U.S. stocks jumped again on Tuesday as a 500-point Dow rally led the major indexes toward yet another strong day on Wall Street. A host of positive coronavirus headlines continued to boost investor confidence that the worst of the disease could be nearly over. Here’s what’s happening:
11:20 am: Wall Street analysts upgrade more stocks as the rebound rolls on
- UBS upgraded Constellation Brands to buy from neutral.
- Wells Fargo upgraded Marriott to overweight from equal weight.
- Wells Fargo initiated Take-Two Interactive as overweight.
- Wells Fargo initiated Activision Blizzard as overweight.
- Raymond James downgraded Shopify to market perform from outperform.
- Bank of America upgraded Wayfair to buy from neutral.
- Rosenblatt downgraded Twilio to neutral from buy.
- Deutsche Bank downgraded General Motors to hold from buy.
- Loop upgraded Lowe’s to buy from hold.
CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here. — Bloom
11:00 am: JOLTS report shows tight job market heading into crisis
February ended with there being about a million more jobs than available workers, according to Labor Department data released Tuesday. March, however, will be a different story. The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, watched closely by Federal Reserve officials for insights into the jobs market, showed nearly 6.9 million vacancies against 5.8 million counted as unemployed. That was 130,000 fewer openings from January, while the jobless total fell by 105,000. Of course, the entire labor dynamic changed in March with the onset of protective measures to prevent the coronavirus spread. The Labor Department on Friday reported that the total jobless level rose by 1.35 million for March, likely ending a trend going back to January 2018 of more job openings than available workers. – Cox
10:51 am: Darden Restaurants stock jumps amid cost-cutting blitz, exec pay cuts and furloughs
Darden Restaurants rallied more than 11% on Tuesday after it said it is slashing executive pay and furloughing some restaurant support staff. Though the stock is down more than 45% in 2020 and Darden’s same-store were down 71% in the week ended Sunday, investors appeared to cheer on Tuesday at its efforts to reduce costs. CEO Gene Lee, who is foregoing his salary, said that senior executive will see their pay cut by 50%. — Franck
10:46 am: Equity funds had worst quarterly performance since late 2008
The spread of the coronavirus and the tumble in oil prices led to a dismal performance by equity funds. On average, those funds posted a decline of 22.3%, according to data compiled by Lipper. That’s the worst average performance since the fourth quarter of 2008. However, the broader stock market showed some signs of bottoming in late March, surging from a low reached March 23. —Imbert
10:22 am: Stocks pare gains, Dow up only 450 points; S&P 500 up 1.5%
Stocks cut gains about 40 minutes into the session with the Dow paring an initial 800-point rally to a climb of about 460 points. The S&P 500 rose 1.7% and the Nasdaq Composite added 1.2%. Reasons for the equity deceleration weren’t obvious, but the Dow’s two-day gain was still well over 2,000 points. — Franck
9:52 am: Dow now up 28% from coronavirus low
With a sharp two-day rebound, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is now up 28% from its 52-week low of 18,213.65 hit on March 23. The 30-stock average jumped 2,400 points in just two trading sessions. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 rallied about 10% this week so far, bouncing 24.7% from its 52-week low of 2,191.86 reached on March 23. For the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite, the benchmark jumped 9.6% week to date, now 21.7% up from its 52-week low of 6,631.42 also hit on March 23. — Li
9:42 am: JPMorgan market guru, who called the rebound, sees ‘limited reopening’ of the economy soon
Coronavirus cases in the U.S. are peaking sooner than people expected, according to a top JPMorgan strategist who was bullish two weeks ago before most on Wall Street. That could lead the economy to open sooner than others think, J.P. Morgan’s Marko Kolanovic wrote. “We believe we’ve seen a peak in new case growth in the US 3-4 days ago, and then deaths will peak in about a week, so we look for a limited reopening of the economy in 1-2 weeks,” Kolanovic said in a note to clients recapping a conference call on markets from the firm’s top research analysts.
