JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Tesla, Roku, Coronavirus - 5 Things You Must Know Tuesday

Stock futures rise; earnings season begins with reports from JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Johnson & Johnson; President Trump says he hopes to reopen the U.S. economy 'ahead of schedule.'
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Here are five things you must know for Tuesday, April 14:

1. -- Stock Futures Rise as Earnings Season Begins

Stock futures were rising Tuesday as investors prepared for an earnings season clouded by uncertainties caused by the coronavirus pandemic's upending of the global economy.

Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 307 points, futures for the S&P 500 gained 30 points and Nasdaq futures were up 120 points.

As the big U.S. banks get earnings season started, the focus will not be so much on the quarter just ended but on what companies say they are expecting for the rest of 2020. However, many companies already have pulled guidance for the year, explaining that the coronavirus pandemic and the damage it has done to the global economy make it hard to present reliable forecasts.

“The companies don’t know what demand is going to be over the next three months or over the next six months,” said Willie Delwiche, investment strategist at Baird.

Asian shares rose Tuesday following better-than-expected trade data from China.

Stocks in the U.S. ended mixed Monday as Wall Street came off a stellar rally last week that was spurred by the Federal Reserve's plan to pump more than $2.3 trillion into the economy.

The Dow fell 329 points, or 1.4%, to 23,390, the S&P 500 declined 1.01% but the Nasdaq finished with a gain of 0.48%.

2. -- JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Johnson & Johnson Report Earnings

JPMorgan Chase  (JPM) - Get Report reported lower-than-expected first-quarter earnings as coronavirus-related charges trimmed the bottom line of the biggest U.S. lender.

JPMorgan said first-quarter earnings were 78 cents a share, down nearly 63% from the same period last year.

Corporate and investment banking charges topped $951 million for the quarter, while a near $900 million charge linked to a program of inter-company bridge loans lowered its first-quarter earnings by 22 cents. It also boosted its capital buffer, which cushions the bank against potential losses, in order to absorb an $8.3 billion wave of credit losses.

"The first quarter delivered some unprecedented challenges and required us to focus on what we as a bank could do - outside of our ordinary course of business - to remain strong,resilient and well-positioned to support all of our stakeholders," said CEO Jamie Dimon.

Johnson & Johnson  (JNJ) - Get Report posted stronger-than-expected first-quarter earnings but trimmed its full-year profit guidance amid the coronavirus pandemic.

J&J said it sees full-year earnings of between $7.50 and $9.50 a share, down from a prior forecast of $9 to $9.15 a share.

Johnson & Johnson also said it would pay a quarterly dividend of $1.01 a share, a 6.3% increase from its previous payout. 

 Wells Fargo also is scheduled to report quarterly earnings on Tuesday.

JPMorgan Chase and Johnson & Johnson are holdings in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS member club. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells the stocks? Learn more now.

The economic calendar in the U.S. on Tuesday includes Import and Export Prices for March at 8:30 a.m. ET.

3. -- Coronavirus - The Latest

The number of confirmed global cases of the coronavirus has risen to 1,924,878, according to the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering, and deaths increased to 119,766.

The U.S. has 582,594 cases of the coronavirus, the most in the world, according to Johns Hopkins CSSE. Deaths in the U.S. have risen to 23,649, also the most in the world.

President Donald Trump vowed in a press briefing on Monday that he hopes to reopen the country “ahead of schedule,” adding his administration would issue guidance within days for governors who want to begin relaxing social-distancing practices. Trump added he has the “total” authority to decide how and when to reopen the economy.

However, the governors of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware,  Rhode Island and Massachusetts said they would coordinate their actions on reopening businesses. The governors of California, Oregon and Washington announced a similar agreement. 

“The house is still on fire,” said New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on a conference call with reporters. “We still have to put the fire out, but we do have to begin putting in the pieces of the puzzle that we know we’re going to need ... to make sure this doesn’t reignite.”

4. -- Tesla Asks Landlords for Rent Reductions 

Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Report has sought rent reductions from some of its landlords as it looks to preserve cash after the electric car company's operations were stalled by the coronavirus outbreak, The Wall Street Journal reported.

“The rapid world pandemic that is now affecting our country has led Tesla to make strategic decisions to ensure the company’s long term success and growth,” read an email the company sent to landlords that was reviewed by the Journal. “As a result of the increasing restrictions on our ability to conduct business, we would like to inform you that we will be reducing our monthly rent obligations effective immediately.”

Tesla last week said it would cut salaries by as much as 30% and also furlough some of its U.S. workers after it was forced to wind down production.

U.S. employees at Tesla who hold director and vice president-level roles and above will see pay reductions of 20% to 30%, and "everyone else" will receive a pay cut of 10%, according to an internal email.

5. -- Roku Says Streaming Hours Jump During Quarantine

Roku  (ROKU) - Get Report said it expects the coronavirus pandemic to boost its results for the first quarter as shelter-in-place orders boosted streaming hours.

Roku said it added nearly 3 million new users in the first quarter, higher than analysts' forecasts, and posted total streaming hours of 13.2 billion, 49% more than a year earlier.

The company attributed the growth in new accounts and increased viewing to shelter-in-place orders.

“Consumers are turning to Roku now more than ever. As the leading TV streaming platform in the U.S., Roku is proud to provide easy access to live news, free movies and TV, great paid content, and helpful programming for individuals and families who are sheltering at home,” said Roku CEO Steve Louden in a statement.

Roku withdrew its guidance for 2020 "due to economic uncertainties arising from the Covid-19 pandemic." 

The stock was rising 12.84% to $108.96 in premarket trading.