Stocks ripped higher to start the holiday-shortened week as a combination of positive headlines eased investor angst after last week’s abysmal March jobs numbers. Though the White House said this week’s COVID-19 deaths could be substantial, the administration struck a more optimistic tone at its press conference on Sunday.
Here’s what’s happening:
12:36 pm: Slowing in US virus cases boosts stocks
Investors were soothed by data over the weekend that shows a slowing in the number of daily U.S. coronavirus cases, although it is still early to determine a lasting trend. There were about 30 thousand new coronavirus cases on Thursday, 32.1 thousand cases on Friday, 33.26 thousand cases on Saturday, and then a slowing to just 28.2 thousand new cases Sunday, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins. — Melloy
12:34 pm: Stocks at midday, Dow up 1,200 points
The 30-stock Dow was trading up 1,200 points around midday trading, led by Raytheon Technologies and American Express. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq jumped 5.6% and 5.4%, respectively. Investors grew more optimistic that there are signs the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. is beginning to stabilize. —Li
11:40 am: Saudi Arabia bets on Carnival, shares soar
Carnival Cruise Line revealed in a securities filing that the Saudi Arabia sovereign wealth fund has built a 8.2% stake in the company. Carnival’s stock surged more than 18% in early trading, outpacing big days from rivals Norwegian and Royal Caribbean. With Carnival’s market cap of roughly $6.8 billion, Saudi Arabia’s stake is worth about $558 million. — Pound
11:39 am: Analysts continue to upgrade stocks like Tesla and eBay on hopes the rebound is for real
- Jefferies upgraded Tesla to buy from hold.
- Guggenheim upgraded eBay to buy from neutral.
- Credit Suisse downgraded Zoom to underperform from neutral.
- Raymond James upgraded Intel to market perform from underperform.
- Raymond James downgraded Spotify to market perform from strong buy.
- UBS upgraded Walgreens Boots Alliance to neutral from sell.
- JPMorgan upgraded Southwest Airlines to neutral from underweight.
- Wedbush upgraded GoDaddy to outperform from neutral.
- JPMorgan upgraded Planet Fitness to overweight from neutral and downgraded Starbucks to neutral from overweight.
- JPMorgan added Ulta to its focus list. —Bloom
11:16 am: Tom Lee says market shifts to ‘half-full’ perspective as cases peak
Signs are emerging that the worst of coronavirus crisis may be behind us, according to Tom Lee, head of research at Fundstrat. He cited a drop in hospitalizations and deaths in New York state, better-than-expected healthcare resource utilization as well as a sustained improvement in Italy and Spain. The positive developments are prompting investors to transition to a more optimistic or “half-full” view on the markets, Lee said. “Market is shifting to a half-full perspective, as cases peak,” said Lee in a note to clients. “Incoming data suggests NY state might peak sooner than Cuomo’s optimistic case…With better visibility on the healthcare crisis in the US, particularly, on a potential to model a national peak, we believe buyers are now taking control.” Lee believes the downside in stocks is limited from here because of the quick response from policymakers as well as the nature of the pandemic cycle. — Li
11:12 am: Yellen says the Fed doesn’t need to buy equities now, but Congress should reconsider allowing it
Former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen thinks the central bank is not in a position where it needs to buy equities but thinks lawmakers should give them more leeway for the future. “I frankly don’t think it’s necessary at this point. I think intervention to support the credit markets is more important, but longer term it wouldn’t be a bad thing for Congress to reconsider the powers that the Fed has with respect to assets it can own,” Yellen told CNBC’s Sara Eisen on “Squawk on the Street.” Other central banks — including the Bank of Japan — have been purchasing some of their countries’ stocks to mitigate the recent carnage sparked by the coronavirus outbreak. — Imbert
11:10 am: Gasoline demand plummets
With the majority of Americans staying at home amid the coronavirus outbreak, demand for gasoline has plummeted. According to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration and analyzed by Ned Davis Research, the hit to demand is far more severe than during the financial crisis. – Stevens
10:55 am: Citi says global earnings may fall 50% and stock prices could then drop by the same amount
