Stock market index futures slowly moved higher as China announced easing tariffs on some U.S. imports and investors monitor the economic recovery, plus stocks to watch today in the Money & Markets Opening Bell.
The Top Story
Beijing announced a list of 79 U.S. products, including some rare earth metals, gold ores and silver ores, that will be waived from tariffs as China attempts to boost imports from the U.S.
Optimism about a recovery in business activity has helped the S&P 500 climb about 34% from the lows of a pandemic-driven selloff in March.
The benchmark index is still about 13% below its February all-time high.
Simon Property Group Inc. (NYSE: SPG), the nation’s largest shopping mall operator, was one of the biggest movers in premarket trading. The company’s stock rose 8.3% on news it planned to reopen 50% of its malls this week. All had been closed due to the coronavirus lockdown.
The first-quarter earnings season is nearing its end with about 440 of the S&P 500 companies reporting results so far. Earnings are down 12.1% on average during the quarter, according to Refinitiv data.
Stocks to Watch Today
Tesla Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) — After a fall on Monday, Tesla shares moved 2% higher in premarket trading after CEO Elon Musk defied a local government order and reopened the company’s Fremont, California production facility.
Tesla is restarting production today against Alameda County rules. I will be on the line with everyone else. If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 11, 2020
PNC Financial Services Group Inc. (NYSE: PNC) — The bank, based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, said it was selling its entire investment in BlackRock Inc. (NYSE: BLK). The bank holds 34.8 million shares and BlackRock has agreed to repurchase $1.1 billion in shares. PNC shares were up 6.7%.
Novavax Inc. (Nasdaq: NVAX) — The clinical-stage vaccine company surged more than 47% in premarket trading after the company said it received up to $388 million in funding from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation to advance its COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
The Fed to Start Buying Corporate-Debt ETFs Today
Most of the ETF purchases will be of those exposed largely to U.S. investment-grade corporate bonds, with the remainder being U.S. high-yield corporate bonds.
The New York Fed said the Department of the Treasury has already made $37.5 billion of the $75 billion equity investment in the special fund used to buy the securities.
States Looking to Big Tech to Help With Unemployment
As states deal with the massive jump in jobless claims, some are turning to big tech companies for help.
Rhode Island, Kansas and New York have enlisted the help of Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) and Alphabet Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) to install systems to help prevent website crashes, call center backlogs and to update older computer systems, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Saudi Aramco Profits Hammered by Drop in Oil Prices
The world’s most valuable oil company said its profits dropped 25% in the first quarter, thanks to the sudden fall in oil prices.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Saudi Aramco said its net revenue fell 16% to around $60 billion while its net profit was only $16.7 billion. Its profit was $22.2 billion in the same quarter a year earlier.
What We’re Reading
Is a Small-Cap Stock Meltdown Signaling the Next Market Crash? (Money & Markets)
Inside Pilot’s Push to Keep the Trucking Industry Afloat (USA Today)
Gold Mining Stocks Are Beating FANG Stocks. Here’s What You Need to Know (Money & Markets)
Here are the companies releasing earnings reports today:
Duke Energy Corp. (NYSE: DUK)
Ingersoll Rand Inc. (NYSE: IR)
Magnolia Oil & Gas Corp. (NYSE: MGY)
Shockwave Medical Inc. (Nasdaq: SWAV)
Tidewater Inc. (NYSE: TDW)
Check back each morning before the opening bell for stocks to watch today with Opening Bell, here on Money & Markets.
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