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The Dow Jones is up today as states discuss opening their economies over the coming weeks.
Despite the efforts, COVID-19 will be responsible for widespread economic damage, significant joblessness, and a longer-term recovery. The worst could be on the way for the U.S. economy. Details below.
Here are the numbers from Friday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
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Now, here are what I think will be the most important market events and stocks on Monday morning.
The Top Stock Market Stories for Monday
- The U.S. economy will soon face unemployment levels not witnessed since the Great Depression. White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett said that the unemployment rate could soon hit 16% and that economic data could be terrible for "the next couple of months." Hassett said that COVID-19 is the "biggest negative shock that our economy" has ever seen. The Labor Department will release the April jobs report in two weeks, and the unemployment rate could easily hit 23%.
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- According to Johns Hopkins University, the number of global COVID cases hit 3 million. In the United States, the number of cases surpassed 900,000. Around the world, more than 200,000 people have died due to coronavirus. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that his state's economy would begin reopening in phases. The plan comes on news that coronavirus-related hospitalizations dropped for 14 days, while deaths in the state are at a one-month low. Other states like Georgia are exploring plans to reopen their economy as well.
- Crude oil prices are facing renewed pressure on Monday as investors weigh the possibility of the economy reopening in the weeks ahead. WTI crude futures fell another 11% overnight as U.S. storage levels approached an all-time high. Brent crude slipped about 4% and sits very close to $20 per barrel. U.S. inventory levels sit at 518 million barrels, just shy of the storage record set in 2017. Meanwhile, floating crude storage – oil currently sitting in tanker ships – rose to a new record of 160 million barrels. The ongoing economic disruption and demand shock of coronavirus has led many oil producers to leave crude in the ground and stop output. We'll be looking for more insight into the crisis this week when we receive earnings reports from oil majors Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) and Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX).
Stocks to Watch Today: VZ, GILD, FB, ZM, MSFT
- Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) has withdrawn its full-year guidance after the company said it has lost 68,000 subscribers during the COVID-19 outbreak. The firm said that the COVID crisis has forced it to close 70% of its retail locations. The firm reduced its full-year earnings outlook.
- Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) is working diligently on a trial for an experimental coronavirus treatment. The company said that it could present results as soon as mid-May. The government trial for the randomized trial began in February at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The ongoing pandemic has centered a lot of hope around its drug, remdesivir. Gilead will report earnings this week and speak to the progress of its development.
- Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) announced that it is preparing a new video service that will compete against Zoom Video Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: ZM) and Microsoft Teams (NASDAQ: MSFT). The service, Messenger Rooms, has many of the same functions as Zoom calls but will allow up to 50 people to join a call for free. The firm also announced that WhatsApp calls can host eight people, which doubles its previous capacity.
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About the Author
Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, and consultant with degrees from Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, Purdue, and Indiana University. He is a seasoned financial and political risk analyst, with a focus on stocks, hedge funds, private equity, blockchain, and housing policy. He has conducted risk assessment projects for clients in 27 countries, and consulted on policy and financial operations for some of the nation's largest financial institutions, including a $1.5 trillion credit fund, a $43 billion credit and auto loan giant, as well as two of the largest Wall Street banks by assets under management.
Garrett joined Money Map Press as an economist and researcher in 2011, specializing in alternative strategies with an emphasis on fundamental and technical analysis.