(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures gained 1% on Tuesday on better-than-expected trade data from China and signs some economies were preparing to ease lockdowns, even as the first batch of earnings reports underlined the hit from the coronavirus outbreak.
JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) reported a first-quarter profit that slumped by more than two-thirds as it boosted reserves to cover potential loan defaults due to the pandemic. Its shares, which have fallen 29% this year, were up 2.4% in premarket trading.
Coronavirus-fueled uncertainty forced Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) to cut its 2020 adjusted profit forecast, but its shares rose 3% as its first-quarter profit beat estimates on higher sales of its cancer drugs and self-care products.
Analysts expect a corporate recession for S&P 500 firms in 2020, with a 10.2% slide in earnings in the first quarter and a 22.4% slump in the second, according to IBES estimates from Refinitiv.
“It should come as no surprise that earnings are going to be hit very hard in 2020,” said Fiona O’Neill, deputy head of equities research at Fidelity International.
“But it would be wrong to focus too much on 2020. Instead, we must look to forecast where earnings will go in 2021 and beyond so that we can continue to identify those companies that are going to emerge from this as winners.”
The benchmark S&P 500 .SPX index has clawed back about 26% in the past month, powered by historic fiscal and monetary support and early signs the virus outbreak was peaking in some U.S. hot spots, but remains about 22% below its February all-time high.
President Donald Trump said late on Monday his administration was close to completing a plan to re-open the economy but some state governors said the decision to re-start businesses lies with them.
Meanwhile, data showed China’s exports and imports shrank less than expected in March as factories restarted production, but analysts warned a sure-footed recovery was months away.
At 6:58 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis 1YMcv1 were up 281 points, or 1.21%, S&P 500 e-minis EScv1 were up 27.5 points, or 1% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQcv1 were up 111 points, or 1.33%.
American Airlines Group Inc (AAL.O) and United Airlines Holdings Inc (UAL.O) rose more than 4% as sources said some large U.S. passenger airlines were close to accepting the terms of a $25 billion offer for government payroll aid.
Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) jumped 6.3% after brokerage Credit Suisse upgraded the electric carmaker’s stock to “neutral” from “underperform”.
Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N) rose 1.8% ahead of first-quarter results due at 8 a.m. ET.
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