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MarketWatch MarketPulseApr 03, 2020
W.R. Grace sees Q1 profit at high end of guidance, including negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic
Shares of W.R. Grace & Co. were indicated up a little over 1% in premarket trading Friday, after the specialty chemicals company said it expects first-quarter adjusted earnings per share to be at the high end of the guidance range of 65 cents to 72 cents provided in early February. The company said its outlook included a negative EPS impact of about 6 cents to 10 cents from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company is expected to report first-quarter earnings on April 30. W.R. Grace said it expects its full-year results to be negatively impacted by the pandemic, but said its manufacturing operations and supply chain have so far not been materially impacted. "Our businesses are designated as critical infrastructure by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security," said Chief Executive Hudson La Force. "Our global manufacturing footprint, strategic flexibility and strong business continuity plans position us to remain a reliable technology supplier to our customers." The company said it has not drawn on its revolving credit facility as it still has "ample" liquidity, and remains "fully committed" to maintaining its dividend. Meanwhile, the company suspended its share repurchase program in March. The stock has lost about half its value (down 51.3%) year to date, while the S&P 500 has declined 21.8%.

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CNBC FinanceApr 03, 2020
Stock market live updates: Dow futures down 130, worst jobs report in a decade, oil surging again
U.S. stock futures traded lower ahead of the release of the latest monthly jobs report.

MarketWatchApr 03, 2020
NewsWatch: The U.S. officially lost 701,000 jobs in March, but in reality millions vanished
The U.S. lost 701,000 jobs in March, the government's employment official scorecard showed, but the real losses were much greater: At least 10 million jobs and counting as the coronavirus bore down on the economy.

Yahoo BusinessApr 03, 2020
Trump Push for OPEC Deal to Cut Oil Supply Draws Disbelief
(Bloomberg) -- With just one tweet, U.S. President Donald Trump conjured up the prospect of a global oil alliance to rescue the industry from the worst shock in history. The question is whether it evaporates just as quickly.After the president's social-media intervention on Thursday, oil traders are frantically assessing whether Saudi Arabia, Russia and possibly even the U.S. -- the world's three biggest producers -- are poised to strike a once-unthinkable grand bargain to cut daily supplies in unison by 10 million to 15 million barrels.It's unclear whether it's feasible -- or even legal -- for such a coalition to come together. Or indeed whether it would be enough to tame the tsunami of unwanted crude now bearing down on world markets, which could be two to three times bigger than the cut touted by Trump."It's too little, too late," said Ed Morse, head of commodities research at Citigroup Inc. "Cuts are required immediately, and unless they happen, the price is going to go down significantly and force them to happen."There's no doubt that the industry could benefit from some intervention. With global oil demand slashed roughly a third by the coronavirus pandemic, a gusher of surplus crude threatens to overwhelm the world's storage tanks in a matter of months. The meltdown is exacerbated by the dispute between Moscow and Riyadh, prompting the Gulf kingdom to push unprecedented volumes of crude at customers in a tussle for market share.Texas Two-StepTrump's claim that the two belligerents are ready to end their price

MarketWatch MarketPulseApr 03, 2020
European stocks open lower as global coronavirus cases top one million
European stocks slipped and U.S. equity futures pointed to a weaker session on Friday, as investors braced for more bad news on the American job front and coronavirus cases worldwide topped one million. The Stoxx Europe 600 index dropped 0.4%, alongside a similar loss for the German DAX 30 index , while the FTSE 100 index fell 0.7%. After a positive session for Wall Street on Thursday, Dow Jones Industrial Averages futures fell 181 points, or 0.9%, to 21,077. S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures eased around 0.8%. Oil prices pared back some of Thursday's gains that saw West Texas Intermediate crude jump nearly 25% and Brent crude climb 21%. Those contracts were off 1.7% and 0.3% respectively. Oil's rally was sparked by a tweet from President Donald Trump who predicted Saudi Arabia and Russia would agree to significantly cut oil production. Investors are waiting for March nonfarm payrolls data from the U.S., after data Thursday showed a record 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment claims due to shutdowns from the coronavirus outbreak.

