Stock futures jumped in early morning trading Tuesday as investors grew more optimistic about the COVID-19 outlook while bracing for the start of a corporate earnings season that will for most companies reveal heavy damage from the COVID-19 pandemic.
At 8:30 a.m. ET, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 367 points, pointing to an opening gain of about 400 points. S&P 500 futures pointed to a gain of about 1.5% while Nasdaq futures implied an opening rally of nearly 2%.
“When you look at the facts, I think there’s reason to be more hopeful than we have been,” CNBC’s Jim Cramer said. “The worst-case scenario’s been taken off the table, and if Apple and Google can do contact tracing that we all embrace … while we continue to roll out more testing, the economy could reopen a lot sooner than we thought even, say, three weeks ago.”
President Donald Trump said in a press conference Monday that growth in new coronavirus infections stabilized, providing “clear evidence” that mitigation is working in the country.
“Financial markets have started to take a more positive view of the outlook,” said Jan Hatzius, chief economist at Goldman Sachs, in a note. “The initial improvement was mostly policy-driven, but the greater optimism of the past week seems to be at least partly related to the virus itself. ”
MacDailyNews Take: In pre-market trading, Apple is flirting with $280 as COVID-19 outlook improves. One year ago, Apple shares traded at $196.66. In other words, Apple is up over $80 YoY during a global pandemic. Ah, the strength of having a mountain of cash on hand for emergencies!
Again, the sooner we can all get back to work, in relative safety*, the better.
*Nothing is perfect on this rock. We need both a functioning economy and COVID-19 mitigation to coexist as best as humanly possible. This is not an “either/or” issue, this is a “how do we do both the best we possibly can.” We need a nuanced pre-vaccine mitigation plan – social distancing, masks, work from home as much as possible, no handshakes, frequent hand washing, hand sanitizer everywhere, travel limits, etc. – for when this temporary lockdown ends, as it must, many months before a vaccine is available.