Morning Brief

What to watch today: Dow set to rise after Monday's major turnaround


U.S. stock futures were pointing to a gain for the Dow Jones Industrial Average at Tuesday's open, with investors continuing to focus on restarting the U.S. economy. Futures had been even higher overnight after the Dow erased and then some a 360-point decline Monday as tech stocks advanced. (CNBC)

U.S. oil prices, depressed due to coronavirus-driven demand and storage scarcity, were higher Tuesday for the fifth straight session. However, West Texas Intermediate crude, the American oil benchmark, remained more than 60% below its most recent 52-week high. (Reuters)

On Tuesday's economic calendar, the government is out with March trade deficit figures at 8:30 a.m. ET, with forecasts calling for a $44.4 billion trade gap compared to just under $40 billion in February. The Institute for Supply Management releases its April nonmanufacturing index, which is expected to plunge to 40 from the March reading of 52.5. (CNBC)


Pfizer announced Tuesday that it has started testing an experimental vaccine to combat the coronavirus in the United States. The New York-based pharmaceutical giant, working alongside German drugmaker BioNTech, said the first human participants in the U.S. have been dosed with the potential vaccine. (CNBC)

A new forecast doubles to nearly 135,000 deaths due to Covid-19 in the U.S. through the beginning of August, due mainly to the state reopening measures, which are under way. The model from the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation is used by the White House. (Reuters)

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said some of the state's retail businesses could begin reopening with modifications as early as Friday. Newsom said state officials this week will issue specific guidelines and conditions that low-risk businesses must meet, joining other states that are starting to reopen. (CNBC)

United Airlines said in a memo that it plans job cuts of about 30% in its management and administrative ranks in October due to the coronavirus pandemic. In a second memo, the carrier warned its pilots to also prepare for changes. United is among the airlines that accepted U.S. government payroll aid that bans job or pay cuts before Sept. 30. (Reuters)

Disney, which has furloughed as many as 100,000 workers, slashed executive pay and taken out a $5 billion line of credit, is set to report quarterly earnings after the stock market close on Tuesday. Last year, Disney's Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products segment was its fastest-growing profit driver. Now, it could be the company's biggest drag due to the Covid-19 outbreak. (CNBC)

WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann filed a lawsuit against Japan's SoftBank Group and its Vision Fund for terminating a $3 billion tender offer to the office-sharing startup's shareholders, which was agreed upon in October. Since then, WeWork occupancy rates have plummeted due to the Covid-19 outbreak. (Reuters)

Peter Thiel-backed digital bank N26 has raised an additional $100 million in funding, as it braces for economic uncertainty from the coronavirus pandemic. The startup's valuation remains unchanged at $3.5 billion despite the injection of new capital. (CNBC)

Biotech RWDC Industries announced on Tuesday that it raised $133 million in a two-stage Series B funding round. The Singapore-based company, which also has operations in the U.S., makes a sustainable material that can be used as a substitute for plastic in everything from straws to coffee cups to fast-food containers.(CNBC)


Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) reported a larger than expected loss for the first quarter and missed revenue estimates as well. It also said it was unable to provide guidance due to uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus outbreak, and that it remains committed to its planned merger with Peugeot parent PSA Groupe.

Shake Shack (SHAK) reported adjusted quarterly earnings of 2 cents per share, beating estimates for breakeven results. However, the restaurant chain's revenue was shy of forecasts. Shake Shack said that beef prices have been significantly higher in recent weeks due to recent coronavirus closures of meatpacking plants across the U.S.

Starbucks (SBUX) plans to reopen more than 85 percent of its U.S. stores by the end of the week, although service will be limited to pickup, delivery and drive-through.

Bill Ackman's Pershing Square has a 9.6% stake in Restaurant Brands International (QSR), the parent of Popeyes, Tim Hortons, and Burger King. While he feels the stock is undervalued, Ackman did tell CNBC that he's supportive of the company's management.

AIG (AIG) reported adjusted quarterly earnings of 11 cents per share, well below estimates of 72 cents, although revenue beat forecasts. AIG withdrew its previously issued guidance saying that Covid-19 would represent the largest-ever catastrophe loss for the industry.

DuPont (DD) earned an adjusted 84 cents per share for the first quarter, beating estimates and coming in at the high end of the industrial materials maker's guidance late last month. DuPont also cut capital spending plans by $500 million and raised its cost saving target for this year to $180 million.

Wayfair (W) lost $2.30 per share for its latest quarter, 30 cents less than analysts had been expecting, while revenue beat estimates. The furniture and home goods retailer reported 2.1 million active customers, 29% above year-ago levels.

AMC Networks (AMCX) reported adjusted quarterly earnings of $1.47 per share, missing the consensus estimate of $1.84, with revenue missing forecasts as well. However, AMC said it does not expect Covid-19 to impact its liquidity position or ability to pay debt, and that it continues to generate significant levels of free cash flow.

Avis Budget (CAR) lost $1.33 per share for its latest quarter, less than the $1.84 per share loss that analysts were anticipating. The car rental company's revenue was also below estimates, and it expects a continued revenue decline until a gradual economic recovery begins in June.

Chegg (CHGG) beat estimates on both the top and bottom lines for its latest quarter, with the online education company also giving an upbeat current quarter forecast on the surge in in-home learning.

Tenet Healthcare (THC) said the pandemic would have a significant impact on its current quarter results, with the hospital operator seeing patient visits to its hospitals decline significantly during the second half of March. Patient volumes have been hit by deferrals of elective procedures.

AmerisourceBergen (ABC) has reportedly approached Walgreens (WBA) about a possible deal for its drug wholesaling unit. Reuters reports that the drug distributor would be willing to pay about $6 billion for the business.

L Brands (LB) agreed to end its $525 million deal to sell a 55% stake in its Victoria's Secret unit to private equity firm Sycamore Partners. Sycamore had sued to terminate the deal, saying L Brands had breached the terms by closing nearly all Victoria's Secret locations without its permission.


People are putting their faith in governments around the world to do the right thing during the coronavirus pandemic, while chief executives are failing to demonstrate leadership, according to a new report. Governments are now more trusted than businesses, non-profits and the media, said consultancy Edelman's Trust Barometer report. (CNBC)