Dow Futures Are Rising as Coronavirus Cases Spike. The Market’s Attention Is Elsewhere.

Dow Futures Are Rising as Coronavirus Cases Spike. The Market’s Attention Is Elsewhere.

By Ben LevisohnUpdated July 13, 2020 7:19 am ET / Original July 12, 2020 6:44 pm ET

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7:18 a.m. Cases of coronavirus continue to riseEarnings season is getting ready to start. And Dow Jones Industrial Average futures are rising. That’s not as contradictory as it sounds.

The stock market picked up Monday right where it left off on Friday. Dow futures have advanced 205 points, or 0.8%, while S&P 500 futures have risen 0.7% and Nasdaq Composite futures have gained 0.9%. The Nasdaq will be trying for a fourth consecutive day of gains and a fourth straight all-time high.

Never mind that coronavirus cases continue to spike. More than 15,000 people in Florida tested positive, setting a national record for the largest one-day increase. Seven-day averages hit new highs in Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, and other states. But at least Disney World is open again.

So why is the market holding up so well, with Nasdaq hitting new highs and the S&P 500 and Dow looking to make a run at their June highs? Perhaps earnings season has something to do itPepsiCo (ticker: PEP) reports Monday, followed by the first of the big banks— Citigroup (C), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), and Wells Fargo (WFC)—on Tuesday. Earnings are expected to be terrible, but what corporate America says about the path of the recovery from coronavirus could help stocks remain buoyant.

“The second quarter, given a confluence of conflicting trends will be overlooked in favor of forward looking guidance and management commentary more generally speaking—especially in the absence of formal financial projections,” writes Jefferies’ Jared Holz of the health-care sector, but it really applies to just about everything.

Watch what they say, not what they do.

Write to Ben Levisohn at Ben.Levisohn@barrons.com3Show comments

Costco Grows Three Times Faster Than Wall Street Expected, and Two More Numbers to Know

July 10, 2020 5:00 am ET

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Three numbers to start your day:

On Thursday, the Labor Department reported that 1.3 million people filed initial jobless claims in the week ended July 4. On top of that, there were more than 18 million continuing claims for unemployment benefits.

Last week, the government reported that the U.S. created nearly 5 million jobs in June—a good sign during renewed lockdowns and restrictions to combat the pandemic. But this week’s news shows that there is still a long way to go before things get back to normal.

And policy makers are approaching a deadline to extend the aid to the millions who are unemployed as a result of the pandemic.

Americans can get an extra $600 of weekly unemployment insurance until July 31, when the enhanced jobless benefits expire.

The home-goods store took a dive after its latest quarterly results missed Wall Street’s forecasts. The retailer has been trying to engineer a turnaround, but the pandemic might have knocked that effort off track.

The earnings miss wasContinue reading2 minute read

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