Dow Futures Are Up, for Now, in Choppy Trading After Historic Plunge

Get ready for another volatile day of trading on Wall Street.

The stock market appears ready to open in the green Tuesday after suffering its worst trading day in more than 30 years. But any early gains, however small, should not be taken for granted. Stock futures swung wildly in and out of positive territory Monday evening and into early Tuesday morning, even hitting “limit up” along the way.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were modestly higher, up 202 points, or 1.0%, after falling nearly 3,000 points Monday. Futures for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite were up 1.0% and 1.6%, respectively. Oil was up 1.7% but still trading below $30 a barrel.

Markets overseas have been moving hard as well. Australia’s S&P/ASX 100 saw the biggest jump in Asia, rising nearly 6%. The Hang Seng rose over 1% while the Nikkei 225 closed modestly higher.

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Early gains in Europe, however, quickly dissipated. The Stoxx Europe 600 slumped nearly 3%, but recovered for a loss of about 1.4%.

“Disrupted supply chains didn’t miraculously get fixed this morning, nor did airplanes suddenly take flight, and neither has the ability of businesses and households to meet loan payments in the near term improved,” said Stephen Innes, global chief markets strategist at AxiCorp.

The White House aims to deploy at least $800 billion in aid in the coming weeks to prop up the U.S. economy, according to Politico.

French President Emmanuel Macron said that starting on Tuesday, people would be allowed to leave the place they live only for necessary activities. All electricity, gas, and rental bills will be suspended as part of a package estimated to be worth €300 billion.

France also enacted a one-day short-selling ban on 92 stocks that dropped sharply on Monday.

The European Union is expected to enact a travel ban for foreigners.

The pandemic continues to hamstring U.S, businesses. Many are slashing their financial forecasts or closing stores. Some are appealing for relief from the government.

McDonald’s (ticker: MCD) shares were up 1.2% premarket after management said that it can’t quite estimate the impact the coronavirus will have on its business. It said it is considering rent deferrals for franchisees.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN) saw shares climb 7.8% after saying that it expects to begin trials for its coronavirus drug early this summer.

Exxon Mobi l (XOM) shares advanced 1.2%. It said Monday that it is looking to “significantly reduce spending” in light of the coronavirus pandemic and low oil prices. Its debt rating was cut by S&P Global on Monday.

Boeing (BA) shares were 1.2% higher as well. It was reported by The Wall Street Journal that the plane manufacturer has been speaking with White House officials about getting financial aid for itself and its suppliers. The relief would be part of a broader package for the airline industry, with ailing airlines seeking a financial package of more than $50 billion, including some tax rebates.

Write to Carleton English at carleton.english@dowjones.com

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