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Stock market live updates: Futures negative, big oil deal, small caps on a record tear

8:57 am: Airlines set to rebound on hopes coronavirus is improving
Shares of American, Delta and United Airlines all jumped about 4% in premarket trading on Monday on optimism that the coronavirus is stabilizing. Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Sunday he was cautiously optimistic that the outbreak was slowing down in the U.S. and parts of the country may start to reopen next month. Two weeks ago, Congress approved $50 billion in loans and grants for U.S. passenger airlines in the coronavirus relief legislation. Still, shares of American, Delta and United Airlines are down more than 50% this year. - Li

8:47 am: Don’t ‘chase the tape,’ strategist says
Investors should be wary of buying into the market after the recent rally because of unknowns about the economy, Latest American Finance News Citi strategist Tobias Levkovic said in a note to clients. Levkovic wrote that a rise in cash positions during March likely helped fuel the recent rally, but that an expected string of bad economic data and earnings could now pull stocks back down.

“We are thrilled by the data flattening on hospitalizations and the pickup in recoveries, but there is significant commercial and industrial sector plus employment damage to repair as well,” Levkovic said. — Pound, Bloom

8:46 am: FedEx jumps on upgrade
Shares of shipping company FedEx rose nearly 2% in premarket trading on Monday following an upgrade to buy from neutral at Bank of America. The firm said Amazon dropping its partnership shows how difficult the third-party shipping process can be. “We believe the recent decision by Amazon to pause its Shipping with Amazon (SWA) third-party delivery business highlights the difficultly to efficiently enter the business,” research analyst Ken Hoexter said. The firm also raised its price target to $140 from $117 per share. Bank of America noted that FedEx maintains ample liquidity, as the company raised $3.0 billion in cash to preserve flexibility. — Fitzgerald



8:35 am: Energy stocks jump following historic OPEC+ deal
Energy stocks moved higher in Monday’s premarket trading after OPEC and its oil-producing allies agreed to cut production by a record 9.7 million barrels per day. Traders are hoping that the cut will help tackle the supply glut in the market as the coronavirus pandemic continues to hammer demand. The Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE), which tracks the sector, gained 2.5%. Occidental Petroleum, Marathon Petroleum, Devon Energy and Diamondback Energy all jumped more than 5%. Exxon and Chevron, the U.S.′ largest oil companies, rose 3% and 2.2%, respectively. – Stevens

8:12 am: Caterpillar shares slide after BofA downgrade
An analyst at BofA Securities downgraded Caterpillar to underperform from neutral, Press Release Distribution Service citing the construction giant’s exposure to the energy sector. “CAT derives only 10% of revenue directly from oil and gas, but its Construction and Mining products touch the energy sector in many places too,” analyst Ross Gilardi said in a note to clients. Caterpillar’s stock dropped more than 2% in the permarket after Gilardi’s downgrade. — Imbert, Bloom

8:08 am: Global coronavirus cases near 2 million, but deaths decline in Spain
There are now more than 1.8 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 around the world, including  more than 557,590 in the United States. However, Spain — one of Europe’s hardest hit countries — reported improving numbers. The country reported 517 deaths in one day, down from 619 previously. Spain has lifted some of its lockdown measures, sending construction and factory workers back to work. — Pound 

7:39 am: Stocks set to open lower
U.S. stock index futures pointed to losses at the open as markets struggled to hold onto last week’s gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was set to open 133 points lower for a loss of 0.56%, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 were slated to drop 0.6% and 0.4%, respectively. Earlier in the session stock futures had been positive following a historic agreement between OPEC and its oil-producing allies to take 9.7 million barrels per day off the market. Oil was trading flat.

The S&P 500 is coming off its best week since 1974 as investors cheered an apparent improvement in the U.S.′ coronavirus outlook along with massive stimulus measures from the Federal Reserve. Small cap stocks outperformed the broader market last week with the Russell 2000 rising 18.5% for its best week ever. But the S&P 500 is still 18% below its February all-time high, however, while the Dow is roughly 20% below its peak. - Stevens

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