Stock futures positive again in choppy trade, building on market’s rebound from massive coronavirus sell-off

Stock futures were positive in choppy trading early Tuesday morning, following the market’s rebound from its deep rout triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

At 5:30 a.m. ET, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were 183 points higher, pointing to an implied opening rise of more than 157 points at Tuesday’s open. S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq-100 futures also pointed to opening gains for the two indexes.


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Earlier, futures had pointed to opening losses for the three indexes.

The overnight action followed a strong session on Wall Street, with the Dow jumping nearly 700 points led by an 8% pop in Johnson & Johnson after it announced a vaccine candidate for the coronavirus. The S&P 500 rallied 3.4%.

Investors embraced a more realistic government approach to contain the pandemic. President Donald Trump extended the timeline for social distancing guidelines to April 30, which many believe will reduce economic damage in the long run.

“I think the market has established some type of bottom,” Tom Lee, head of research at Fundstrat Global Advisors, said on CNBC’s Markets in Turmoil Special on Monday. “I don’t know if this is October ’08 here; We still have some wood to chop.”

Stocks have managed to rally on concerning economic data including last week’s record number of jobless claims and Monday’s worse-than-expected manufacturing reading from the Dallas Fed, Lee noted.

“If we are rallying on bad news, I think that’s a sign that we are probably at a bottom,” Lee said.

The market also built on last week’s historic rally, where the Dow and S&P 500 posted their best three-day win streaks since the 1930s. With Monday’s gains, the Dow is now up 20% from its coronavirus sell-off low reached on March 23 while the S&P 500 has risen more than 17% from those levels.

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Still, the consensus on Wall Street calls for more selling before the market can hit a bottom. Historically, Bear markets are often punctuated by sharp bounces on their way down to a trough.

“Last week’s double-digit gain for markets was a welcome relief rally, though market bottoms are rarely as clean as this one has been,” said Mark Hackett, Nationwide’s chief of investment research. “Markets will need to reflect more traditional interactions before confidence in a bottom can be reached.”

Investors continued to grapple with the worsening outbreak in the U.S. as the confirmed cases rose to more than 153,200, according to data fromJohns Hopkins University. The U.S. has also officially become the country most affected. Trump said Sunday he hopes the country will “be well on our way to recovery” by June 1.

“We anticipate that market volatility will resist until liquidity, credit, and health risks have demonstrably passed,” said Lauren Goodwin, economist and portfolio strategist at New York Life Investments. “With major policy stimulus now in place in the U.S., we expect grim health and social news to dominate the next couple of weeks.”

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Stock Market Update Monday, March 30th, 2020

Stocks bounced back after Friday’s drop, and kicked off the week with a win.

Today’s gains come in spite of more bad COVID-19 news and a slide in oil.


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We’re starting to hear more and more COVID-19 numbers, and the impact on the economy, and things look grim…

  • President Trump extended social distancing guidelines to April 30th.
  • Right now there are more than 775,00 COVID-19 cases around the world and over 37,000 deaths. And last week the U.S. became the country with the most cases in the world, now almost 160,000.
  • St. Louis Fed President James Bullard and economists believe the unemployment rate could hit 32%.
  • And Fed research shows that there are 66.8 million workers with “high risk of layoff.”

But on a positive note, Bullard believes the hit to the economy might be short lived.

In a CNBC interview, Bullard said “this is a special quarter, and once the virus goes away and if we play our cards right and keep everything intact, then everyone will go back to work and everything will be fine.”

The major indies were up at the open and continued to rally throughout the morning.

Trading was sideways during lunch. But stocks rallied again in the afternoon and finished near highs of the day.

Here’s where the major indices ended the day:

  • The S&P finished with a 3.4% gain. Up 85 points, the S&P ended at 2,627.
  • The DOW ended higher by 3.2%. Adding 691 points the DOW closed at 22,327.
  • The NASDAQ was up 3.6%. With a 294 point loss, the NASDAQ finished at 7,502.