Global corporate earnings per share could fall by 50% in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, and stock prices have further to drop to reflect the likely profit decline, according to Citi’s Robert Buckland. “The lockdown in response to the coronavirus outbreak has delivered a severe shock to the global economy,” wrote Buckland, Citi’s chief global equity strategist, in a note to clients. “Typically, stock markets fall the same as EPS in a recession, but with a lead/lag relationship. With global equities currently down around 30%, we are not convinced they are pricing in the likely EPS collapse.” At its low during the coronavirus sell-off, the S&P 500 was down 34% from its record high at 2,237.40 on March 23. — Li
10:53 am: Janet Yellen says second-quarter GDP could decline by 30% and unemployment is already at 12%-13%
Former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the economy is in the throes of an “absolutely shocking” downturn that is not reflected yet in the current data. If it was, she said, the unemployment rate probably would be as high as 13% while the overall economic contraction is about 30%. “If we had a timely unemployment statistic, the unemployment rate probably would be up to 12 or 13% at this point and moving higher,” Yellen told CNBC’s Sara Eisen during a “Squawk on the Street” interview. — Cox
10:33 am: Travel stocks climb in early trading
Stocks in the battered travel sector have notched strong gains in early trading as investors react to improving health data from Europe and New York City, signaling that lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders may be lifted sooner than feared. Wynn Resorts rose 16%, while MGM gained 12%. The three major cruise line stocks — Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian — all posted double digit gains. Major airlines were also trading slightly higher. — Pound
10:10 am: American Express leads the Dow higher
The credit card company is the biggest winner in the Dow Jones Industrial Average in early trading, surging nearly 12%. The stock struggled last week and is still 9% below where it closed last Monday. American Express is down roughly 34% so far this year. — Pound
10:08 am: Retail rebounds
Retail stocks rebounded on Monday, alongside the broader market. Department stores and retail has been one of the hardest-hit industries from the coronavirus shutdown. Shares of Nordstrom rallied more than 15% in morning trading, but is still down more than 60% this year. Kohl’s and Macy’s rose 17% and 14%, respectively. — Fitzgerald
10:04 am: Dow more than 20% off its March low
The Dow Jones Industrial average is more than 20% off its 52 week low of 18,213.65, which it hit on March 23. However, the 30-stock average is still more than 25% below its intraday all-time high on February 12. The S&P 500 is more than 18% above its 52 week low of 2,191.86 from March 23 and still about 23% below its intraday all-time high of 3,393.52 that it hit on February 19. — Francolla, Fitzgerald
9:58 am: Homebuilders ETF jumps more than 7%
The iShares U.S. home construction ETF (ITB) jumped more than 7%, snapping a six-day losing streak. Gains were led by LGI Homes, Lennar and Pulte, all of which were up more than 10%. – Francolla, Stevens
9:53 am: Dow up 1,000 points
Stocks accelerated gains shortly after the opening bell with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising more than 1,000 points. The S&P 500 gained more than 4.5% and the Nasdaq rose 4.4%. — Fitzgerald
9:31 am: Stocks start the week in the green, Dow up 900 points
U.S. stocks opened with sharp gains on Monday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rallying about 920 points or 4.2%. The S&P 500 rose 3.86% and the Nasdaq Composite gained more than 3.7%. — Fitzgerald
8:55 am: Bank of America sees booming rescue loan demand
Bank of America said Monday that it’s seen fierce demand for emergency rescue loans with current applications already accounting for nearly 10% of the entire amount allocated by Congress. The bank confirmed that it has received applications from 177,000 small businesses for a total of $32.6 billion in financing. The current Bank of America numbers are its applications and do not represent the sums the Small Business Administration has approved. The bank was the first major lender to set up and launch its portal for the Paycheck Protection Program though it was quickly inundated with requests. — Franck
8:51 am: Coronavirus latest: Spain’s death toll continues to decline, New York governor sees slight plateauing in the death toll, but said it could be a ‘blip’
On Monday, Spain reported 637 deaths, down from 674 the previous day, which continues a downwards trend after a peak of 950 recorded on Thursday. A total of 13,055 people have died in Spain from the virus. Spain reported that the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country had topped 135,302, up from 130,759 the previous day.
