Dow futures pointed to an over 800-point gain at Monday's open as improved coronavirus data in Europe offered hope for the United States. Hints that Saudi Arabia and Russia might be close to an oil production cut deal are also helping stocks. On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 360 points, capping its third negative week in four and pushing blue chips down 28.8% from their February all-time highs. The prior week, March 23-March 27, saw the best weekly gain for the Dow since 1938. On Monday, JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon, who is recovering from heart surgery, released his widely read annual letter. "We have the resources to emerge from this crisis as a stronger country," Dimon wrote. But he also warned of "a bad recession combined with some kind of financial stress similar to the global financial crisis of 2008."
The price of West Texas Intermediate crude was down about 2% early Monday, well off session lows of 9%. Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of Russia's sovereign wealth fund RDIF, told CNBC overnight that Moscow and Riyadh were "very close" to an output reduction deal. WTI, which surged nearly 32% last week on signs of a possible Saudi-Russian agreement, remained more than 50% off its recent 52-week high in April 2019. On Sunday, President Donald Trump reiterated his threat to impose "very substantial" tariffs on oil imports. But he said he does not believe he'll need to do so.
Heading into what the Trump administration has characterized as the toughest week yet in the fight against the coronavirus, U.S. cases surged to over 330,000, the most of any country in the world — in fact, nearly as many as the next three countries — Italy, Spain and Germany — combined, according to Johns Hopkins University data. There have been 9,653 deaths in the U.S. Over a third of all infections and more than 40% of the deaths in America are in New York state, with New York City shouldering most of that burden. Over the weekend, Trump said 1,000 medical military personnel are deploying to New York City to help treat the overwhelming crush of coronavirus patients. Trump also expressed hope that U.S. cases may flatten soon.
Global coronavirus cases increased to nearly 1.3 million with 70,355 deaths and almost 250,000 recoveries. While U.S. cases and deaths have yet to slow, Europe's hot spots are seeing signs of possibly leveling off, with Spain, Italy, Germany and France seeing death rates and new infections slowing down. Italy still has the most deaths in the world with 15,887, followed by Spain's 13,055 fatalities. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, 55, was hospitalized for tests Sunday, 10 days after contracting the coronavirus. Since Beijing first reported the outbreak in late December, The New York Times said at least 430,000 people have arrived in the U.S. on direct flights from China.
Apple is designing and producing face shields for medical workers, CEO Tim Cook said in a video released Sunday. Apple is aiming to produce 1 million face shields per week. Doctors across the country have said that a shortage of personal protective equipment, like face shields and masks, puts them at risk during the COVID-19 outbreak. Cook also said Apple has donated 20 million N95 masks to organizations that need them.