Crude Oil (CL) dropped for the 3rd day in a row. With a 5.4% loss, Crude Oil finished at $20.33 a barrel. It was the lowest close for Crude Oil since 2002.

Tech stocks led today’s rally with Microsoft (MSFT) jumping 7.0%.

Ford Motors (F) and General Electric (GE) plan to produce 50,000 ventilators in the next 100 days. Ford was down 3.1% today and GE rallied 3.5%.

And Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) jumped 8.0% on news that the company will begin human testing on a potential vaccine in September.

Here is the economic calendar for the week:

Real Time Economic Calendar provided by

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Stock futures mostly flat as investors brace for another volatile week

U.S. stock futures were mostly flat Monday morning, following sharp gains last week, as the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. continued to rise at an alarming rate over the weekend.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 60 points, pointing to an opening slip of about 10 points. S&P 500 futures were also slightly lower, and Nasdaq 100 futures were up by 0.5%. Earlier, futures had pointed to opening gains.


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A 5% drop in crude prices weighed on the market as big declines in oil has triggered selling in other areas of the markets. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were last seen at $20.36.

“We have argued that given the speed of the fall there will have to be relief rallies, but that they are likely to end up being faded,” wrote Mislav Matejka, a JPMorgan equity strategist, citing in a note a spiral between job losses, falling demand and declining earnings. “Ultimately, this bounce might prove tactical, too.”

The Dow last week posted its biggest weekly gain since 1938, surging more than 12%. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq are coming off their best week since 2009, after rising 10.3% and 9.1%, respectively. To be sure, it was a volatile ride for investors. The S&P 500 posted daily swings of at least 2.9% in four of the five sessions. That includes a 3.4% drop on Friday for the S&P 500.

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The sharp gains last week were sparked in part by the prospect of massive fiscal and monetary stimulus. President Donald Trump signed into law Friday a $2 trillion stimulus package that includes direct payments to curb the economic blow from the outbreak. The Federal Reserve also launched a series of measures to sustain the economy, including an open-ended asset-purchase program.

“Bulls staged an epic comeback,” said Ken Berman, strategist at Gorilla Trades. “Despite the rally … the uncertainty regarding the length of the necessary, but economically damaging global lockdowns continues to weigh on risk assets.”

“The technical picture continues to be bearish across the board, despite the mid-week surge in stocks, with all of the key trend indicators still pointing lower,” said Berman, noting the major averages are still below their respective moving-day averages even after last week’s strong gains.

Coronavirus cases around the world are still climbing, adding to the uncertainty over when lockdown and quarantine measures will be removed and the economy can return to normal.

Data compiled by Johns Hopkins University shows more than 713,000 coronavirus cases have been confirmed globally. The U.S. overtook Italy and China last week as the country with the most cases with over 136,000. Nearly half of all U.S. cases come from New York, where more than 59,000 people have been infected.

“Equity markets are overextended, but face a bumpy period of even grimmer virus news and poor economic statistics in the next 1-2 months,” strategists at MRB Partners wrote in a note. “The world is now entering a third phase, the first being the shock of an out-of-control virus spreading around the globe, then the massive policy response, and now the economic fallout phase has arrived and will test investors’ very fragile confidence.”

Investors got a glimpse of the virus’ economic impact last week. On Thursday, the Labor Department reported a record 3.28 million workers filed for unemployment benefits the week of March 20. That number easily topped the previous record of 695,000 set in 1982. U.S. consumer sentiment also fell to its lowest level in more than three years.


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To be sure, the market has also flashed some signals of a potential bottom. The confidence spread between the so-called smart money — large institutions — and dumb money, retail investors, sits squarely in positive territory after dropping to extremely low levels. Meanwhile, insider buying reached an 11-year high.

President Donald Trump also extended at a news conference Sunday the national social distancing guidelines to April 30 and said the death rate would peak in two weeks.

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