American Airlines, Hong Kong, Twitter - 5 Things You Must Know Thursday

Stock futures are mixed; Chinese lawmakers endorse a security law for Hong Kong; American Airlines plans to cut management and support staff by about 30%.
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Here are five things you must know for Thursday, May 28:

1. -- Stock Futures Mixed as Tension Rises Between Washington and Beijing

Stock futures suggested Wall Street would open mixed Thursday after Chinese lawmakers endorsed a national security law for Hong Kong, heightening tensions between the U.S. and China.

The measure and the way it is being enacted prompted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to announce Wednesday that Hong Kong was no longer politically autonomous from China. President Donald Trump said he would respond strongly to the measure, perhaps imposing certain trade barriers.

Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 131 points, futures for the S&P 500 were up 4 points and Nasdaq futures fell 27 points.

Stocks finished higher Wednesday and the S&P 500 closed over 3,000 points for the first time since early March.

The Dow finished up 553 points, or 2.21%, to 25,548, the S&P 500 gained 1.48% and the Nasdaq rose 0.77%.

The rally on Wall Street this week comes even as the U.S. topped 100,000 deaths from the coronavirus, the most in the world.

2. -- GDP, Jobless Claims and Costco Earnings Are Thursday's Highlights

The economic calendar Thursday includes the second estimate for first-quarter GDP at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists don't expect revisions from the 4.8% contraction in the first estimate.

The calendar also includes weekly Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m. - economists expect 2.05 million Americans to have filed for first-time unemployment benefits in the week ended May 23 vs. 2.4 million in the previous week. 

Durable Goods Orders and Oil Inventories for the week ended May 22 also are scheduled Thursday.

Earnings reports are expected Thursday from Costco  (COST) - Get Report, Dollar General  (DG) - Get Report, Dollar Tree  (DLTR) - Get Report, Salesforce.com  (CRM) - Get Report, Dell Technologies  (DELL) - Get Report, Marvell Technology  (MRVL) - Get Report, Nio  (NIO) - Get Report and GameStop  (GME) - Get Report.

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3. -- American Airlines Plans Cuts of 30% to Management and Support Staff

American Airlines  (AAL) - Get Report plans to cut its management and support staff by about 30% to slash costs as the coronavirus pandemic has severely curtailed air travel.

The airline must “plan for operating a smaller airline for the foreseeable future,” Executive Vice President of People and Global Engagement Elise Eberwein said in a letter to employees, Reuters reported.

American will offer voluntary options to its 100,000 employees before implementing involuntary reductions if there aren't enough takers.

Once American reduces its management ranks, the airline will turn to frontline employees including flight attendants and pilots, who will receive fresh voluntary leave and early retirement options in June with the goal of avoiding involuntary furloughs, Reuters reported.

United Airlines  (UAL) - Get Report also has said it plans management cuts of 30%.

All major U.S. airlines have said they will need to shrink in the fall, once U.S. government payroll aid that bans involuntary job cuts expires on Sept. 30, Reuters noted.

4. -- Boeing Lays Off Thousands, Resumes 737 MAX Production

Boeing  (BA) - Get Report shares were rising 4% in premarket trading Thursday to $155.50 after the aerospace giant said it would cut thousands of jobs and resume production of its troubled 737 MAX jet.

Boeing announced it was cutting roughly 6,770 involuntary layoffs among U.S. employees, while a further 5,520 had been approved for voluntary severance packages and will leave over the next few weeks.

Boeing announced it was cutting 6,770 jobs, citing the Covid-19 pandemic’s “devastating impact on the airline industry,” while another 5,520 employees have been approved for voluntary severance packages.

"The Covid-19 pandemic's devastating impact on the airline industry means a deep cut in the number of commercial jets and services our customers will need over the next few years, which in turn means fewer jobs on our lines and in our offices," Boeing said. 

Separately, The 737 Max was grounded in March of 2019 after two fatal crashes blamed on its control systems. The company is still awaiting Federal Aviation Administration certification to allow the aircraft to resume flying.

Boeing said the resumption of 737 MAX production has begun “at a low rate” and the program gradually will ramp up production through the year. Boeing halted production in January, even before the pandemic brought global travel to a standstill.

The 737 MAX has been grounded since March 2019 following two fatal crashes blamed on its control systems. The company is still awaiting Federal Aviation Administration certification to allow the aircraft to resume flying.

5. -- Trump Plans Executive Order on Social Media Companies

President Donald Trump plans to sign an executive order pertaining to social media companies on Thursday, according to the White House.

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters that Trump will sign the order on Thursday, but didn't provide any specific details about the order.

Trump has feuded with Twitter  (TWTR) - Get Report this week over the company's decision to fact-check earlier tweets from Trump's account which baselessly claimed that mail-in voting will lead to mass fraud and illegal activity. Trump also been pushing a debunked conspiracy theory involving a high-profile media critic, Joe Scarborough of MSNBC, in recent days.

Following the fact-check, Trump threatened to take "big action" against Twitter, also suggesting he could "strongly regulate" the company or "close them down."

It's unclear what specific powers Trump would have to regulate individual social media companies, but both Trump and GOP lawmakers have also complained of what they view as censorship or unfair treatment by social platforms such as Twitter and Facebook  (FB) - Get Report.