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European stocks sink as pandemic hits business, oil prices grind higher (Yahoo Business)

MarketWatch MarketPulseApr 03, 2020
Dow futures pare loss but hang lower after Friday jobs report for March shows a stunning 701,000 losses
U.S. stock-index futures on Friday were trading lower, briefly adding to losses on the session, after a report on the state of jobs for the month came in much worse than expected, already revealing early impacts of business closures due to the coronavirus outbreak. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were off 72 points, or 0.3%, at 21,192, those for the S&P 500 index were down 0.3% at 2,508, while Nasdaq-100 futures were falling 0.4% lower at 7,599. indicating a lower start for the Nasdaq Composite Index . The grim report shows that unemployment jumped to 4.4% from 3.5% in February and comes after a report on jobless claims on Thursday hit a record 6.6 million for the week. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected losses of 83,000 for March. The reported decline in employment was the biggest in 11 years and one of the largest ever, but it's going to get dwarfed by the job losses in April. In reality, given the past jobless claims report, total unemployment is closer to 10 million, which would represent an unemployment rate of around 10%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulseApr 03, 2020
Treasury yields extend drop after U.S. economy sheds 701,000 jobs
Treasury yields extended their decline on Friday after data showed the U.S. economy lost 701,000 jobs in March. Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast an 82,000 decline but warned that the report would be unlikely to fully capture the scope of job losses. The 10-year Treasury note yield fell 4.5 basis points to 0.582%. The 2-year note yield was virtually unchanged at 0.227%. The 30-year bond yields slipped 3.7 basis points to 1.231%. The unemployment rate rose to 4.4%, from 3.5%. Companies and businesses across the U.S. are laying off workers as policy makers lock down the economy to contain the COVID-19 outbreak

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MarketWatchApr 03, 2020
Metals Stocks: Gold bounces around as investors key in on Friday's jobs report
Gold futures on Friday swing between small gains and losses as investors watch for a report on the labor-market condition in March, which is may offer some clues about the state of American jobs even if it doesn't entirely reveal the extent of the damage of coronavirus business shutdowns.

Yahoo BusinessApr 03, 2020
Luckin Coffee Scandal Deals New Blow to Corporate China
(Bloomberg) -- The fallout from Luckin Coffee Inc.'s accounting scandal is spreading far beyond the high-flying Starbucks challenger, with renewed concerns about Chinese corporate governance dragging down stocks across industries and threatening to bring a halt to the country's overseas initial public offerings.The Xiamen-based company's announcement that its chief operating officer and some underlings may have fabricated billions of yuan in sales cast doubt on what was supposed to be one of China's fastest-growing companies. Luckin Coffee shares plunged as much as 81% in U.S. trading and CAR Inc., a rental company founded by Luckin Coffee's chairman, sank 54% in Hong Kong. Popular short-selling targets including Anta Sports Products Ltd. also slumped.Doubts over financial reporting have for years dogged Chinese stocks listed in the U.S. and Hong Kong, two exchanges frequently picked by company founders to raise new funds. And while China just recently changed regulation to punish instances of financial fraud onshore, the penalties remain negligible. Just last year, one of China's largest listed drug makers said it overstated cash holdings by more than $4.3 billion."After the Luckin incident, investors will be more careful when investing in Chinese companies that have a short founding history and rely on huge leverage to expand," said Jackson Wong, Hong Kong-based asset management director for Amber Hill Capital Ltd.Luckin's revelation is likely to put at least a temporary freeze on new U.S. listings by Chinese com

MarketWatch MarketPulseApr 03, 2020
3M argues against ceasing exports of respirators as it preps to work with FEMA to boost production
3M Co. said Friday the administration of President Donald Trump has asked it to cease exporting respirators that are made in the U.S. to Latin America and Canada, given they are in short supply during the coronavirus pandemic. The company said it is a vital supplier of that equipment in those markets and that there are "signifiant humanitarian implications" to such a move. "Ceasing all export of respirators produced in the United States would likely cause other countries to retaliate and do the same, as some have already done," the company said in a statement. "If that were to occur, the net number of respirators being made available to the United States would actually decrease. That is the opposite of what we and the Administration, on behalf of the American people, both seek. " The company, which was criticized by Trump at a Thursday briefing after it said demand for N95 respirators was exceeding capacity, said it is looking forward to working with FEMA to boost production after Trump invoked the Defense Production Act against the company, giving the federal government more control over its operations. The company has received approval to import 10 million N95 masks made at 3M facilities in China back to the U.S. "We also continue to act on reports of price gouging and unauthorized reselling related to 3M respirators. This activity is unethical and illegal," said the statement. 3M and a half dozen smaller competitors are making about 50 million N95 masks a month, as the Wall Street Journal has reported. The masks block 95% of very small particles and are key for health care workers. Production is far short of the 300 million N95 masks that the Department of Health and Human Services estimated that U.S. health-care workers would need monthly to fight a pandemic. 3M shares were down 2.3% premarket and have fallen 22% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 has fallen 22%.

