US markets will be in focus today, with stocks closing lower in the previous session after recording gains for two consecutive weeks.
Context: Stocks closed lower on Monday, with the crash in oil futures overshadowing optimism around the country’s plans to ease lockdown restrictions. Investors were also expecting a further stimulus plan for small businesses from the government.
Details: Crude oil prices plummeted on Monday, with the WTI crude for May delivery tumbling more than 300% to settle in negative territory for the first time in its history. The May contract, which expires today, settled at -$37.63 per barrel on the NYMEX (New York Mercantile Exchange).
Investors shrugged off positive news of coronavirus infections peaking in various parts of the world, and countries reopening their economies. The delay in funding by the US government for small businesses also hurt market sentiment.
The Dow dipped 592 points to close at 23,650 on Monday, while the S&P 500 fell 1.8% to 2,823. The Nasdaq 100 fell 1.2% to end at 8,560.73, after trading in positive territory for most of the session.
Shares of tech behemoth IBM slipped more than 3% in after-hours trading after the company reported downbeat quarterly sales. Halliburton reported upbeat earnings for its first quarter.
What to watch: Investors will be monitoring daily coronavirus numbers. The number of positive COVID-19 cases in the US has surpassed 787,900 with around 42,360 deaths. The total number of positive coronavirus cases globally is now close to 2.5 million, with 170,390 fatalities.
US stocks are expected to continue the downward momentum today, with stock futures pointing towards a lower start. Markets await the release of earnings reports from various major companies and data on existing home sales today. Sales of existing homes, which rose 6.5% in March, are expected to fall 9% in April, at an annualized rate of 5.3 million.
Other Markets: European indices were trading lower at 9:00am GMT, with the FTSE 100, German 30 and French 40 down by 1.7%, 1.8% and 1.8%, respectively.