US Futures green, watch MM, PEP, CAT, MRK, PFE, UPS, XRX, BA, LUV, UHS

Board of currencies
The S&P 500 Futures remain on the upside after they advanced further yesterday. Investors were encouraged to see that some states started to ease stay-at-home restrictions and reopen businesses in phases amid slowing new coronavirus infections.

Later today, official data on Wholesale Inventories for March (preliminary reading, +1.0% on month expected) and the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index for April (falling to 88.0 expected) will be released. Advance goods trade balance will also be published (63.8 billion dollars deficit expected)

European indices are on the upside. France's INSEE has released April Consumer Confidence Index at 95 (vs 83 expected).

Asian indices closed slightly in the red except the Hong Kong HSI. This morning, official data showed that Japan's jobless rate edged up to 2.5% in March (as expected) from 2.4% in February. Queensland and Western Australia, the two Australian states, will ease coronavirus-related restrictions next week.

WTI Crude Oil Futures remain strongly bearish as the United States Oil Fund LP, the largest oil ETF, said it started to rollover its futures contracts. Later today, API would release the change of U.S. oil stockpile data for April 25.

Gold fell 3.64 dollars (-0.21%) to 1710.36 dollars per ounce, as some countries attempt to partially reopen. 

On the forex front, the US dollar is still consolidating against its major peers on easing lockdowns. EUR/USD rose 58pips to 1.0887 while GBP/USD gained 83pips to 1.2514. USD/JPY fell 68pips to 106.57.

US Equity Snapshot

3M (MMM), the diversified multinational conglomerate, released first quarter adjusted EPS down to 2.16 dollars from 2.23 dollars a year ago, on sales up 2.7% to 8.08 billion dollars. Both figures beat estimates. The company pulled its full year outlook.

Pepsico (PEP), the international beverage and food company, posted better than expected first quarter core EPS up 1.07 dollar from 0.97 dollar a year earlier. Organic sales growth was 7.9%, above forecasts. The company pulled its full year outlook.

Caterpillar (CAT), the world's largest manufacturer of heavy equipment for multiple industries, reported first quarter EPS down to 1.98 dollar from 3.25 dollars a year earlier, above estimates, on sales down 21% to 10.64 billion dollars, below forecasts.

Merck & Co (MRK), the pharma giant, posted first quarter adjusted EPS up to 1.50 dollar from 1.22 dollar a year ago, on sales up to 12.06 billion dollars from 10.82 billion dollars a year earlier. Both figures beat estimates. The company reduced its full year sales outlook to 46.1-48.1 billion dollars from 48.8-50.3 billion dollars previously anticipated.

Pfizer (PFE), the pharma company, reported first quarter adjusted EPS down 5% to 0.80 dollar on sales down 8% to 12 billion dollars. Both figures were better than expected. The company confirmed its full year guidance.

UPS (UPS), the global package delivery company, posted first quarter adjusted EPS down to 1.15 dollar from 1.39 dollar a year earlier, below estimates, on better than expected sales up to 18.04 billion dollars from 17.16 billion dollars a year ago. The company did not provide full year guidance and is suspending 2020 shares buybacks.

Xerox (XRX), the printing technology company, unveiled first quarter adjusted EPS down to 0.21 dollar from 0.45 dollar a year earlier, below estimates. Sales were down 14.7% to 1.86 billion dollars, above forecasts. The company withdraws its full year EPS and sales guidance.

Boeing (BA), the aircraft manufacturer, announced plans to resume 787 operations at South Carolina plant on May 3 or May 4, after nearly a month of temporarily suspension due to the coronavirus.

Southwest Airlines (LUV) said it is "in the process of revising its aircraft order book with Boeing". The company added that "the revenue environment remains uncertain, and is unable to reasonably estimate trends beyond May 2020."

Universal Health Services (UHS), an owner and operator of a variety of healthcare facilities, reported first quarter adjusted EPS down to 1.64 dollar, missing estimates, from 2.45 dollars a year ago, on sales slightly up to 2.83 billion dollars from 2.8 billion dollars a year earlier, also below forecasts.

Source : TradingView, GAIN Capital

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