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MarketWatchApr 03, 2020
Economic Report: The U.S. officially lost 701,000 jobs in March, but in reality millions vanished
The U.S. lost 701,000 jobs in March, the government's employment official scorecard showed, but the real losses were much greater: At least 10 million jobs and counting as the coronavirus bore down on the economy.

MarketWatch MarketPulseApr 03, 2020
AutoNation says sales fell about 50% in last two weeks of March, places 7,000 workers on unpaid leave
AutoNation Inc. said Friday the coronavirus pandemic has significantly impacted sales of new and used vehicles, which were down about 50% in the last two weeks of March. About 95% of the markets the company generates its revenue from are under lockdown orders from federal, state and local governments, the company said in a regulatory filing. To combat the impact, the company has placed about 7,000 workers on unpaid leave, has cut pay and frozen all new hiring. The company has cut its advertising expenses for the second quarter by about 50% and postponed more than $50 million of discretionary spending. The company has cut the pay of its executive chairman, CEO and president by 50%, cut the pay of its executive vice presidents by 35% and cut the pay of senior vice presidents and region presidents by 30%. The remaining corporate and region staff are taking pay cuts of 20%, and the board of directors is waiving retainer fees temporarily. The company had about $1.1 billion of liquidity as of March 31, and about $700 million of availability under a revolving credit facility. Shares were not yet active premarket, but have fallen 48% in the year to date, whlie the S&P 500 has fallen 22%.

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Yahoo BusinessApr 03, 2020
U.S. Stock Futures Fall With Relief Rally Fading on Pandemic Fears
(Bloomberg) -- U.S. stock index futures fell, erasing part of Thursday's rally, as global coronavirus infections continued to increase.S&P 500 Index futures expiring in June slid 0.9% as of 9:30 a.m. in London, after gaining 2.8% on Thursday. Contracts dropped 0.9% on the Nasdaq 100 Index and fell 1.1% on the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Global coronavirus infections surpassed 1 million, a milestone reached just four months after the first cases surfaced in China.In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was down 0.5%, weighed down by insurers and telecom shares. The euro-area economy is in a slump of unprecedented scale, with IHS Markit saying Friday its monthly measure of services and manufacturing points to an annualized economic contraction of about 10%."Sentiment in the market is still very fearful," said Dan Russo, chief market strategist at Chaikin Analytics. "The longer it takes to flatten the curve, the more prolonged the negative economic impact is likely to be, the longer it takes for businesses to get up and running again. Our base case remains that we are likely to retest the lows from last Monday."The underlying S&P 500 advanced 2.3% on Thursday, climbing for the first time in three days, with Chevron Corp and Exxon Mobil Corp. among the top gainers, after President Donald Trump said Russia and Saudi Arabia would cut production. Oil prices slid back below $25 a barrel after a record surge as doubts crept in about the deal.Consumer discretionary stocks weighed on the benchmark after jobl

Yahoo BusinessApr 02, 2020
Boeing Sees Thousands of Workers Exiting Amid Travel Market Rout
(Bloomberg) -- Boeing Co. expects several thousand workers to retire or accept a buyout offer as the planemaker races to shrink its operations amid a historic unraveling of global travel from the coronavirus pandemic, said a person familiar with the company's plans.The manufacturer will start by offering the exit package in the U.S., while selectively hiring for critical programs such as defense and space, said the person, who asked not to be named because the discussions are confidential. Boeing is also weighing a production cut for wide-body jets as demand falls, although no changes have been made as yet, the person said.Chief Executive Officer Dave Calhoun is walking a fine line by downsizing at a time when Boeing is considering whether to tap billions of dollars in federal aid to bolster cash reserves. Layoffs would give the planemaker more control over how it lowers the cost of its 161,000-strong workforce, but at the risk of stirring up a backlash from its critics in Washington."They need to cut costs with payroll, but they need to maximize leverage with headcount," aviation consultant Richard Aboulafia said of the tug-of-war between Boeing's cost-cutting news and its political interests. "My biggest concern is that when you have an announcement like this, it's often the experienced engineers and designers who leave."$60 Billion BailoutVoluntary buyouts keep the government-assistance option viable, should Calhoun ultimately choose to pursue it. He has blanched at the potential strings a
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