The S&P futures are up 12 points in premarket hours as investors attempt to bounce back from an ugly selloff on Monday. Shares plunged yesterday on reports of rising U.S. COVID cases, uncertainty about Congressional stimulus before the election, and lofty tech valuations.
Let’s take a look at the numbers from Monday before we get into the headlines driving the futures market.
The Rundown: Today’s Top Market Stories
- We are now a week away from the 2020 Election, and I for one hate the fact that we are in the middle of a Pandemic because my local Costco (NASDAQ: COST) has run out of vodka. We are almost across the finish line to this dumpster fire of an election season. However, I’m increasingly worried that we will not know the official winner on the night of the election. In fact, we might not know the final results of the Presidential and Senate elections for up to several weeks. The longer this process goes on, the more uncertainty this market will face. I anticipate that there could a massive flight to quality (investors shifting out of risky assets) in mid-November if the election result has not been certified. Buckle up. November could be a very long month for the market.
- Today will be another busy earnings day for the markets. This morning, Caterpillar (CAT) reported earnings, and the numbers were a bit jarring. The firm reported a 54% decline in Q3 earnings due to falling equipment sales across the country. However, the company was able to squeak over an extremely low bar by topping Wall Street analysts’ expectations. CAT reported EPS of $1.34 on top of $9.9 billion in revenue. I’m digging deeper into other companies reporting today like MMM, JBLU, MSFT, MRK, AND ELY.
- Finally, it’s worth noting that JPMorgan Chase (JPM) has created a new business called Onyx. The 100-person business division will oversee the bank’s expansion into blockchain and digital currency platforms. The company says that its Onyx division will help process checks more efficiently. The company also announced that its JPM Coin will be used commercially by a large institutional tech client for the first time this week.
This morning, the key COVID story driving the market is the rising number of cases across the United States. According to Johns Hopkins University, the number of cases increased by 20% last week to a new daily high of 69.967. Total cases since the start of the outbreak have now surpassed 8.7 million, with the official death total registering above 225,000.
Today’s Top Stocks to Watch: AMZN, AIG, LVS
AMZN: Here comes an aggressive move by Amazon.com (AMZN). Ahead of the holiday shopping season, the eCommerce giant plans to hire 100,000 seasonal workers. The company will provide at least a minimum wage of $15, while full-time employees will earn health insurance and other benefits on the first day. Shares of AMZN stock are up 73.5% so far in 2020.
AIG: American International Group (AIG) reported a string of news after the bell on Monday. The company first announced it will spin off its life insurance business. It also announced that AIG President Peter Zaffino will replace current CEO Brian Duperreault on March 1, 2021. Shares of AIG gained 8% in morning trading. The company said that the spinoff of the life insurance business could take “a couple of years.” The business accounts for about 34% of its corporate revenue.
LVS: Life does not back to normal from COVID until after tourists flock back to Las Vegas. So, it is interesting to see the actions by Las Vegas Sands (LVS). The company will sell its Las Vegas casino properties in a deal for roughly $6 billion. The properties that are likely to be sold, according to CNBC, include the Venitian Resort Las Vegas, the Pallazo, and the Sands Expo Convention Center.