part of a bankruptcy filing by the retailer expected later this week.

WW (WW): [RATING] Jefferies initiated coverage of the Weight Watchers parent with a “buy” rating, saying the Covid-19 pandemic had unlocked a durable trend in which wellness will be prioritized.

Uber (UBER), Grubhub (GRUB): [NEWS] Uber and Grubhub are at odds over price in a possible takeover deal, according to sources who spoke to CNBC. Uber is said to be in talks to acquire Grubhub and combine the food delivery service with its own “Uber Eats” business. Separately, Uber filed to offer $750 million in senior notes that would be due in 2025.

Gilead Sciences (GILD): [NEWS] Struck licensing deals with five generic drug makers for production of its antiviral drug remdesivir in 127 countries outside the United States. Mylan (MYL) - the world’s largest generic drugmaker - is among them.

Twilio (TWLO): [NEWS] Will power a new telehealth video service from online medical search and booking company Zocdoc.
Occidental Petroleum (OXY): [NEWS] Is offering its employees voluntary buyouts, according to an internal document seen by Reuters. The document cites the Covid-19 pandemic and the steep decline in oil prices for the move.

Las Vegas Sands (LVS): [NEWS] Scrapped plans for a Japan casino and resort project, without giving a reason for doing so. Competitors Wynn Resorts (WYNN) and Caesars Entertainment (CZR) had previously withdrawn from Japan-based casino projects.

Roku (ROKU): [NEWS] Said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it had struck in agreement with JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup to sell up to 4 million Class A shares “from time to time.” The proceeds would be used for working capital and general corporate purposes.

Walt Disney (DIS): [NEWS] Filed to sell $11 billion in notes of various terms, with due dates ranging from 2026 to 2060.

The Container Store (TCS): [NEWS] Reported preliminary fiscal fourth-quarter results, projecting a 4.7% drop in quarterly sales and a 3.6% decline in comparable-store sales. The home organization and storage products retailer said performance had been tracking its own expectations prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.

MOMENTUM STOCKS
GAINERS: VTIQ, DDOG, UNFI
DECLINERS: CVLT, HCSG, PLNT

TODAY'S IPOs
None.

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