US stock futures were priced higher on Friday, buoyed by optimism that parts of the US may begin reopening in coming days; putting the S&P 500 benchmark on course for its first back-to-back weekly gain since social distancing measures were established across the nation.
President Trump had outlined plans to reopen some states with few confirmed coronavirus cases in three phases on Thursday. He declined to name them, deferring to governors, but said there are as many as 29 states that could soon begin this reopening process.
Pressure to reopen the US economy had heightened yesterday, after data had shown 22 million Americans to had filed for unemployment benefits since the middle of March, when shutdown orders began.
Positive speculation relating to possible coronavirus treatments has also buoyed markets after Gilead Sciences (GILD) said most of its Chicago trial patients taking its antiviral drug were discharged.
Ahead, earnings reports are expected today from; Procter & Gamble (PG), Schlumberger (SLB) and State Street (STT).
TODAY'S TOP HEADLINES
Coronavirus: US Coronavirus Infections Top 671,000 as China Revises Death Toll Higher. (Bloomberg)
China revised its coronavirus death toll upward and recorded its steepest quarterly economic slide on record, while the US charted a gradual path to reopening.
Today's Economical Announcements.
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STOCKS IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Pre-Market Movers & News Related Stocks.
Moderna (MRNA): [NEWS] Will receive $483 million in government funding to help accelerate the development of its experimental coronavirus vaccine.
Gilead Sciences (GILD): [NEWS] A report in a health care publication said Gilead’s experimental drug remdesivir was seeing clinical trial success in treating Covid-19 patients.
Schlumberger (SLB): [EARNINGS] Beat estimates by a penny a share with quarterly profit of 25 cents per share. Revenue was below Street forecasts. Schlumberger slashed its quarterly dividend by 75% to 12 1/2 cents from 50 cents. Schlumberger took a one-time charge of $8.5 billion during the quarter related to impairments resulting from the coronavirus outbreak and the severe decline in oil prices.
Cedar Fair (FUN): [NEWS] Said it expects first-quarter revenue to fall by to $15 million from $25 million a year ago due to the virus outbreak, and that it has suspended up to $100 million in nonessential capital projects. Cedar Fair has also suspended the company’s quarterly distribution.
Regions Financial (RF): [EARNINGS] Reported quarterly earnings of 14 cents per share, missing the consensus estimate of 23 cents a share. Revenue also came in below forecasts. Regions increased its credit loss provision to $373 million from $96 million at the end of the prior quarter and said its capital and liquidity levels were strong as it deals with challenging conditions stemming from the coronavirus outbreak.
Intuitive Surgical (ISRG): [EARNINGS] Reported quarterly profit of $2.69 per share, beating consensus estimates by 15 cents a share. Revenue also topped expectations, driven by an 11% increase in the installed base of the company’s da Vinci surgical systems and an increase in procedures using da Vinci.
Apple (AAPL): [DOWNGRADE] Downgraded to “sell” from “neutral” at Goldman Sachs, which points to the potentially significant effect of the coronavirus on demand for Apple’s iPhone.
Uber Technologies (UBER): [NEWS] Said results for the March quarter will take a roughly $2 billion hit, to write down the value of various minority equity investments that have been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. The ride-hailing service also said a financial assistance program for drivers and delivery workers would cut up to $21 million off revenue for the first quarter and up to $80 million for the second quarter.
Southwest Airlines (LUV): [NEWS] Is asking its unions to consider potential concessions to aid in what’s expected to be a slow industry recovery, according to a Reuters report.
Facebook (FB): [NEWS] Canceled all large in-person events through June 2021, and said employees would be required to work from home through at least the end of May.
Lululemon (LULU): [NEWS] Said Chief Financial Officer Patrick Guido will leave the company on May 8 to take a job in a different industry. Guido had joined the athletic apparel maker in 2018.
Procter & Gamble (PG): [EARNINGS] Earned $1.17 per share for its latest quarter, beating consensus estimates by 4 cents a share. Revenue came in below analysts’ projections. Organic sales were up 6% during the quarter thanks in large part to pandemic-related stockpiling, and the company maintained its prior forecast for organic sales. P&G cut its outlook for full-year revenue growth due to currency factors.
Boeing (BA): [NEWS] Will resume limited commercial jet production in the Seattle area on Monday, following a three-week shutdown. The jet maker had suspended all production in the region in response to virus concerns and travel restrictions.
GAINERS: JACK, ROKU, THS, MRNA, WORK, TDOC, AMZN
DECLINERS: RAD, BHF, AES
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