Here’s what you need to know before the markets open.
1. Global stocks are dropping after Fed chair Jerome Powell struck a dovish tone during a speech Wednesday.Powell cautioned the coronavirus pandemic could cause long-term damage to the US economy, warning that “the path ahead is both highly uncertain and subject to significant downside risks.” European stocks were down more than 2% while US futures pointed to a negative open for all three major indexes.
2.A London-based trading house bought 250,000 barrels of oil during the historic plunge below $0, and likely made a fortune.One trader bought 250,000 barrels of oiland secured a rare payout at a time when oil prices turned negative, causing jitters in markets and leaving most other traders scrambling to find storage options across both sides of the Atlantic,Bloomberg reportedon Wednesday.
3. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez poked fun at Bill Gates’ plan to boost billionaires’ coronavirus donations, suggesting they pay their taxes.Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez poked fun at Bill Gates’ plans to push his fellow billionaires to donate more towards fighting coronavirus, arguing they could just pay their taxes in atweet on Wednesday evening.
4. Amazon will drop its $2 pay raise for warehouse staff after May, and workers say it’s too soon.Amazon will at the end of May scrap the $2 hourly raise it introduced for warehouse workers coming in during the coronavirus pandemic.
5.Thyssenkrupp and Germany’s biggest union call for further consolidation in warship sector.Thyssenkrupp and Germany’s largest union IG Metall on Thursday called for further consolidation of the country’s warship sector, saying a tie-up of rivals Luerssen and German Naval Yards (GNYK) did not go far enough.
6.Fiat Chrysler/Peugeot deal in spotlight after Exor setbacks.Fiat Chrysler’s decision to scrap its dividend marks another setback for plans by the Agnelli family’s Exor arm to raise cash after a $9 billion sale of its reinsurer unit PartnerRe collapsed this week.
7.Uber offer for Grubhub fans worries over delivery fees charged to restaurants.The possibility that Uber, which runs Uber Eats, could acquire Grubhub is reigniting some restaurants’ worries over the commissions charged to eateries by the third-party delivery companies.
8. The coronavirus crisis is a window of opportunity for bankers to the rich.When markets slumped in March as the spread of coronavirus gathered pace, wealth managers’ trading volumes soared as ultra rich clients reshuffled their portfolios.
9.First-quarter earnings coming in. Prudential and Petrobras are coming in.
10.Economic data releases today. The biggest thing to watch is the initial US jobless claims report, while the EIA will also announced its National Gas Storage Change figures.