Morning Brief

What to watch today: Dow opens higher as focus shifts to possibility of reopening the economy

BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stocks were higher at Monday's open as investors assessed the possibility of reopening the economy. Democratic  New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday said the state, hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., plans to get back to businesses in phases. (CNBC)

US economy could contract 30% in second quarter, warns Trump economic advisor Kevin Hassett (CNBC)

Wall Street was shrugging off a 28% plunge in West Texas Intermediate crude, the American oil benchmark. WTI had been riding a four-session winning streak after last Monday's crash. Diamond Offshore Drilling filed for bankruptcy on Sunday. Nearly four weeks ago, Whiting Petroleum became the first major oil bankruptcy after the price collapse. (CNBC)

The busiest week yet for companies reporting first-quarter earnings gets off to a slow start Monday, with Facebook and Microsoft out Wednesday afternoon and Apple and Amazon out Thursday afternoon. Last week, the Dow lost nearly 2% despite logging its first three-session rally in about a month. (CNBC)

Regeneron and Sanofi's rheumatoid arthritis drug showed promise for treating the sickest Covid-19 patients in a clinical trial. However, the companies stopped testing Kevzara on patients with less-advanced disease because it was not being shown as beneficial.  (CNBC)

CDC expands the official list of coronavirus symptoms (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

Cuomo said New York's phased reopening could start on May 15, with construction and manufacturing businesses first. Georgia's reopening is set to continue Monday. Oklahoma plans to allow the reopening of churches and restaurant dining at the end of the week. (NBC News & AP)

NJ governor says the state needs more federal assistance to avoid an 'Armageddon' scenario (CNBC)

In California, a heat wave lured people to beaches over the weekend, despite a state stay-at-home order aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus. U.S. coronavirus cases near 1 million with 54,877 deaths and global cases approach 3 million with deaths topping 200,000. (NBC News)

Despite health orders limiting Tesla to "minimum basic operations" until at least the end of the day next Sunday, managers for the electric auto maker asked dozens of employees to return to work on Wednesday to resume production at the company's plant in Fremont, California, according to internal correspondence shared with CNBC.

The Paycheck Protection Program, which got a fresh injection of $310 billion from Congress last week, is set to resume Monday morning. However, that new funding is still not expected to be enough to cover all the small businesses that apply. (CNBC)

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan said Sunday the small business loan program should be expanded so it no longer runs on a first-come, first-served basis. The initial PPP, which started with $350 billion as part of last month's $2.2 trillion coronavirus economic rescue act, ran out of money quickly. (Reuters)

The full extent of public companies tapping the emergency facility is only now becoming clear. More than 200 public companies applied for at least $854.7 million from the government program that was billed as backstop funding for small businesses without access to other sources of capital, according to data analytics firm FactSquared. (CNBC)

The White House is planning to shift President Donald Trump's public focus to the efforts aimed at easing the economic devastation caused by the pandemic. Days after he publicly mused that scientists should explore the injection of toxic disinfectants as a potential virus cure, Trump on Saturday rejected the usefulness of his daily task force briefings.

The president on Sunday denied speculation that he was going to fire Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, who led the coronavirus task force during its initial weeks but has been largely sidelined since Vice President Mike Pence took charge of the task force in late February.

STOCKS TO WATCH

Apple is gearing up for its next iPhone launch this fall, but plans could shift as the company plans to ramp up production later than usual this year, according to a new report.

General Motors said Monday it is suspending its quarterly dividend and stock buybacks to preserve cash as the coronavirus pandemic has left factories and auto dealerships at least partially closed across the U.S.

AutoNation will return $77 million it received in forgivable loans from the Paycheck Protection Program. The car retailer said it had intended to use the funds entirely for payroll, but decided to return the money after the Small Business Administration issued new guidelines for the program.

Boeing has pulled out of its deal to pay $4.2 billion for an 80% stake in the commercial jet business of Brazil's Embraer. Boeing said the two sides had failed to agree on final terms by a deadline, but Embraer accused Boeing of wrongfully terminating the deal.

Deutsche Bank reported a preliminary first quarter profit, surprising analysts who had been predicting a loss for the German bank. Deutsche Bank did say it might miss its capital requirement targets, due to extending more credit in light of the coronavirus outbreak as well as a jump in loan defaults.

Revlon has lined up an additional $100 million in financing to help it navigate financial difficulties prompted by the coronavirus outbreak. However, Reuters reports that Revlon's overall restructuring plan is running into objections from some of the cosmetics maker's lenders, with Revlon needing votes from holders of more than half of its outstanding debt to move forward.

WATERCOOLER

It may not have been the grandiose display planned for Las Vegas, but the NFL still managed a record-breaking weekend for the 2020 draft. More than 55 million viewers tuned in to watch the first virtual draft in league history. Thursday's first round alone drew 15.6 million viewers cross ESPN, ABC, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes and digital channels. (CNBC)