5 things to know before the stock market opens April 21, 2020


1. Dow set for another sharp drop as oil prices deteriorate

Dow futures were pointing to an over 450-point decline at Tuesday’s open as longer-term U.S. oil futures start to deteriorate on slumping demand due to the coronavirus economic halt and storage space scarcity. The May delivery contract for West Texas Intermediate crude, which expires Tuesday, remains negative, one day after its historic collapse. Now, the June and the July contracts were falling about 16% and 9% respectively, pricing the U.S. benchmark WTI about $17 to $24 per barrel. The shocking oil moves are raising concerns about the extent of the economic damage being done by the coronavirus shutdowns, which in turn sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average sinking nearly 600 points, or 2.4%, on Monday.

2. Earnings season continues with Coca-Cola and Netflix

Coca-Cola, one of the 30 Dow components, said Tuesday the closure of movie theaters, restaurants and stadiums from the coronavirus is continuing to hurt its business, with a material impact expected on its second-quarter results. The beverage giant’s global volumes have plunged 25% since the start of April. However, Coca-Cola reported that first-quarter adjusted profit of 51 cents per share on $8.6 billion in revenue got a short-term lift from consumers stock piling.

Netflix reports quarterly profit after the closing bell. Analysts expect the streaming giant to have earned $1.65 per share in the first quarter following the fourth-quarter’s $1.30 per share. Netflix shares are up more than 30% year to date in the down market as it benefits from huge viewership from people forced to remain at home.

3. Trump to temporarily suspend immigration to US

President Donald Trump speaks during the daily briefing on the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC on April 20, 2020.

Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

President Donald Trump is temporarily suspending immigration to the U.S. in response to the coronavirus pandemic. In a tweet Monday night, Trump attributed the virus’s toll to an “attack from the Invisible Enemy” and said the country needs “to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens.”

It’s not clear from the president’s tweet whether the order would bar non-U.S. citizens from traveling to the country for purposes such as business or to visit family. Trump previously barred travel from China and Europe to stop the spread of the virus, which originated in China late last year.

4. Lawmakers near $450 billion small business, hospital deal

US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speaks to the press after the House passed a $2 trillion stimulus bill, on March 27, 2020, at the US Capitol in Washington, DC.

Alex Edelman | AFP | Getty Images

Leaders on Capitol Hill inched toward a $450 billion deal to help small businesses and hospitals hurt by the coronavirus. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said negotiators have come to terms on the “principles” of the package. The Senate has set a session on Tuesday for a potential vote. The $350 billion allocated to a relief program for small businesses in last month’s $2 trillion stimulus package ran out of money last week. An analysis by The Associated Press showed that publicly traded firms got $300 million of those forgivable small business loans. Shake Shack, which received a maximum $10 million loan, said late Sunday it would return the money, saying the rules for the program were confusing.

5. More red state governors start to reopen economies

More states run by Republican governors are announcing plans to reopen parts of their economies even as U.S. coronavirus cases approach 800,000 with 42,364 deaths. Georgia’s timetable, one of the most aggressive in the nation, would allow gyms, hair salons, bowling alleys and tattoo parlors to reopen Friday as long as owners follow strict social-distancing and hygiene requirements. Elective medical procedures would also resume. By Monday, movie theaters may resume selling tickets and restaurants limited to takeout orders could return to limited dine-in service.

In Tennessee and Ohio, most businesses will be allowed to reopen May 1. In South Carolina on Monday, businesses previously deemed nonessential such as department stores, flea markets, florists, bookstores and music shops were allowed to reopen.

— Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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