Coronavirus Spike, Dell, VMware, DraftKings - 5 Things You Must Know Wednesday

Stock futures slump as Arizona, Texas and California report new daily records of coronavirus infections; Dell considers a spinoff of its stake in VMware.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Here are five things you must know for Wednesday, June 24:

1. -- Stock Futures Slide on Spike in Coronavirus Cases

Stock futures were tumbling Wednesday as several U.S. states experienced severe spikes in new coronavirus cases.

With Arizona, Texas and California reporting new daily records of infections, investors were growing increasingly worried that plans to reopen stalled economies could be curtailed to slow the spread of the virus, slowing the pace of recovery.

Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 235 points, futures for the S&P 500 declined 24 points and Nasdaq futures slumped 42 points.

“The recent acceleration in infections has rekindled concern that governments will be forced to shut down their economies once again, squandering the chance for the much-hoped-for economic bounce back,” said Prakash Sapal, senior economist for ING.

Optimism over the prospects for an economic recovery as more businesses reopen has helped push Wall Street higher.

The S&P 500 rose 0.43% on Tuesday, putting it on pace for its third straight monthly gain, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq index closed at a record high.

2. -- Coronavirus - The Latest

The number of confirmed global cases of the coronavirus has risen to 9,273,773, according to the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering, and deaths increased to 447,643.

The U.S. has 2,347,102 cases of the coronavirus, the most in the world, according to Johns Hopkins CSSE. Deaths in the U.S. have risen to 121,225, also the most in the world.

According to Bloomberg, coronavirus cases in the U.S. rose by 1.6% on Tuesday, higher than the average daily increase of 1.3% the past seven days. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, who heads President Donald Trump's coronavirus task force, told lawmakers Tuesday that the rising infection and hospitalization trend was "disturbing," but said neither he nor his colleagues were asked to slow the pace of testing by White House officals.

Texas recorded more than 5,000 new cases in the past 24 hours, a record daily toll, according to Gov. Greg Abbott, who said he didn’t want to backtrack on reopening the state but urged residents to take greater precautions, saying people shouldn’t go out unless absolutely necessary.

“The safest place for you is at home,” Abbott said, The Wall Street Journal reported.

California also reported more than 5,000 new cases and hospitalizations in the state hit a record of 3,700.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee ordered residents to wear face masks in public. Positive tests of the virus rose 35% in the state last week. 

3. -- Dell Could Spin Off $50 Billion Stake in VMware

Dell Technologies  (DELL) - Get Report shares surged in premarket trading Wednesday on a report of a possible major restructuring that could include a spinoff of its stake in VMware  (VMW) - Get Report.

The stock jumped 17.02% to $57.35 and VMware shares rose 9.14% to $162.87

The Wall Street Journal reported that Dell was considering unloading its sizable stake in VMware, worth about $50 billion, but also also weighing an outright purchase of the cloud software company. Dell is the largest shareholder in VMware, with a stake of about 81%.

The companies have been working with outside advisers, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The review, the Journal said, was at an early stage and no decision was imminent. It's also possible Dell could choose to do nothing, the Journal noted.

4. -- Mortgages and Oil for Wednesday's Calendar

The economic calendar Wednesday includes mortgage applications from the Mortgage Bankers' Association for the week ended June 19 at 7 a.m. ET and oil inventories for the week ended June 19 at 10:30 a.m.

Earnings reports are expected Wednesday from BlackBerry  (BB) - Get Report, KB Home  (KBH) - Get Report and Winnebago  (WGO) - Get Report.

5. -- DraftKings Launches Casino App in New Jersey

DraftKings  (DKNG) - Get Report was rising 2% to $38.75 in premarket trading Wednesday after launching its standalone casino app in New Jersey.

The app will feature new games, plus revamped classics such as blackjack and roulette.

DraftKings said the casino app will also offer games from third-party providers including International Game Technology  (IGT) - Get Report, Slingo, Scientific Games  (SGMS) - Get Report.

“We are thrilled to break new ground for DraftKings in the gaming space with the launch of our DraftKings Casino app, the company's first perennial product that operates year-round irrespective of the annual sports schedules,” said Jason March, DraftKings’ vice president of gaming, in a statement.