Chevron announces plans to buy Noble Energy
U.S. stocks traded mostly lower early Monday as investors braced for a barrage of quarterly results from corporations over the coming days. More than 480 companies are slated to report updates, including a number of prominent technology-related firms.
Market participants also handled developments on coronavirus vaccine candidates amid hopes the scientific community would help produce a breakthrough and halt the pandemic’s spread.
How are benchmarks performing?
The Dow Jones Industrial Average
fell 107 points, or 0.4%, to 26,565. The S&P 500
was down 6 points, or 0.2%, to 3,219. The Nasdaq Composite
gained 16 points, or 0.2%, to 10,519.
The Dow last week logged a 2.3% gain, the S&P 500 advanced 1.3%, and the Nasdaq Composite Index lost 1.1%.
What’s driving the market?
Wall Street is kicking off a busy week of corporate earnings, which could help to determine whether a rotation from highflying technology stocks and into beaten-down cyclicals is sustainable, with coronavirus cases and deaths in the country continuing to reach records over the weekend.
“After the major U.S. banks, which delivered solid figures, the focus will now be on tech companies. Given the significant impact the tech sector has on the U.S. stock market, market participants will certainly pay attention,” said Milan Cutkovic, market analyst at Axicorp, in a note.
Earnings from corporations including Microsoft
are among a parade of entities could offer greater insight about the economic outlook as American corporations contend with the worst pandemic in more than 100 years.
North Carolina, Louisiana and Kentucky reported record infections of COVID-19 of 2,400, 3,119 and 979 respectively on Sunday, The Wall Street Journal reported, while Arizona registered a record high death tally of 147 deaths.
Meanwhile, Florida, the epicenter of the outbreak in the U.S., reported nearly seven-day average of 12,000 cases, surging by nearly a 30%, according to CNBC, citing data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
The escalation of the deadly pandemic in the U.S. is diminishing hopes for a V-shaped, or quick and strong, economic recovery from the pandemic, as the virus taxes the public-health systems of some states and municipalities and forces local officials to restore lockdown measures measures to limit a more severe outbreak.
Shares of AstraZeneca
fell 1.2% even after the drugmaker and the University of Oxford’s said its Phase 1 clinical trial data for the COVID-19 vaccine candidate showed promising results. The results were published Monday in The Lancet medical journal.
Market participants also are watching developments around the potential for additional stimiulus here and in the U.S., with the European Union leaders in Brussels negotiating an unprecedented €1.85 trillion ($2.1 trillion) budget and coronavirus recovery fund to tackle the crisis.
EU leaders were said to be close to a rescue package after four governments — Austria, Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden — known as the frugal four, appeared close to agreeing to a split between grants and loans that had stalled talks over the weekend, according to Bloomberg News, citing officials familiar with talks.
“Some progress has been made, which is encouraging, and negotiations are expected to carry on this afternoon,” said David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets UK, in a research note. “The EU have a track record of a lot of in-house haggling, but in the end a deal is usually struck,” he wrote.
Meanwhile, returning Washington lawmakers will aim to draft an additional rescue package of its own, with a group, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin set to meet in the White House to discuss a proposed $1 trillion package, which is lower than the $3.5 trillion proposed by Senate Democrats. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., already pushed through a more sweeping $3 trillion relief bill to bolster virus testing, keep aid flowing and set new health and workplace standards for reopening schools, shops and workplaces.
Which stocks are in focus?
- Shares of Noble Energy Inc.
surged 7.5%, after Chevron Corp.
confirmed an all-stock deal to buy the oil-and-gas producer for about $5 billion. Including Noble’s debt, the deal would be valued at about $13 billion. The deal was earlier reported by The Wall Street Journal.
- Briggs & Stratton Corp.
said Monday it has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy and reached an agreement to sell most of its assets to KPS Capital Partners.
- Shares of Halliburton Co.
rose 6%, after the oil-services company reported a surprise second-quarter adjusted profit but revenue that fell short of expectations.
- Cal-Maine Foods Inc.
said Monday it had net income of $60.5 million, or $1.24 a share, in its fiscal fourth quarter to May 30, after a loss of $19.8 million, or 41 cents a share, in the year-earlier period.
- Walt Disney Co.
has “dramatically” slashed its advertising budget on Facebook
and Facebook-owned Instagram, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. The entertainment giant’s shares fell 1%.
- Ant Group Co., the Chinese technology and financial-services giant that owns popular mobile-payments network Alipay, said it is planning IPOs in Hong Kong and Shanghai, WSJ reported.
- Shares of Dollar Tree Inc.
rose 2.2% after the discount-store chain appointed a new CEO on Monday.
How are other markets trading?
The STOXX 600 Europe index
was up 0.7%, while the U.K.’s FTSE
fell 0.2%. In Asia, the Nikkei
eked out a small gain, while China’s CSI 300 gauge
surged nearly 3%.
were rallying, trading up 0.4% to $1,816.30 an ounce, on the New York Mercantile Exchange. August futures for the U.S. crude benchmark
fell 27 cents, or 0.7%, to $40.32 a barrel.
In currency markets, the dollar erased its early losses against its six major rivals based on trading of the ICE U.S. dollar index.