Earnings Report Prospects Bring Stock Drop in US

Ahead of corporate earnings reports and other key financial benchmarks, Wall Street had a mild opening the day after Easter Sunday.  

Dr. Anthony Fauci, left, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks about the coronavirus last month in Washington, as President Donald Trump looks on. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

MANHATTAN (CN) — Investors will be closely watching as several key economic reports and corporate earnings roll in this week.  

U.S. markets opened to slight losses the Monday following Easter, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping half a percentage point at opening bell.

Abroad, markets did better, with European investors rebounding and aiming to close the day on a positive note. As of 8:30 a.m. EST, the DAX in Germany had increased 2.2%, while the Financial Times Stock Exchange in London was up nearly 3%.

In Asia, several markets fell, with the Nikkei losing 2.3% and South Korea’s Kospi dropping almost 2%. Markets in Australia and Hong Kong were closed for Easter Monday. 

Wall Street now waits for to peek at corporate earnings from the first quarter of 2020, though most investors have likely expected — and priced into their trades — any bad news.

Investors also likely want to see several crucial reports due this week, including the International Monetary Fund’s Global Financial Stability Report. That report, due out Tuesday morning, will examine the health of the international financial system.

Corporate earnings season is now here, with Delta Air Lines on Monday kicking off what will likely be a string of bleak reports. United Airlines, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo all are scheduled to release their earnings on Tuesday.

Some government officials warned the country to prepare for a difficult, protracted economic recovery going forward.

Speaking this weekend on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari said to expect a “different parts of the economy turning back on, maybe turning back off again” in the weeks ahead.

“This could be a long, hard road that we have ahead of us until we get to either an effective therapy or a vaccine,” Kashkari said. “It’s hard to see a V-shaped recovery under that scenario.”

Other officials are more optimistic, about both the economic and health impact of the coronavirus. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said parts of the economy could reopen by May, and President Trump has said he wants the U.S. economy to reopen with a “big bang.”

The top infectious disease expert in the United States hinted over the weekend that parts of the nation’s economy could re-open next month. 

“We are hoping by the end of the month we can look around and say, ‘OK, is there any element here that we can safely and cautiously start pulling back on,’” Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN on Sunday. “If so, do it. If not, then just continue to hunker down.”

Fauci has scaled back original estimates that 100,000 to 200,000 would die in the United States as a result of coronavirus, now saying the death toll could be 60,000 or fewer. 

More than 1.8 million people have been confirmed to have Covid-19, and nearly 115,000 have died worldwide, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. In the United States, more than 557,000 have been infected by the virus in the United States, while more than 22,000 have died.

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