All eyes are on Congress to pass a much-needed stimulus bill to rescue the economy from the coronavirus damage. The stock market is staging a turnaround with futures on the major indexes all briefly hitting “limit up” levels. Here’s what’s happening:
8:12 am: Chevron CEO says the dividend is the company’s No. 1 priority and is ‘very secure’
Energy companies are coming under pressure as oil prices sink, but Chevron CEO Michael Wirth said the company has no plans to slash its dividend. “Our dividend is our number one priority and it’s very secure,” he said Tuesday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “We’re taking actions to preserve cash. It will have some impact on production in the near term, but we’ve stayed with our financial priorities, which include protecting the dividend.”
On Tuesday the oil giant said it will cut its capital spending plans for 2020 by 20% and suspend its buyback program in an effort to reduce costs. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude prices have been nearly cut in half over the last month as oil gets hit on both the demand and supply side. “This is the fourth time in my career I’ve seen prices drop by more than 50% in a very short period of time. We’ve been here before, we know what to do, we’re taking action,” Wirth said. — Stevens
8:03 am: Analyst Dick Bove sees ‘major’ rally, these banks to benefit
Stimulus from the Federal Reserve and Congress will lead to a “major market rally [that] is likely to occur immediately” and will benefit bank stocks, Odeon Capital banking analyst Dick Bove says. Specifically, Bove said he likes JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America among the big banks and M&T Bank and SVB Financial among the regionals. Also, he lists preferred shares of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Finally, he upgraded Wells Fargo and Comerica from sell to hold. Bove last week estimated that banks as a sector could see an earnings drop of 90% this year, and he said in his Tuesday note that he has not changed that outlook though the current situation presents a trading opportunity. – Cox
7:48 am: Rising hopes for a massive stimulus deal
Senate leaders and the Trump administration are moving closer to reaching an agreement on a $2 trillion stimulus deal to blunt the negative economic impact from the coronavirus pandemic. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer said he expects an agreement on Tuesday. “We expect to have an agreement tomorrow morning,” Schumer told reporters Monday night. “There are still a few little differences. Neither of us think they are in any way going to get in the way of a final agreement.” Negotiations on the bill were set to continue Tuesday morning. Democrats have twice blocked the Senate Republican rescue plan.— Li
7:45 am: Morgan Stanley says to buy Virgin Galactic’s stock
The firm upgraded Virgin Galactic back to overweight from equal-weight, with the stock below $13 after topping $40 last month. Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas said that “the world has changed … however, the story and the balance sheet remains intact.” He added that Virgin Galactic has “a healthy cash position” of about $500 million and an estimated $16 million per month cash burn, so the space tourism company has over 2 1/2 years of runway. —Sheetz
7:30 am: Travel, airline stocks surge
Some of the stocks worst hit in the coronavirus sell-off have gained steam in pre-market trading Tuesday. With potential relief for the aerospace industry getting closer, Delta Airlines rose 9.6% pre-market, while United climbed 8.9%. Boeing gained 9.8%. Gambling stocks Wynn Resorts and MGM Resorts jumped 7.5% and 9.3%, respectively. Royal Caribbean‘s stock surged 8.6%, while shares of hotel company Hilton rose 7.4%. Darden Restaurants, down about 60% for the year, gained nearly 8%. — Pound
7:22 am: Coronavirus global cases top 387,000
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases around the world has surpassed 387,000 with deaths breaking above 16,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. In the U.S. alone, cases have shot up to more than 46,000 while deaths total nearly 600. Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee issued a stay-at-home order on Monday to curb the virus outbreak. In the UK, residents are now in lockdown. — Imbert
7:20 am: Trump says US businesses will reopen ‘fairly soon’
President Donald Trump is eager to get U.S. businesses operating again even as his administration battles the coronavirus and health officials are encouraging Americans to stay home. During a news briefing Monday, Trump vowed, “At some point we’re going to open up our country, and it will be fairly soon.” Asked whether that would be weeks or months, he said, “I’m not looking at months.” The U.S. has seen 46,450 coronavirus cases so far and nearly 600 deaths. – Cox
7:15 am: Stock futures hit ‘limit up’
Stocks are set to rally as optimism rose that a fiscal stimulus deal could be reached as soon as Tuesday. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 930 points, or 5%, hitting the so-called “limit up” levels, the upper trading curb mandated by the exchange to tame volatility. Contracts on the S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 were also up 5% and “limit up.” The S&P 500 SPDR ETF was up 5.3% in premarket trading.
The premarket moves followed another painful day for stocks with the Dow hitting its lowest closing level since November 2016 and wiping out its Trump-era gains briefly. — Li
With reporting from CNBC’s Jeff Cox, Pippa Stevens and Michael Sheetz.
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