Morning Brief

What to watch today: Dow to drop after 4.5% three-session losing streak


Dow futures were pointing to a sharp decline at Thursday's open after more than 2.98 million more Americans filed initial jobless claims last week. Thursday's level of claims, while still historically off the charts, continues a slowdown in the pace of filings in recent weeks. The latest eight weeks of data show nearly 36.5 million claims. (CNBC)

The Dow Jones Industrial Average's 2.2% decline Wednesday extended blue chips' losing streak to 4.5% over the past three sessions. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq were down for the past two days. Wednesday's over 1.5% drop sent the outperforming Nasdaq back into negative territory for the year. (CNBC)

The fuel for Thursday's hangover and Wednesday's tough day on Wall Street was downbeat remarks from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. He said more needs to be done to support the economy during the coronavirus crisis. However, Powell did add that U.S. growth should see a substantial recovery once the outbreak is brought under control. (CNBC)

Goldman Sachs says a second wave of coronavirus could make the Fed rethink negative interest rates (CNBC)

Shares of Dow-stock Cisco Systems (CSCO) were higher in the premarket after the networking equipment maker and WebEx video conferencing operator reported adjusted quarterly profit of 79 cents per share, exceeding estimates by 10 cents. Revenue beat as well. Cisco also gave an upbeat current quarter forecast, as it benefits from an increase in remote work. (CNBC)

Allogene Therapeutics (ALLO) shares were surging about 20% in the premarket after the clinical stage immuno-oncology company released favorable data from a phase 1 study of its treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma. (CNBC)


Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr turned over his cellphone to FBI agents in response to a search warrant served on him as part of a federal investigation of stock sales he made early in the coronavirus outbreak, NBC News confirmed on Thursday. The North Carolina Republican has said he made the decision to sell based on public information and not on anything he learned in his role as a senator.

Tesla's (TSLA) head of human resources warned the company's California employees that if they're called back to work but choose to stay home due to Covid-19 concerns, they could lose unemployment benefits. CEO Elon Musk reopened the company's main U.S. car plant in Fremont, California, this weekend, in defiance of county health orders. (CNBC)

Amazon (AMZN) is again extending wage increases and double overtime pay for its workers through May 30, but both policies will come to an end in June. While keeping up hazard pay, Amazon continues to face criticism for its decision to end its unlimited unpaid time off policy. A company spokesperson said Amazon continues to provide flexibility for employees with its leave-of-absence option. (CNBC)

U.S. total cases neared 1.4 million Thursday morning, with 84,136 deaths. Worldwide cases topped 4.3 million as fatalities approached 300,000. Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, the World Health Organization's chief scientist, said Wednesday that it could take up to 5 years before the coronavirus pandemic is under control. (CNBC)

President Donald Trump is set to name a former pharmaceutical executive to lead the White House's all-out effort to produce and distribute a coronavirus vaccine by the end of the year. Moncef Slaoui, formerly at GlaxoSmithKline, will lead "Operation Warp Speed" as vaccine czar, an administration official told The Associated Press.

Trump says Fauci's warnings about reopening amid coronavirus crisis are not 'acceptable' (CNBC)

Trump warned that the U.S. government will go after any companies that did not deserve forgivable small business Payroll Protection Program loans. While some of those bigger companies have given the loans back, others have not. Trump said that recipients that did not take the money in good faith have until Thursday to return it. (Reuters)

Hundreds of public companies hold on to small business loans as deadline to return money nears (CNBC)


Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH) reported a first-quarter loss of 99 cents per share, wider than the 50 cents a share loss that analysts had projected. Revenue was in line with forecasts. The cruise line operator said it was well-positioned to withstand 18 months of voyage suspensions.

3M (MMM) said its sales fell 11% in April, with a surge in face mask demand being offset by declines for its other product lines. Health-care sales rose 5%, while transportation and electronics saw a 20% drop and safety and industrial sales fell 11%.

SmileDirectClub (SDC) lost 28 cents per share for its latest quarter, wider than the 19 cents a share loss that Wall Street analysts were anticipating. The maker of teeth-straightening aligners saw its revenue miss estimates as well, and the company sees its kits businesses providing a larger percentage of revenue going forward compared to business in its SmileShops.

Jack In The Box (JACK) came in 16 cents a share below estimates, with quarterly earnings of 50 cents per share. The restaurant chain's revenue beat Street forecasts. Comparable sales were down 4.2%, and Jack In The Box also withdrew financial guidance as well as suspending its dividends and share buybacks.

Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) will not distribute its 2019 dividend that was due to be paid this year because of the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. Peugeot parent PSA Groupe is also suspending its dividend payout, and the two automakers said their merger plans are proceeding as scheduled.

Intelsat (I) filed for bankruptcy protection, in a move designed to allow the satellite operator to participate in an upcoming government airwaves auction. Intelsat has $14.5 billion in debt, and would have to spend more than $1 billion to participate due to the cost of moving existing customers off airwaves to be sold.

Tyson Foods (TSN) cut prices for some of the beef it sells to supermarkets and restaurants by 20% to 30%. This comes after disruptions at meat plants led to a jump in the cost of meat.

Starbucks (SBUX) wants landlords to lower rent for the next year, according to a letter from Chief Operating Officer Roz Brewer and reported by the Seattle Times. The letter cited the economic disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mastercard (MA) said it saw a slight rebound in credit card use during the two weeks ended May 7, due to loosening of social distancing rules in some areas as well as fiscal stimulus.


The National Basketball Association has parted ways with longtime sporting goods company Spalding, which produces the NBA's custom made basketballs. The new game ball will be manufactured by Chicago-based Wilson, starting with the 2021-22 season. Spalding has made the NBA's basketballs for over 30 years. (CNBC)