1. Stock futures rise after the tech rally drove Nasdaq higher for sixth straight session
Dow futures were pointing to a nearly 100-point advance at Tuesday’s open after the Dow Jones Industrial Average broke a two-session winning streak. However, the Nasdaq continued to be the big winner on Wall Street, logging its sixth straight gain Monday. The tech-heavy index was up 2.4% for the year and just 6% below its February record high. The fallout from the coronavirus economic halt has hit the broader stock market harder. The Dow was down 15% this year and 18% away from its February record. The S&P 500 was off over 9% in 2020 and 13.6% below its February all-time high.
The Federal Reserve, in one of several of its unprecedented programs to help keep the markets functioning during the pandemic, will start purchasing shares of exchange-traded funds that invest in bonds Tuesday. The Fed said the “preponderance” of its ETF holdings will be in funds that primarily invest in highly rated U.S. corporate bonds, known as investment grade. The rest of the Fed’s ETF holdings will be in U.S. high yield corporate bonds.
2. Fauci to issue a dire warning to states starting to relax coronavirus restrictions
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Friday, April 17, 2020, in Washington.
Alex Brandon | AP
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease specialist and a key member of President Donald Trump’s White House coronavirus task force, reportedly plans to publicly warn Tuesday that states reopening their economies too soon will cause “needless suffering and death.” On Monday night, The New York Times’ Sheryl Gay Stolberg said Fauci had sent her an email ahead of his public testimony Tuesday at a Senate hearing.
As states across America start to ease lockdowns, South Korea and China, where the coronavirus originated, are experiencing an uptick in cases after restrictions were eased. In the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, officials plans to test its 11 million residents over a 10-day period. Globally, cases approached 4.2 million with 286,615 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University early Tuesday. The U.S., with the most total infections of any country, has more than 1.3 million cases with 80,684 deaths.
3. Trump faces coronavirus at the White House
Coronavirus infection rates are spiking to new highs in several metropolitan areas and smaller communities across the U.S., according to undisclosed data the White House’s pandemic task force uses to track new cases. The data, obtained by NBC News, was at odds with the president’s declaration Monday that “all throughout the country, the numbers are coming down rapidly.”
A memo to staff Monday directed “everyone who enters the West Wing to wear a mask or facial covering.” The directive, after two staffers tested positive last week, apparently doesn’t apply to the president, according to the Associated Press.
Trump stormed out of Monday’s coronavirus press conference at the White House after becoming angry with two reporters: CBS’ Weijia Jiang who asked a question about testing and CNN’s Kaitlan Collins who didn’t get to ask a question.
4. Boeing, Hyatt worried about future of travel
Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun told NBC News he believes a major U.S. airline could go out of business this year. He said, “Yes, most likely. You know, something will happen when September comes around.” In response to Calhoun’s comment, a Boeing spokesman said the CEO was speaking to the “general uncertainty in the sector, not about any one particular airline.” Calhoun also told NBC News he does not expect passenger traffic to reach even a quarter of its levels in September.
Hyatt Hotels said late Monday it would lay off 1,300 people globally as it tries to cope with the coronavirus crisis, which has virtually halted global travel by keeping people indoors. The hotel giant also cut pay for senior management, board members and all employees as part of a restructuring. Last week, Hyatt reported a wider-than-expected quarterly loss and suspended its dividend and share buyback program.
5. Musk practically dares authorities to arrest him as Fremont factory resumes production
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has confirmed that the company restarted production Monday at its Fremont factory, located in Alameda County, California, south of San Francisco. The move defied a local government order against reopening what it considers nonessential businesses. In a tweet Monday, Musk practically dared authorities to arrest him.
“I wish Elon would have waited one more week. So could have just done this in a methodical fashion that really put people back to work safely,” Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty said. The Fremont plant had been closed since March 23, under county coronavirus mitigation measures. Monday’s restart came days after Tesla sued the Alameda health department seeking to overturn its order, and after Musk threatened to move Tesla’s manufacturing operations and headquarters out of California.
— The Associated Press and Reuters contributed this report.