Morning Brief

What to watch: Dow set to bounce even as over 5.2 million more people filed for jobless claims

BY THE NUMBERS

Dow futures were pointing to a gain at Thursday's open even as 5.245 million more Americans filed for first-time jobless claims last week. Record declines in March retail sales and April New York-area manufacturing due of the coronavirus economic halt pushed the Dow down 445 points, or 1.9%, on Wednesday. (CNBC)

The economy is less than 3 million jobless claims away from wiping out all the jobs created in the 10 years since the Great Recession. In the past four reporting weeks, over 22 million people filed for unemployment insurance. Since February 2010, 24.8 million jobs were generated. (CNBC)

US housing starts plunge 22.3% to 1.216 million in March (CNBC)

Morgan Stanley, the last of the big U.S. banks, reported quarterly earnings Thursday before the bell. Morgan Stanley said it earned $1.01 per share on revenue of $9.49 billion in Q1. Both the top and bottom lines were below estimates. But like its rivals, the financial firm beat estimates on trading revenue due to the market volatility. (CNBC)

BlackRock assets, profits sink as investors pull funds (Reuters)

BlackRock co-founder and CEO Larry Fink told CNBC on Thursday the stock market's coronavirus low last month may have been the pandemic bottom. Fink also said the U.S. needs to increase its testing capacity for the coronavirus before its economy can restart in earnest.

Jeff Bezos: Widespread testing needed before economy can get running again (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

Staffers for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., are expected to continue talks with the Treasury Department on Thursday about additional coronavirus relief legislation, a senior Democratic aide told CNBC. The talks come as a key component of last month's rescue package, the $349 billion fund for small businesses loans, is quickly being used up.

* Billionaire Barry Diller says bail out everyone and 'worry about paying the bills later' (CNBC)

President Donald Trump said the U.S. has "passed the peak" of the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected more than 639,600 people in America and is approaching 2.1 million people worldwide. Last night, Trump said he'll discuss guidelines for reopening the country Thursday. (CNBC)

The death toll in the U.S. is 30,985, with a third in New York state, which has the most cases in the nation at 214,832 and more cases than any other single country in the world. Globally, 137,666 people have died from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University data Thursday morning.

Verizon is buying the video conferencing platform Blue Jeans as workers increasingly rely on web tools to connect during the coronavirus pandemic. Many enterprise tools like ZoomSlack and Microsoft Teams have seen an uptick in usage as more American regions have been instructed to stay at home to tamp down the spread of the virus. (CNBC)

STOCKS TO WATCH

Abbott Laboratories eported quarterly profit of 65 cents per share, 7 cents a share above estimates. Revenue also beat forecasts. Abbott withdrew its full-year guidance, citing uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

Bank of New York Mellon (BK) beat estimates by 17 cents a share, with quarterly earnings of $1.05 per share. Revenue topped estimates as well. Profits were up compared to a year ago, as market volatility boosted its fee revenue. The bank sharply boosted its provision for credit losses to $169 million compared to $7 million a year ago.

Raymond James downgraded Square (SQ) stock to underperform from market perform, saying there is a disconnect between the recent outperformance of the stock and the underlying fundamentals of the business.

Costco (COST) boosted its quarterly dividend by 7.7%, bucking the general trend in corporate America since the virus outbreak. The warehouse retailer has been benefiting from Americans stocking up on household staples.

Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) earned an adjusted 38 cents per share for its fiscal fourth quarter, beating estimates of 20 cents. Revenue also exceeded forecasts. However, same-store sales fell 5.6% for the quarter.

Hertz Global (HTZ) is seeking help from the government to avoid bankruptcy, according to sources who spoke to the New York Post. The car rental giant is said to be facing a budget shortfall of up to $1.5 billion in the coming months.

United Airlines (UAL) cut its May flight schedule by 90%, saying travel demand had essentially shrunk to zero. The airline also warned of possible job cuts.

Jack In The Box (JACK) pulled its 2020 guidance as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The company said same-restaurant sales fell 17% for the final five weeks of the quarter that ended on April 12. It is also taking steps to help its franchisees, postponing some rent and fee payments that had been due this month.

WATERCOOLER

A tool launched Wednesday by the Internal Revenue Service to track Americans' stimulus relief checks is not working for many people, according to individuals who reached out to CNBC Make It. In most cases, this happened because the system was overloaded, said an IRS spokesperson.