Wednesday May 6th


Stock futures rise as investors bet on the economy reopening

U.S. stock index futures were higher in early morning trading on Wednesday, following two positive sessions in the equity markets. Dow futures were up about 0.4% and indicated opening gains of more than nearly 100 points. S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures were up 0.4% and 0.5%, respectively. Stocks which stand to benefit from a reopening of the economy were also higher in the premarket Wednesday. Gap shares rose 3.6%. Airlines and cruise lines were higher. The moves came as investors weighed the consequences of a growing number of states beginning to reopen their economies in the first two weeks of May. President Donald Trump acknowledged on Tuesday that “there’ll be more death” from coronavirus but argued that not reopening businesses would also cost people their lives in other ways such as drug overdoses and suicides. Gains on Wednesday were capped, however, as crude prices reversed course to trade more than 5% lower. West Texas Intermediate futures were coming off a five-session winning streak and are up about 28% for May. On Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 133 points, after being up 419 points at its high of the day. The S&P 500 rose 0.9% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 1.13%. Large-cap technology companies — Microsoft, Apple, and Facebook — added to their recent strength. Those three tech stocks were up in the premarket Wednesday again. “The market is enjoying the economy opening, albeit on a phased-in schedule but that more and more states are opening,” Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist for Prudential Financial told CNBC. “The numbers in terms of new cases remain at a level that does not, at this point, suggest that the opening is causing cases to rise.” The fast-spreading coronavirus — which has inflected at least 1.1 million Americans and killed more than 70,000, according to Johns Hopkins University — has seen a leveling off of news cases in the U.S. California will permit clothing stores, bookstores and flower shops to reopen for curbside pickup as soon as Friday while New York plans to ease restrictions on manufacturers, construction, and select retailers next week. While U.S. equities closed in positive territory on Tuesday but well of their highs, after losing steam in the final hour of trading. Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Richard Clarida said more policy support will be need from the central bank and government to support the markets and the economy. A data report ADP and Moody’s Analytics showed private payrolls were cut by 20.2 million last month. That was the worst report in the data series’ history. Still, it was not as bad as a Dow Jones estimate of 22 million job losses. “The question will be if the market is moving too quickly, too fast as we see this resumption of interest in equities,” Krosby added. “But for now the market is resuming the move towards absorbing the weaker economic data but essentially trying to look beyond to see whether or not the economy can open at a more accelerated pace.” Stocks shook off more poor earnings. Disney reported a 58% drop in sales from theme parks and cruises but is expected to boost engagement on its newly-launched streaming service, Disney+. Shares of the media giant ticked lower in early trading. Stocks in Asia rose on Wednesday oil prices retraced some of their overnight gains. South Korea’s Kospi gained 1.76% to close at 1,928.76. The Kosdaq index also rose 2.57% to end its trading day at 658.40. Mainland Chinese stocks rose on the day, recovering from an earlier dip. The Shanghai composite was 0.63% higher to about 2,878.14 while the Shenzhen composite gained 1.526% to around 1,790.28. Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index advanced 1.34%. Markets in Japan and Thailand were closed on Wednesday for holidays. Oil moved between gains and losses on Wednesday as investors weighed optimism over reopening economies against ongoing oversupply fears. West Texas Intermediate crude fell $1.35, or 5.5%, to trade at $23.21 per barrel, while Brent was 83 cents lower at $30.14 per barrel. Brent crude has almost doubled since hitting a 21-year low reached on April 22, supported by expectations demand will recover and by a record supply cut led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. Gold prices fell on Wednesday as the dollar rose to its highest in more than a week and easing of coronavirus-driven restrictions by many countries improved investor appetite for risky assets and dulled demand for bullion. Spot gold was down 0.3% to $1,700.52 per ounce by 0957 GMT. U.S. gold futures fell 0.2% to $1,707.00.