The quantitative strategist is looking at smart thermometer data to get ahead of other forecasters, which he said is preceding the official data coming out of hospitals by one to two weeks. Kolanovic projects about 70,000 coronavirus related deaths in the U.S., below the forecast 100,000. Regarding the recovery in stocks, Kolanovic is overweight equities and underweight government bonds. “We think we will be able to recover the losses in equities sometime next year,” restated Kolanovic, who sees the coronavirus recession as uniquely deep and uniquely short-lived. — Fitzgerald
9:30 am: Dow jumps more than 800 points at open, S&P 500 rises 3.2%
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose more than 800 points, or 3.6%, at the opening of trade in New York on Tuesday. The blue-chip index was led higher in early trading by UnitedHealth and Home Depot. The S&P 500 rose 3.3% and the Nasdaq Composite rallied 2.8% as the energy and utilities sectors led the broad stock market higher in the first 10 minutes of trade. — Franck
9:26 am: Exxon cuts capital spending by 30%, but CEO says it’s committed to dividend
Exxon Mobil is slashing its 2020 capital spending plan as depressed oil prices hammer the energy sector, but CEO Darren Woods said that the company’s dividend is safe for the time being. “A lot of our shareholders are retail shareholders — people who depend on that dividend — so we’ve been pretty committed to maintaining that and if necessary in the short-term using the balance sheet to support it,” Woods said Tuesday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” On Tuesday the company said that it was reducing capital spending for 2020 from $33 billion to around $23 billion, and cutting operating expenses by about 15%. The largest portion of the reduction will be in the Permian Basin, where it’s easier to adjust short-cycle investments, Woods said. Shares of Exxon gained more than 5% in Tuesday’s premarket. — Stevens
9:22 am: SEC Chair Clayton pushes ‘good corporate hygiene’ for earnings season
Companies that will start reporting earnings soon should do their best to explain to investors how they’re being impacted by the coronavirus and what their future plans are, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton told CNBC. Given the virus disruption, this reporting season likely will be noisy, but Clayton encouraged companies to do their best. “We’re in a very different environment,” he said in a “Squawk Box” interview Tuesday. “With respect to things like financing, possible changes in operations, material changes in the way you do your business, practice good corporate hygiene.” — Cox
9:19 am: Carnival up another 20% after Saudi fund announces stake
Shares of cruise-line company Carnival rocketed another 20% before the opening of trade Tuesday after Saudi Arabia’s sovereign-wealth fund announced an 8.2% stake (or 43.5 million shares) on Monday. Though shares soared 20% during Monday’s session after the Saudi disclosure, the stock was set for a similar gain on Tuesday based on premarket trading. Based on Carnival’s closing price on Monday of $10.21, the Saudi stake is valued at $444.2 million. Shares of Carnival and other cruise companies have plunged in recent weeks as the spread of the coronavirus keeps ships at port, representing what some investors consider a compelling buying opportunity. — Franck
9:07 am: NYSE president removes doubt: Floor trading will resume when safe
NYSE President Stacey Cunningham said the trading floor will eventually reopen when it’s safe to do so. “As soon as we can go back to a full-service offering, we will,” Cunningham said on “Squawk Box.” Fully electronic trading has gone well since implemented on March 23, she said, but reopening the floor is critical to NYSE operations. “That added element of human trading leads to less volatility and one of the reasons why we were so dedicated to keeping the floor open as long as possible is because we were already in such an extreme, volatile period,” she said. — Stankiewicz
8:56 am: More stimulus ahead?
The prospect of even more fiscal stimulus may be adding to the positive sentiment on Wall Street. President Donald Trump said Monday that a second round of direct payments to Americans was under consideration as the government tries to cushion the coronavirus’ economic blow. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., also said an additional stimulus package could be worth at least $1 trillion. — Imbert
8:42 am: Airlines gain steam in pre-market trading
Major airline stocks rose sharply before the bell on Tuesday. American Airlines soared 13.3%, while Delta jumped 14% and United Airlines surged 15.3%. All three stocks are at least 50% below where they traded in mid-February. In recent days, U.S. airlines have cut their domestic flights, including in and out of New York City, and major airplane producers Airbus and Boeing have halted work at more plants. — Pound
8:30 am: UK Prime Minister Johnson ‘stable,’ but still in intensive care
United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson remained in intensive care as of Tuesday morning. A spokesperson for the world leader said he was “stable” and in “good spirits” but remained in intensive care after his coronavirus symptoms worsened Monday afternoon. The spokesperson added that Johnson had received oxygen treatment but that the prime minister was breathing on his own without the help of medical devices. Johnson first announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19 on March 27. — Franck
7:40 am: Dow futures up 755 points, stocks to add to sharp Monday rebound
Futures contracts tied to the major U.S. stock indexes pointed to gains of about 3% at the start of trading on Tuesday, set to add to Monday’s sharp rebound. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to an opening rally of about 700 points, more than 3%. S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures pointed to opening gains of 2.5% and 2.3%, respectively.
Tuesday’s anticipated rally comes after a host of positive coronavirus headlines. South Korea reported Tuesday less than 50 new cases of infection for the second day running while China reported no new deaths as of April 6 for the first time since January when it started publishing daily updates. U.S. figures also continued to suggest stabilization in the daily increase in new COVID-19 cases, a development some are taking as an early sign of the disease’s peak in the United States.
Those strong gains will add to Monday’s sharp rally on the holiday-shortened week. The Dow soared 1,600 points in the prior session, posting its third-biggest point gain ever. The S&P 500 jumped 7% to its highest level since March 13 and bounced about 20% from its 52-week low on March 23. — Franck
— CNBC’s Jesse Pound, Kevin Stankiewicz, Pippa Stevens, Jeff Cox, Maggie Fitzgerald, Yun Li and Fred Imbert contributed reporting.
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