Morning Brief

What to watch today: Stocks set to rise even with millions more filing for jobless claims

Y THE NUMBERS

Dow futures were pointing to a gain at this morning's open. Wall Street seems to be more focused on the benefits of states starting to reopen their economies, such as rising U.S. oil prices on increased demand, than the continuing coronavirus-driven surge in weekly jobless claims. (CNBC)

If Thursday's projected advance were to hold, the Nasdaq would near breakeven for the year. The Nasdaq, powered by strength in tech stocks, closed up 0.7% on Wednesday, logging three days of gains and climbing to 10% away from February's record high. The Dow and S&P 500 gave up earlier session gains, breaking two-day winning streaks. (CNBC)

Nearly 3.17 million more Americans filed for first-time unemployment benefits last week, the Labor Department said Thursday, bringing the rolling coronavirus seven-week total to more than 33 million. The rate of new jobless claims, while still unprecedented, has been slowing in recent weeks. Estimates had called for 3.05 million claims for last week.

Shares of Moderna (MRNA) surged about 17% in the premarket after the biotech said it received clearance by the Food and Drug Administration to proceed with phase 2 of its testing of a possible coronavirus vaccine. Moderna is finalizing the protocol for phase 3, which is expected to begin in early summer. (CNBC)

Doctors blast federal process for distributing Covid-19 drug remdesivir (STAT News)

Domino's Pizza (DPZ) and glucose monitoring system maker DexCom (DXCM) will join the S&P 500 next week, replacing Michael Kors parent Capri Holdings (CPRI) and drugmaker Allergan (AGN). Capri is moving to the S&P SmallCap 600, while Allergan is being acquired by drugmaker AbbVie (ABBV).

IN THE NEWS TODAY

Most new Covid-19 hospitalizations in New York state are people who were staying home and not venturing much outside, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The preliminary data shows that 66% were from people who had largely been sheltering in place. The next highest source of admissions was from nursing homes at 18%. (CNBC)

More than a quarter of the 1.2 million people infected in the U.S. are in New York, the state with the most cases by far. Over a third of America's 73,431 deaths are in New York. Global cases are approaching 3.8 million with 264,109 deaths. The coronavirus originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year. (Johns Hopkins University)

JPMorgan: Escalation in US-China tensions is 'the last thing' anyone needs (CNBC)

A set of detailed documents created by the nation's top infectious disease investigators meant to give step-by-step advice to local leaders deciding when and how to reopen public places such as mass transit, day-care centers and restaurants has been shelved by the Trump administration. (AP)

Trump contradicts nurse in testy Oval Office exchange over coronavirus protective gear (CNBC)

Amazon (AMZN) said one of its workers has died from the coronavirus. The employee, who worked at an Amazon warehouse in Northeast Illinois, died on April 18. His last day at the facility, known as MDW8, was March 19. There are four known cases of an Amazon worker dying from Covid-19. (CNBC)

UnitedHealth (UNH), the nation's largest health insurer is providing $1.5 billion in direct financial relief for its customers in the form of premium rebates for consumers on individual and small group employer plans as well as cost-sharing waivers for seniors on its Medicare Advantage plans. (CNBC)

Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) saw a 13.7% drop in first-quarter profit, with the world's largest beer brewer predicting a "materially worse" performance for the current quarter amid bar and restaurant shutdowns due to the coronavirus outbreak. (Reuters)

Peloton Interactive (PTON)  lost 20 cents per share for its fiscal third quarter, wider than the 17 cents a share loss predicted by analysts. The exercise equipment maker's revenue came in well above estimates, however, with stay-at-home orders resulting in a 66% jump in sales. The company also raised its current-quarter sales forecast.

Lyft (LYFT) lost $1.09 per share for the first quarter, compared to the loss of 63 cents per share forecast by Wall Street. The ride-hailing service's revenue beat estimates, however, jumping 23% from a year earlier. (CNBC)

STOCKS TO WATCH

JetBlue (JBLU) lost 42 cents per share during the first quarter, wider than the 36 cents a share loss anticipated by Wall Street. Revenue was shy of expectations as well. Like other airlines, JetBlue was impacted by the severe drop in travel demand, although it did say it expects its daily cash burn rate to fall to $10 million this month.

