Trump, Covid-19, Caterpillar, Facebook: 5 Things You Must Know - TheStreet

Donald Trump, Covid-19, Caterpillar, Facebook - 5 Things You Must Know Monday

Stock futures rise on reports that President Trump could leave the hospital Monday; the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus nears 210,000; Facebook calls a breakup of Instagram and WhatsApp a 'nonstarter.'
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Here are five things you must know for Monday, Oct. 5:

1. -- Stock Futures Rise as Trump's Condition Said to Be Improving

Stock futures were higher Monday following reports that President Donald Trump was doing well and was free of worrying symptoms, and suggestions that he could leave the hospital Monday.

Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 191 points, S&P 500 futures gained 22 points and Nasdaq futures rose 107 points.

The president spent the weekend at Walter Reed Medical Center, recovering from Covid-19. While Trump's medical team was positive about his prognosis, some observers observers questioned the official details of Trump's health. Trump's blood oxygen level had dropped twice in recent days, and doctors had given him a steroid to treat his symptoms.

Renewed hopes for stimulus talks between House Democrats and the White House also were giving stock futures a boost.

Trump tweeted from the hospital over the weekend that “OUR GREAT USA WANTS & NEEDS STIMULUS.”

“WORK TOGETHER AND GET IT DONE. Thank you!” he added. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday that Trump's diagnosis "kind of changes the dynamic" of the stimulus discussions. 

Asked Sunday whether the tweet from Trump meant a coronavirus relief package was near, Pelosi responded, “No, it means that we want to see that they can agree on what we need to do to crush the virus.” 

Stocks ended lower Friday after Trump said he tested positive for the coronavirus and the U.S. added fewer jobs in September than forecast.

But the stock market finished the week higher: The Dow rose by 1.9%, and the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq each gained 1.5%.

2. -- Coronavirus - The Latest

The number of confirmed global deaths from Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, rose to 1.037 million, according to Johns Hopkins University. Confirmed cases of the virus across the world have risen to 35,165,808.

The U.S. death toll is 209,725, the most in the world and more than 20% of the global total. The number of infected people in the U.S. was 7,418,107.

Joe Biden, Donald Trump's Democratic challenger in next month's presidential election, tested negative for the coronavirus on Sunday. It's the second time Biden has been screened and cleared in three days, according to his campaign.

Senate Republicans said they won't be delaying Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Amy Coney Barrett despite three GOP senators contracting the virus. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the hearings would begin as scheduled Oct. 12, with some parts of it conducted remotely.

New York City this week will close non-essential businesses and schools in nine neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens that have seen a surge in virus infections, said Mayor Bill de Blasio. The plan still needs approval from the state.

3. -- Services Data Highlight's Monday's Calendar

The economic calendar in the U.S. Monday includes the PMI Composite Final for September at 9:45 a.m. ET and the ISM Services Index for September at 10 a.m.  

The earnings calendar is light Monday, but reports are expected later in the week from Domino's Pizza  (DPZ) - Get Report, Levi Strauss  (LEVI) - Get Report and Paychex  (PAYX) - Get Report.

4. -- Facebook Says Government Breakup of Instagram and WhatsApp a 'Nonstarter' 

A government effort to break up Facebook  (FB) - Get Report from Instagram and WhatsApp would cost billions of dollars and harm consumers, according to a 14-page document prepared by the social media giant's lawyers that was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

“A ‘breakup’ of Facebook is thus a complete nonstarter,” the paper said.

The paper was prepared as the government continues to pursue antitrust investigations into Facebook’s power and past competitive behavior, the Journal reported. The government also is probing other tech giants such as Alphabet's  (GOOGL) - Get Report Google, Amazon.com  (AMZN) - Get Report and Apple  (AAPL) - Get Report.

The House Antitrust Subcommittee is expected to release findings later in October of its investigation into Facebook and other companies.

Facebook is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS member club. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells FB? Learn more now.

5. -- Caterpillar to Acquire Weir's Oil and Gas Division

Caterpillar  (CAT) - Get Report reached an agreement to buy the oil and gas division of Scotland-based Weir Group for $405 million in cash.

The transaction, Caterpillar said, includes more than 40 Weir Oil & Gas manufacturing and services locations and about 2,000 employees.

The deal is expected to close by the end of 2020.