Moderna, Coronavirus, Home Depot, Amazon, Expedia - 5 Things You Must Know Tuesday

Stock futures rise modestly as investors look to claw back losses from Monday's massive selloff on Wall Street that was spurred by the spreading coronavirus; Moderna ships a potential virus vaccine for human testing; Home Depot, Macy's and Salesforce report earnings.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Here are five things you must know for Tuesday, Feb. 25:

1. -- Stock Futures Post Slight Rebound After Massive Selloff

Stock futures were rising modestly Tuesday as investors looked to claw back losses from Monday's massive selloff on Wall Street, the worst in at least two years, amid fears the spreading coronavirus could tip the world economy into recession.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost more than 1,000 points Monday as major stock indexes were slammed on investor worries that the global spread of the coronavirus will impact economies outside of China. It was the third-worst daily point drop in the blue-chip index's history. The S&P 500 lost more than $920 billion in value in a session that wiped away nearly all of Wall Street's year-to-date gains and pushed 30-year bond yields to a record low of 1.811%.

Flight-to-quality trades are being favored over risky investments as analysts cut forecasts for global growth and data show worrying declines in both manufacturing and service sector activity in major economies around the world. 

The market's principal concern - the spread of the coronavirus - also has yet to abate, with confirmed cases around the world topping 80,200 and the death toll rising to more than 2,700, most of which are centered around Wuhan, the Chinese city where the outbreak was first identified in late December. 

The World Health Organization said the disease hasn't evolved into a global pandemic, despite cases being found in Italy, Britain and the United States.

Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 97 points, S&P 500 futures gained 11.45 points and Nasdaq futures rose 52.25 points.

2. -- Home Depot, Macy's and Salesforce Report Earnings

Home Depot  (HD) - Get Report posted stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings and reiterated its full-year earnings forecast as same-store sales topped forecasts for the period.

Fourth-quarter earnings at Macy's  (M) - Get Report were stronger than expected and the retailer repeated its full-year profit guidance, thanks in part to a "meaningful sales uptick" in the pre-Christmas period.

Earnings reports are also expected Tuesday from Salesforce.com  (CRM) - Get Report, Caesars Entertainment  (CZR) - Get Report, Virgin Galactic  (SPCE) , Planet Fitness  (PLNT) - Get Report, RealReal  (REAL) - Get Report, Toll Brothers  (TOL) - Get Report and WW International  (WW) - Get Report

Home Depot and Salesforce are holdings in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS member club. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells HD and CRM? Learn more now.

The economic calendar in the U.S. Tuesday includes the S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index for December at 9 a.m. ET, the FHFA House Price Index for December at 9 a.m. and Consumer Confidence for February at 10 a.m.

3. -- Moderna Ships Coronavirus Vaccine for Testing

Moderna  (MRNA) - Get Report shares were rising more than 19% in premarket trading Tuesday after the drugmaker shipped vials of a potential coronavirus vaccine to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, Md. for testing.

The NIAID is expected to launch by the end of April the first human tests of whether the experimental shot could protect against the coronavirus infection.

If a trial on 20 to 25 healthy volunteers starts as planned in April, it would be about three months from vaccine design to human testing. With the SARS outbreak in China in 2002 it took about 20 months for NIAID to get a vaccine into the first stage of human testing, NIAID Director Anthony Fauci told The Wall Street Journal in an interview. 

“Going into a Phase One trial within three months of getting the sequence is unquestionably the world indoor record. Nothing has ever gone that fast,” Fauci said.

The stock jumped 19.69% to $22.25 in premarket trading.

4. -- Amazon's Go Grocery Opens Tuesday in Seattle

Amazon.com's  (AMZN) - Get Report first cashierless grocery - Amazon Go Grocery - is set to open Tuesday in Seattle.

Amazon has been working on the full-size grocery store since 2015. The store, at 10,400 square feet, is modeled after a standard Amazon Go location where no human interaction is required.

“You’re seeing a lot of big strides in [this] store,” Cameron Janes, vice president of Amazon’s physical retail division, told CNBC during a tour of the grocery store. “Produce is a big example of that.”

“We’re just getting started here,” he said.

"I think what we’re trying to do here - and with all of our physical stores - is really work backwards from the customer, and deliver some differentiation,” Janes told CNBC.

Amazon Go Grocery will be stocked with 5,000 different products, from produce to meats to wines and beer.

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

5. -- Expedia to Cut 3,000 Jobs

Travel company Expedia Group  (EXPE) - Get Report will cut about 3,000 employees, or 12% of its workforce, according to a report from Geekwire.

In an email sent to staff Monday, unnamed executives from Expedia's “Travel Leadership Team” said the company had been “pursuing growth in an unhealthy and undisciplined way.

"Today, we are announcing our intent to reduce and eliminate certain projects, activities, teams, and roles to streamline and focus our organization," the email said, according to Geekwire.

About 500 jobs will be cut at Expedia's Seattle headquarters.

Expedia didn't mention in the email the job cuts were related to the spread of the coronavirus but did forecast last week a $30 million to $40 million hit to earnings from the outbreak.