U.S. stock futures traded higher in early pre-market trade, ahead of earnings from DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH), Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY), Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG) and Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc. (NYSE: HII). The Challenger job-cut report for April is scheduled for release at 7:30 a.m. ET. Data on initial jobless claims for the latest week and nonfarm productivity for the first quarter will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Raphael Bostic is set to speak at 8:30 a.m. ET, while Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Neel Kashkari will speak at 12:00 p.m. ET. Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President Patrick Harker is set to speak at 4:00 p.m. ET.
The U.S. is now the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic with the highest number of cases and deaths around the world. Total COVID-19 cases in the U.S. exceeded 1,228,600 with around 73,430 deaths. Spain confirmed a total of over 220,320 cases, while Italy reported a total of at least 214,450 confirmed cases.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 330 points to 23,843 while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index futures traded rose 42.85 points to 2,876.25. Futures for the Nasdaq 100 index rose 139.25 points to 9,091.25.
Oil prices traded higher as Brent crude futures rose 4.1% to trade at $30.95 per barrel, while US WTI crude futures rose 5.6% to trade at $25.33 a barrel. The Energy Information Administration’s weekly report on natural gas stocks in underground storage is scheduled for release at 10:30 a.m. ET.
A Peek Into Global Markets
European markets were higher today, with the Spanish Ibex Index rising 0.4%, STOXX Europe 600 Index climbing 0.7% and German DAX 30 index gaining 0.9%. The UK's FTSE index was trading higher by 0.9%, while French CAC 40 Index rose 0.8%.
In Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.28%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.65%, China’s Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.23% and India’s BSE Sensex fell 0.7%.
Analysts at Cowen & Co. downgraded Ralph Lauren Corporation (NYSE: RL) from Outperform to Market Perform and lowered the price target from $88 to $76.
Ralph Lauren shares fell 1.7% to close at $71.13 on Wednesday.
- CommScope Holding Company, Inc. (NASDAQ: COMM) reported better-than-expected results for its first quarter.
- Fox Corp (NASDAQ: FOX) reported better-than-expected results for its third quarter on Wednesday.
- Paypal Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: PYPL) reported weaker-than-expected sales for its first quarter. The company announced plans to withdraw its fiscal year 2020 guidance.
- Becton, Dickinson and Company (NYSE: BDX) reported stronger-than-expected results for its second quarter. The company also withdrew its FY20 guidance.