Hilton Worldwide (HLT) reported quarterly earnings of 74 cents per share for the first quarter, beating the 55 cents a share consensus estimate. Revenue was essentially in line with expectations. Hilton said the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic did not become significant until March.

Costco (COST) reported a 4.7% drop in comparable-store sales for April, with the warehouse retailer saying its sales were impacted by some mandatory closures and the implementation of social distancing at open locations.

Raytheon Technologies (RTX) reported quarterly profit of $1.78 per share, beating the consensus estimate of $1.22 a share. Revenue also beat forecasts. The defense contractor said it would not provide a financial outlook at this time due to pandemic-related uncertainty.

AmerisourceBergen (ABC) reported quarterly earnings of $2.40 per share, 13 cents a share above estimates. Revenue also exceeding forecasts. The drug distributor cut its full-year earnings forecast to incorporate the potential impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) earned $1.72 per share for the first quarter, 23 cents a share above estimates. Revenue also topped analysts' projections. The company said it was maintaining its 2020 earnings forecast, despite the pandemic that it thinks will shave $500 million off 2020 revenue.

Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA) reported quarterly earnings of 76 cents per share, 17 cents a share above estimates. Revenue also beat forecasts. Teva saw stronger demand for its generic and over-the-counter drugs, and also reaffirmed its 2020 outlook.

Wynn Resorts (WYNN) – Wynn posted a wider-than-expected loss and revenue below analysts' estimates. The casino operator saw a significant impact from coronavirus-related shutdowns. Wynn also suspended its quarterly dividend.

Flir Systems (FLIR) will provide General Motors (GM) with 377 of its thermal scanners to help detect fever among the automaker's employees when they return to work at GM factories, according to a Reuters report.

Satellite TV provider Dish Network (DISH) reported better-than-expected first-quarter revenue, but lost 250,000 subscribers during the quarter due to disconnections in the airline and hospitality sectors.

ViacomCBS (VIAC) beat estimates by 17 cents a share, with quarterly earnings of $1.13 per share. Revenue also came in above estimates. ViacomCBS logged a 51% increase during the quarter in domestic streaming and digital video revenue.

Fox Corp. (FOXA) reported quarterly earnings of 93 cents per share, beating the consensus estimate of 71 cents a share. Revenue topped estimates as well. Fox said that the pandemic is having a negative impact on its operations, however, especially for its local TV stations where advertisers have been cutting back.

T-Mobile US (TMUS) beat estimates by 8 cents a share, with quarterly earnings of $1.10 per share. The wireless carrier's revenue was slightly below forecasts. T-Mobile said it expected the pandemic to negatively impact its results through at least the end of the year.

PayPal (PYPL) earned 66 cents per share for its latest quarter, 9 cents a share shy of estimates. The payment services company's revenue also registered a miss. PayPal said it expects a strong recovery during the current quarter as more people shift to online shopping.

Square (SQ) reported a quarterly loss of 2 cents per share, surprising analysts who had forecast a 13 cents per share profit for the mobile payment services provider. The pandemic resulted in a significant drop in transaction volume for the quarter, and Square expects a material impact for the current quarter as well.

Etsy (ETSY) fell 9 cents a share shy of estimates, with quarterly earnings of 10 cents per share. The online crafts marketplace's revenue beat Wall Street forecasts. The revenue performance got a boost from sales of face masks, a trend that Etsy expects to grow in the current quarter.

Grubhub (GRUB)broke even for its latest quarter, surpassing expectations of a loss. The food delivery service's revenue came in above estimates. Grubhub said it is seeing a rebound in delivery sales, reversing a drop that occurred at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Edgewell Personal Care (EPC), the maker of Schick razors, Edge shaving cream, and other personal care products, missed estimates by a penny a share, with quarterly earnings of 92 cents per share. Revenue beat forecasts. Edgewell withdrew its full-year forecast due to pandemic-related uncertainty.

WATERCOOLER

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin got into a Twitter fight with Axl Rose last night. Mnuchin tweeted at the Guns N' Roses rocker: "What have you done for the country lately?" The Treasury secretary was responding to Rose characterizing him in a tweet as "officially an a__hole." (CNBC)