US stock futures ticked higher on Thursday, ahead of the release of key economic indicators, including weekly jobless claims at 8:30am EST.
The weekly unemployment claims number, recently one of the most-tracked economic measures, is expected to climb further into record territory as the coronavirus pandemic reshapes the US labor market.
At the same time, key figures on new-home construction and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s survey of manufacturing conditions will also provide insights into current economic standings.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump told reports that data suggests that the US has “passed the peak” on new cases and added he will announce on Thursday guidelines to relax stay-at-home rules.
Ahead, Morgan Stanley (MS) and Abbott Laboratories (ABT) are both expected to report their latest financial figures this morning.
TODAY'S TOP HEADLINES
Coronavirus: Trump to Unveil Reopening Plans. (Bloomberg)
President Trump said he will unveil guidelines to relax stay-at-home rules, citing signs that the outbreak is plateauing in areas of the US.
Today's Economical Announcements.
08:30AM - ★★☆ - Weekly Jobless Claims (Previous: 6,600,000)
08:30AM - ★★☆- Building Permits (Mar) (Previous: 1.452M)
08:30AM - ★★☆ - Housing Starts (Mar) (Previous: 1.599M)
08:30AM - ★★☆ - Philly Fed Manuf. (Apr) (Previous: -12.7)
STOCKS IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Pre-Market Movers & News Related Stocks.
Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY): [EARNINGS] Earned an adjusted 38 cents per share for its fiscal fourth quarter, beating the consensus estimate of 20 cents a share. Revenue also exceeding Wall Street forecasts, however same-store sales fell 5.6% for the quarter, just before the pandemic shut down large parts of the U.S. economy. The company said the outbreak would negatively impact its results for the rest of this year.
Hertz Global (HTZ): [NEWS] Is seeking help from the government to avoid bankruptcy, according to sources who spoke to the New York Post. The car rental giant is said to be facing a budget shortfall of up to $1.5 billion in the coming months.
Jack In The Box (JACK): [NEWS] Pulled its 2020 guidance as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The company said same-restaurant sales fell 17% for the final five weeks of the quarter that ended on April 12. It is also taking steps to help its franchisees, postponing some rent and fee payments that had been due this month.
Bank of New York Mellon (BK): [EARNINGS] Beat estimates by 17 cents a share, with quarterly earnings of $1.05 per share. Revenue topped estimates as well. Profits were up compared to a year ago, as market volatility boosted its fee revenue. The bank sharply boosted its provision for credit losses to $169 million compared to $7 million a year ago.
Square (SQ): [DOWNGRADE] Raymond James downgraded the mobile payment company’s stock to “underperform” from “market perform,” saying there is a disconnect between the recent outperformance of the stock and the underlying fundamentals of the business.
Morgan Stanley (MS): [EARNINGS] Posted quarterly earnings of $1.01 per share, below the consensus estimate of $1.14 a share. Revenue also came in below estimates. CEO James Gorman said the company navigated the quarter well in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, and that the balance sheet and liquidity remain strong.
BlackRock (BLK): [EARNINGS] Reported quarterly earnings of $6.60 per share, beating the consensus estimate of $6.36 a share. Revenue also came in above Wall Street forecasts. BlackRock saw $35 billion in net inflows despite what it calls “challenging times.” Profit fell 23% from the same quarter a year ago.
Abbott Laboratories (ABT): [EARNINGS] Reported quarterly profit of 65 cents per share, 7 cents a share above estimates. Revenue also beat forecasts. Abbott withdrew its full-year guidance, citing uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
Mylan (MYL): [NEWS] Named Chairman Robert Coury to the role of executive chairman, a job he had held at the drugmaker from 2012 to 2016. The company said Coury’s experience would help it deal with the significant impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
United Airlines (UAL): [NEWS] Cut its May flight schedule by 90%, saying travel demand had essentially shrunk to zero. The airline also warned of possible job cuts.
Costco (COST): [DIVIDEND] Boosted its quarterly dividend by 7.7% to 70 cents per share, bucking the general trend in corporate America since the virus outbreak. The warehouse retailer has been benefiting from Americans stocking up on household staples.
Lazard (LAZ): [NEWS] Added former Skadden Arps partner Chris Mallon as a senior adviser in its global restructuring unit. The investment bank is seeking new business from companies facing financial difficulties as a result of the virus outbreak.
J.M. Smucker (SJM): [UPGRADE] Upgraded to “neutral” from “underperform” at Credit Suisse, which expects food producers to benefit from increased at-home food consumption due to the virus outbreak.
GAINERS: PTON, WORK, TDOC, SPCE, COUP, ZM, NFLX, AMZN
DECLINERS: BHF, AES
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