Morning Brief

What to watch today: Stock futures swing wildly after the Dow's best day in 87 years


Dow futures saw wild swings Wednesday between strong gains and modest losses. Investors overnight had been encouraged by the White House and Senate reaching a deal on a $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package. On Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average logged its best session since 1933, soaring over 2,112 points or nearly 11.4% in anticipation of the relief bill. Despite Tuesday's gains, the Dow remained about 30% below last month's record highs. (CNBC)

Former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke sees 'very sharp' recession, followed by 'fairly quick' rebound (CNBC)
Fed's James Bullard says after a short-term 'unparalleled' shock, economy will boom again (CNBC)
* Bill Ackman exits market hedges, uses $2 billion he made to buy more stocks including Hilton (CNBC)
* Cramer: Tuesday's 'unsustainable rally' is far from what investors want to see (CNBC)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, just after 1:30 a.m. ET, announced the stimulus bill agreement, and said senators will vote and pass it later Wednesday. The Kentucky Republican promised the bill would help struggling industries and rush financial assistance to Americans. Anything passed by the GOP-controlled Senate must be reconciled with the Democratic-controlled House, which drafted its own plan. (CNBC)

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer: Trump businesses barred from getting relief (CNBC)

Despite medical community warnings about the continuing threat of the coronavirus, President Donald Trump said Tuesday he wants to open the economy back up by Easter Sunday, which is less than three weeks away on April 12. U.S. coronavirus cases have soared in recent days, as testing kits have become more available. America has more than 55,200 cases, the third most of any country in the world, with 802 deaths. (CNBC)

Trump approval rating rises as he responds to the coronavirus outbreak (CNBC)

Mortgage application volume tanked 29% last week as coronavirus concerns sidelines homebuyers. Despite low rates, refis plunged 34%. This afternoon, chipmaker Micron Technology (MU) issues its quarterly earnings after the closing bell. (CNBC)

Boeing shares jumped over 11% in the premarket after Reuters reported that the plane-maker plans to restart production on its grounded 737 Max fleet by May. The Senate bill, the final details of which have not been released, has money set aside to "stabilize key national industries," according to McConnell. (Reuters & CNBC)

Shares of Apple (AAPL) were higher in the premarket. The tech giant's stock was upgraded to buy from hold at Deutsche Bank, which said the recent decline has changed its opinion that the stock was "too rich" from a risk-reward standpoint.


Prince Charles, the heir to Britain's throne, has tested positive for the coronavirus. "He has been displaying mild symptoms but otherwise remains in good health and has been working from home throughout the last few days as usual," a statement said. His wife, Camilla the Duchess of Cornwall, has also been tested but does not have the virus. (CNBC)

Global cases increased to about 428,400 with 19,119 deaths and over 109,400 recoveries. Italy's more than 69,100 cases are second only China's over 81,600 cases. However, Italy's death toll of 6,820 is more than double that of China, where the outbreak started in December.

Coronavirus death toll rises again in Italy, while Spain turns ice rink into morgue (CNBC)
India put 1.3 billion people in lockdown. Now it needs to help many of them survive (CNBC)
* IOC: Coronavirus outbreak in Africa prompted decision to postpone Olympics (CNBC)

Target, one of the retailers that's seen a surge in shoppers, said Wednesday it's scaling back plans to remodel hundreds of stores, postponing openings of new stores and delaying the addition of fresh groceries and beer to curbside pickup. Target is also withdrawing its guidance for the first quarter and fiscal year because of the unpredictable business climate (CNBC)

Temporary staff at Alphabet's (GOOGL) Google, whose contracts were supposed to end during the pandemic height, will be extended an additional 60 days, CNBC has learned. The latest measures come as Alphabet's urges employees to stay motivated to run Google's global infrastructure.

The World Health Organization has partnered with Facebook (FB), Microsoft (MSFT) and several other tech companies for a hackathon to promote the development of software to take on challenges related to the coronavirus pandemic. The #BuildforCOVID19 project will begin accepting project submissions tomorrow.

At least one employee and one outside health care provider at SpaceX's headquarters in Hawthorne, California, have tested positive for the coronavirus, sending some employees into quarantine, according to an internal memo seen by CNBC.

Joe Biden, front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, is starting to narrow down his list of potential running mates. Backers of the former vice president are pushing former rivals for the nomination Sens. Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Florida Rep. Val Demings are also being mentioned. (CNBC)


Nike (NKE): The Dow component reported quarterly profit of 78 cents per share, beating the consensus estimate of 59 cents a share. Revenue also exceeded forecasts, and the athletic footwear and apparel maker said business has rebounded in China following the coronavirus outbreak.

Facebook (FB): The social network said usage of its platforms has surged during the virus outbreak, but added that it is also seeing a weakening of its ad sales business.

Occidental Petroleum (OXY): The energy company announced employee salary cuts of up to 30%, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters. CEO Vicki Hollub will take an 81% pay cut. The oil producer is trying to conserve cash during a period of tumbling oil prices.

Peloton Interactive (PTON):  The interactive fitness company's largest investor, Wellington Management, sold 4 million shares worth about $100 million during the past week as the fitness equipment maker's stock jumped, according to regulatory filings. Wellington still holds 5.9 million shares.

Royal Caribbean (RCL): The cruise line extended the suspension of its cruises through May 12, as coronavirus cases around the world surge. The cruise line had previously suspended voyages through the end of April.

Whirlpool (WHR): The appliance maker withdrew its 2020 guidance due to the coronavirus outbreak. Whirlpool is also cutting production in its U.S. factories, due to supply chain disruptions.

Winnebago (WGO): The recreational vehicle maker reported quarterly earnings of 67 cents per share, matching estimates. Revenue beat Wall Street forecasts, however, and Winnebago said it is confident that the outdoor recreation industry will rebound in the future once the coronavirus outbreak is resolved.


Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, former Microsoft CEO, has purchased The Forum in Inglewood, California for $400 million. With the purchase of the arena, Ballmer also clears himself from legal battles with MSG, the company led by fellow NBA team owner James Dolan. (CNBC)