Morning Brief

What to watch today: Dow set to sink on concerns about a second wave of coronavirus in U.S.


Dow futures were pointing to a plunge at Thursday's open as worries intensified about a second wave of the coronavirus in America. As nearly two dozen states report sharp rises in Covid-19 cases, total infections in the U.S. have now topped 2 million, according to data from Johns Hopkins University on Thursday morning. Nasdaq futures were also sinking after the Nasdaq Composite bucked Wednesday's declines on Wall Street, closing above 10,000 for the first time ever. (CNBC)

Frothy trading in bankrupt companies, penny stocks sent red flags that a pullback was due (CNBC)

While the pace of new weekly jobless claims continues to slow, the government said Thursday there were 1.54 million first-time filings for unemployment insurance last week. That was slightly less than expected. The government's latest claims data comes after Friday's stunning monthly employment report, showing 2.5 million nonfarm job gains for May. (CNBC)

The Federal Reserve sees interest rates staying near zero through 2022 and the U.S. economy bouncing 5% next year. The Fed left rates unchanged at a range of 0%-0.25% after its two-day June meeting. Central bankers projected the economy will shrink 6.5% this year due to the unprecedented coronavirus lockdowns. (CNBC)


Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN) announced Thursday that it's started the first clinical trial of its experimental coronavirus antibody drug. The antibody cocktail is being tested in four human populations. Two groups of people will receive the drug to test its effectiveness as a treatment for Covid-19; the other two will receive it as a possible prevention. (CNBC)

Moderna to start final testing stage of coronavirus vaccine in July (Reuters)

Eli Lilly (LLY)  could have a Covid-19 treatment authorized for use as early as September. The drugmaker's chief scientist said a timeline could be met if either of the two antibody therapies currently in testing proves successful. Lilly also has a third antibody treatment in pre-clinical studies. (Reuters)

Shares of Grubhub (GRUB), which has seen a boost in orders as restaurants were forced to become delivery only, were jumping 8.7% in Thursday's premarket after the American food delivery service announced late Wednesday a merger with Europe's Just Eat Takeaway. Sources told CNBC that U.S.-based Uber, which had been in negotiations with GrubHub to combine it with Uber Eats, was left confused by the decision. (CNBC)

Target (TGT) said Thursday that it's raising its dividend by 3% to 68 cents. The new annualized dividend yield will be 2.27%, compared with 2.2% previously. The company said in May that during the first quarter digital sales surged 141% as consumers shopped online during the Covid-19 lockdown, although sales of higher-margin items like apparel dropped. (CNBC)

Walmart (WMT) will no longer place "multicultural hair care and beauty products" in locked cases in any of its stores. The practice, which Walmart says was only in place "in about a dozen" of its 4,700 U.S. stores, has received criticism for the implication that the customers who buy these products, largely people of color, can't be trusted. (NBC News)

Amazon (AMZB) is banning use of its facial recognition software by police for one year, as pressure builds on tech companies to respond to the death of George Floyd during a Memorial Day arrest in Minneapolis. While the House Committee on Oversight and Reform has held hearings on the use of facial recognition, it has yet to introduce a bill regulating the technology. (CNBC)

Auto racing giant Nascar is banning the display of the Confederate flag at all of its events and properties. The announcement is sure to be controversial with a number of Nascar fans, some of whom continue to display Confederate flags and symbols at racing events even five years after the organization asked fans not to do so. (CNBC)


Bank of America Securities raised its price target on Apple (APPL) stock to a Wall Street high of $390 a share from the prior $340 a share, while maintaining a buy rating. The firm cited a number of positive factors including the upcoming 5G iPhone cycle and projected 20% growth in hardware sales next year.

Tesla (TSLA) won Chinese government approval to build Model 3 vehicles with cobalt-free LFP batteries.

Zoom (ZM) shut down the account of an activist who was holding an event on the video conferencing platform to commemorate China's Tiananmen Square crackdown. The move has prompted accusations that Zoom, a U.S. company, has bowed to pressure from Beijing.

Walt Disney (DIS) plans to begin a phased reopening of its Disneyland resort in California in July. The plan must still receive approval from state and local officials.

Tailored Brands (TLRD) said it may have to seek bankruptcy protection if sales continue to slump. The parent of the Men's Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank clothing chains said it was taking "decisive actions to manage liquidity."

Tyson Foods (TSN) said it was cooperating with a Justice Department probe into poultry price-fixing. The meat and poultry producer is participating in a program that shields Tyson and its employees from prosecution or fines.

Beyond Meat (BYND) announced the expansion of its manufacturing capabilities in Europe. The plant-based burger maker acquired a new factory in the Netherlands that should be in operation by the end of the year, as well as opening another Netherlands manufacturing plant in partnership with Dutch meat producer Zandbergen.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) will seek concessions from lenders, in order to prevent the carrier from falling out of compliance with certain debt requirements. Under current conditions, Delta said it would be out of compliance by early next year.


Registration of new voters dropped sharply in the U.S., as the coronavirus crisis made it difficult for Republicans and Democrats in battleground states, according to data cited by the USA Today. A new report from the nonpartisan Center for Election Innovation & Research said new voter registration in 11 states plunged 70% in April compared to a year ago.