On Sunday New York Governor Cuomo said there was a slight plateauing in the death toll, but noted that it could be a “blip.” Cuomo also said the state could be near an apex, though it won’t be clear for the next few days. There’s been a shift of case numbers to Long Island while cases in New York City are reduced, likely a result of people traveling out of the hard-hit city to take refuge elsewhere. – Newburger, Ellyatt
8:30 am: Credit Suisse downgrades Zoom Video for its ‘ultra-premium valuation’
While high flying stay-at-home stock Zoom Video has added millions of users this year due to the coronavirus shutdown Credit Suisse can no longer justify its “ultra-premium valuation.” The Wall Street firm downgraded shares of the video conferencing company to underperform from neutral, saying Zoom is currently trading at 40 times its calendar year consensus revenue estimates, “the richest in software.” “We commend Zoom for being a superhero of the current health crisis, though our responsibility as equity analysts compels us to distinguish great companies from great stocks,” Credit Suisse said. The high flying stock has gained 47% in two months, as the stay-at-home trend boosts usage. Shares of Zoom Video tumbled more than 10% in premarket trading on Monday. — Fitzgerald
8:22 am: Oil lower despite hints Russia and Saudi Arabia are ‘very close’ to deal
Oil prices dipped on Monday to reverse earlier gains seen after the CEO of Russian sovereign wealth fund RDIF told CNBC that Moscow and Riyadh were “very close” to a deal. “I think the whole market understands that this deal is important and it will bring lots of stability, so much important stability to the market, and we are very close,” Kirill Dmitriev of the Russian Direct Investment Fund told CNBC’s “Capital Connection” on Monday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 3% to trade at $27.44 per barrel, while international benchmark Brent crude dipped 2.6% to $33.21 per barrel. Earlier in the session, WTI fell more than 9% after a meeting between OPEC and its allies, initially scheduled for Monday, was delayed, stoking fears that a production cut might face hurdles. The meeting is now “likely” taking place on Thursday, according to sources familiar with the matter. — Stevens
8:15 am: Recuperating Art Cashin says the market is in for a long road to recovery
Market guru Art Cashin is making his way back to recovery after a bad car crash earlier this year. While he said he’s getting back to health, he thinks it will take a while before the markets and the economy can say the same. “This is enormous. We have never seen an instant recession like this. This is going to take a while to work out,” Cashin, the head of floor operations for UBS, tells CNBC’s Bob Pisani. Cashin also sees more trouble ahead for oil and says he understands why the New York Stock Exchange floor was closed but still believes it is a vital part of market operations. — Cox
8:09 am: Buybacks to fall 50% in 2020, Goldman Sachs says
Share repurchases by S&P 500 companies will fall by 50% to $371 billion this year, Goldman Sachs said in a note to clients. Many companies, including the country’s largest banks and airlines, have announced that they are suspending buybacks for at least the next quarter due to the coronavirus. Goldman added that the companies that have announced suspensions so far accounted for 27% of total buybacks last year. “Reduced demand from the principal buyer of shares during the past decade means wider trading ranges, less downside support, and slower EPS growth,” the note said. The note also projected dividends to decline by 25% this year. — Pound
7:52 am: Bill Ackman grows more confident about virus forecast
Hedge fund manager Bill Ackman, who said last month that “hell is coming” because of the COVID-19 pandemic, said in a series of tweets on Sunday that he is growing more optimistic about the public health situation. “While it is hard to be positive when we know that tens of thousands more will die and many more will get severely sick, I have no choice but to be more optimistic about the intermediate future based on the data and facts I have seen recently. I hope I am right,” Ackman wrote. The CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management said he believed that there is a very high number of people who have been infected with the virus and never known it, citing some preliminary data from one California city, which could mean the economy would be able to reopen sooner than expected. — Pound
7:30 am: Dow futures up 700 points, stocks to rally to start holiday-shortened week
U.S. stock futures pointed to gains of more than 3% at the start of trading on the holiday-shortened trading week. Futures contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average pointed to an opening rally of 800 points, more than 3.5%. S&P 500 an Nasdaq futures also pointed to jumps of nearly 4% by the opening bell. The expected rally to start the day Monday comes after the major stock indexes fell in the prior week after record-breaking unemployment numbers and a whopping payrolls decline of more than 700,000 for the month of March. — Franck
— CNBC’s Jeff Cox and Maggie Fitzgerald contributed reporting.
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