1. Dow futures rise after Monday’s nosedive
Dow futures pointed to a 100 point gain at Tuesday’s open after the Dow Jones Industrial Average led a huge down day on Wall Street as new daily coronavirus cases spiked and talks between Democrats and the White House on reaching a fiscal stimulus deal before Election Day stalled once again. The final votes in the 2020 presidential race will be cast in exactly one week.
The Dow on Monday sank 650 points, or nearly 2.3%, closing below 28,000 in its biggest one-day drop since Sept. 3. The 30-stock blue chip average had plunged as much as 965 points, or 3.4%, during Monday’s session. The government on Tuesday is out with September durable goods orders at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists expect a 0.4% increase after a 0.5% rise in August.
2. Four Dow stocks report earnings
A busy week of earnings releases started Tuesday morning, with three Dow stocks, 3M, Caterpillar and Merck, as well as JetBlue, Pfizer and Eli Lilly, out before the bell. Microsoft, also one of the 30 Dow components, reports quarterly results after the closing bell.
- Shares of 3M rose in the premarket after the industrial giant reported better-than-expected adjusted third-quarter earnings of $2.43 per share. Revenue of $8.35 billion also beat estimates on strong sales of personal-safety and health equipment.
- Caterpillar shares fell in the premarket after the company reported a 54% drop in earnings in the third quarter as equipment sales declined across all regions and segments. However, Caterpillar did beat estimates with adjusted earnings per-share of $1.34 and revenue of $9.9 billion.
- Shares of JetBlue rose in the premarket after the airline reported a smaller-than-expected third-quarter adjusted loss of $1.75 per share. Revenue of $492 million, while down 76% as air travel slumped in the pandemic, was better than analysts had expected. JetBlue sees an average daily cash burn of $4 million to $6 million in the fourth quarter after a burn of $6.1 million per day in the third.
- Merck shares increased in the premarket after the drug company beat estimates with third-quarter adjusted earnings of $1.74 per share and with revenue of $12.55 billion. Merck raised its full-year earnings forecast, driven by resilient demand for its blockbuster cancer therapy Keytruda.
- Shares of Pfizer rose in the premarket after the drugmaker issued mixed third-quarter results, beating estimates with adjusted earnings of 72 cents per share but missing on revenue of $12.13 billion. Pfizer also said its late-stage coronavirus vaccine trial has enrolled more than 42,000 volunteers.
- Eli Lilly shares dropped in the premarket after the company missed estimates with adjusted third-quarter earnings of $1.54 per share and with revenue of $5.74 billion. Lilly blamed increased costs to develop Covid-19 treatments and lower demand for some its medicines.
3. Eli Lilly’s antibody drug study ends early
A government study of Eli Lilly’s antibody drug for people hospitalized with Covid-19 ended early. The study was paused two weeks ago due to a possible safety issue. But on Monday, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which sponsored the study, said a closer look did not verify a safety problem but found a low chance of benefit. President Donald Trump‘s Covid-19 was treated with a similar experimental, two-antibody drug from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.
The seven-day average of new daily coronavirus cases in the U.S., as of Monday, reached a record of 68,767. With the fall holidays of Halloween and Thanksgiving approaching, the U.S. has now established its third peak of daily new cases with no signs of letting up. The seven-day average was up more than 22% compared with a week ago, according to a CNBC analysis of Johns Hopkins University data. Last Friday, new Covid cases in the U.S. hit a single-day all-time high of 83,757. Saturday’s infections nearly matched that level.
4. Barrett confirmed as Supreme Court justice
Amy Coney Barrett, the president’s pick to replace the late liberal justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, is expected to start work Tuesday as the newest member of the Supreme Court. The conservative 48-year-old federal appeals court judge was confirmed by the full Senate on Monday in a largely partisan 52-48 vote. She later took the first of two required oaths at an event at White House. Chief Justice John Roberts will administer the second oath Tuesday in a private ceremony. Barrett’s elevation to the nation’s highest court, which Democrats unsuccessfully fought to postpone until after the election, cements the conservative majority at 6-3.
5. Biden goes to states Trump won in 2016
With seven days to go until Election Day, Joe Biden is pushing into states that Trump had once been expected to win again. Biden on Tuesday goes to Georgia, which hasn’t backed a Democrat for president since 1992. Later in the week, the Democratic presidential nominee travels to Iowa, a state Trump won by 10 points in 2016. Biden’s running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, has stops in Arizona and Texas, where Republicans haven’t lost any statewide office since 1994. Trump is staying focused on blue states that he flipped in 2016 such as Michigan and Pennsylvania. He returns to Wisconsin on Tuesday, hitting West Salem just three days after holding a rally in Janesville.
— The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.
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