5 things to know before the stock market opens April 2, 2020

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1. Dow set to rebound after heavy losses on first day of the second quarter

A passenger wears a protective mask at the Wall Street subway station in New York, on Monday, March 30, 2020.

Michael Nagle | Bloomberg via Getty Images

U.S. stock futures were pointing to an over 200-point rebound for the Dow Jones Industrial Average at Thursday’s open ahead of what’s expected to be another unprecedented number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits. The Dow closed nearly 4.5% lower on the first day of the second quarter after logging the worst first-quarter ever. The 10-year Treasury yield dropped to under 0.6% early Thursday as global coronavirus cases approach 1 million. Oil futures bounced about 10% from highly depressed levels after President Donald Trump said he expected Saudi Arabia and Russia to reach a deal soon to end their price war.

2. Two key measures of coronavirus-impact on jobs out Thursday and Friday

Economists expect that 4 million to 5 million, or even more, workers filed for jobless claims last week. The Labor Department releases its weekly tally at 8:30 a.m. ET. The consensus forecast is for 3.1 million first-time claims after the previous week’s record high of nearly 3.3. million. On Friday, the government issues its monthly report on job creation. However, the March numbers are expected to show little impact from the outbreak because the survey period went only to about the middle of the month — before the effects of the stay-at-home orders were felt.

3. Trump to meet with energy leaders as oil prices trade near 18-year lows

The president is set to meet with the leaders of at least seven major energy companies on Friday as U.S. producers struggle to break even after crude prices recently hit 18-year lows and turned in the worst quarter ever. Trump, at Wednesday evening’s outbreak briefing, said the administration is considering halting some domestic flights and rail lines between cities hard hit by the virus. Also Wednesday, White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said the first human trial testing a potential vaccine to prevent COVID-19 is “on track” with public distribution still projected in 12 to 18 months. He called it the “ultimate game changer” in the fight to control the pandemic.

4. Global coronavirus cases nearing 1 million since outbreak started in December

With coronavirus testing becoming more widespread, U.S. confirmed cases surged to more than 216,700, according to Johns Hopkins University data. American fatalities rose to 5,137. The White House, predicting a “very, very painful two weeks,” estimates a death toll of 100,000 to 240,000. Globally, known cases reached about 942,000 — nearing 1 million since the outbreak started in China in December. There have been 47,521 worldwide deaths and about 186,000 recoveries. Italy has the second most cases globally at more than 110,500, nearly half the U.S. total. But it has the most deaths, 13,155.

5. Boeing reportedly to offer early retirements, buyouts as soon as Thursday

Dave Calhoun, Chairman of Boeing.

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Boeing — whose stock has been slammed by the coronavirus economic halt and last year’s grounding of its 737 Max fleet — is reportedly set to start offering early retirement and buyout packages to workers. Several media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, said that an internal announcement is expected as soon as Thursday. Last week, Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun said it will take “a few years” for the company to get its balance sheet back in shape, but he balked at the idea of the government taking an equity stake in the company in exchange for aid.

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