1. Dow to bounce after two-session drop of over 1,200 points
U.S. stock futures were pointing to an over 200-point rebound for the Dow Jones Industrial Average at Wednesday’s open. Concerns about the unprecedented plunge in oil prices slammed the Dow again Tuesday, wiping out more than 1,200 points this week. Blue chips dropped 2.4% on Monday and 2.7% on Tuesday.
West Texas Intermediate crude, the American benchmark, stabilized Wednesday as the oil meltdown spread to Brent crude, the international standard, on plummeting demand due to coronavirus lockdowns coupled with the scarcity of oil storage around the world. The United States Oil Fund, an exchange-traded security for retail investors that buys oil futures, fell another 5% on Wednesday, a day after sinking over 25% as the fund changed its structure to stave off a collapse.
2. Delta, Netflix, Chipotle report results in coronavirus world
Delta Air Lines is set to deliver financial results for its March quarter before the opening bell Wednesday. Analyst expect a loss of 70 cents per share on revenue of nearly $8.92 billion, reflecting the carnage in the airline industry as demand for travel dried up due to the virus. Shares of Delta were higher in the premarket in advance of the report.
Netflix late Tuesday delivered a big jump in subscribers in the first quarter as people stuck at home sought entertainment. Keeping a lid on the stock, earnings per share of $1.57 came in short of expectations. Revenue of $5.77 billion basically matched estimates. The streaming video giant said it could not accurately predict future subscriber growth due to the coronavirus pandemic, calling its estimates “guesswork.”
Also Tuesday, Chipotle Mexican Grill reported much better-than-expected adjusted quarterly earnings of $3.08 per share. Revenue of $1.41 billion matched forecasts. An 80% jump in online orders helped blunt the negative impact of the drop in restaurant dining due to the outbreak. Chipotle shares were higher in Wednesday’s premarket.
3. House to vote on Senate-passed $484 billion relief
Capitol Hill signs ask for more PPE masks for healthcare workers in Washington, D. C. on April 17, 2020.
Ashley Stringer | CNBC
The House is set to vote Thursday on the $484 billion coronavirus relief package that unanimously passed the Senate on Tuesday evening. The measure injects another $310 billion into a key loan fund designed to keep employees on small company payrolls. The initial $350 billion in the Paycheck Protection Program, created as part of last month’s $2.2 trillion rescue bill, ran out of money last week. The bill that passed Tuesday allocates $60 billion for small lenders and another $60 billion toward Small Business Administration disaster assistance loans and grants. The legislation also includes $75 billion in hospital aid and $25 billion for virus testing.
4. US deaths could increase even after outbreak peak
The lack of widespread testing for Covid-19 is seen as an impediment to reopening the economy as U.S. cases top 825,000 and deaths surpass 45,000. On Tuesday, White House health advisor Dr. Deborah Birx warned Americans to prepare to see more fatalities, particularly in cities, as the pandemic in the U.S. moves past peak and infection rates decline.
Two people in Santa Clara County, California who died on Feb. 6 and Feb. 17 are now believed to be the first U.S. deaths associated with the coronavirus. The first death in America was originally believed to be in Washington state on Feb. 29. Looking forward, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday a second wave of coronavirus in the U.S. this coming winter could hit much harder because it would likely arrive at the start of flu season.
5. Gyms in Beijing close again on second wave fears
Fears of a second wave in China, where the virus originated late last year, were behind the city of Beijing’s decision to closed gyms again. Some fitness centers in Beijing only reopened last month for the first time since late January as the outbreak started to slow there. How China is reopening its economy is being closely watched as a model of what to possibly expect as the U.S. and other parts of the world start to ease their virus mitigation restrictions. Total reported Covid-19 cases in China are nearing 84,000 with over 4,600 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University on Wednesday morning. Globally, cases are approaching 2.6 million with nearly 180,000 deaths.