US stocks and oil rebound after historic meltdown: April 22, 2020

By CNN Business

Updated 7:16 p.m. ET, April 22, 2020
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7:59 a.m. ET, April 22, 2020

AT&T withdraws outlook but keeps dividend steady

From CNN Business' Paul R. La Monica

AT&T reported a drop in sales and adjusted earnings for the first quarter Wednesday that were slightly worse than what analysts were expecting. The telecom and media giant also suspended its guidance for the rest of the year because of the Covid-19 pandemic. But the company impressed Wall Street with growth in its massive wireless business.

Shares of AT&T (T) rose about 1% in early trading after the company said that services revenue from its mobility business rose 2.5% from a year ago. AT&T also added 163,000 postpaid wireless subscribers.

The strength in the traditional telecom unit helped offset drops in sales and profit at WarnerMedia, the AT&T entertainment, news and sports unit that is the parent company of CNN. WarnerMedia has been hit by a decline in advertising revenue and the closure of movie theaters.

But AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said the company plans to continue investing in key growth areas like 5G and broadband infrastructure as well as its new HBO Max streaming service. HBO Max launches on May 27.

"We have a strong cash position, a strong balance sheet, and our core businesses are solid and continue to generate good free cash flow — even in today’s environment," Stephenson said in the earnings release.

7:24 a.m. ET, April 22, 2020

Delta reports its first loss in five years

From CNN Business' Chris Isidore

Delta Air Lines (DAL) lost $534 million in the first three months of the year, its first quarterly loss in more than five years.

The airline said its loss, excluding special items, came in at $326 million, compared to a $639 million profit a year earlier. Revenue in the quarter fell $1.9 billion compared to a year ago, an 18% drop. The miles flown by paying passengers fell by 17%.

But the quarter was only the beginning of the problems for the carrier: Delta confirmed its previous warning that it expects revenue to be down 90% in the current quarter.

Shares rose nearly 2% in premarket trading.

Read more here.

6:54 a.m. ET, April 22, 2020

Chipotle thrives in pandemic with strong online orders

From CNN Business' Jordan Valinsky and Danielle Wiener-Bronner

Chipotle (CMG) shares rose nearly 6% in premarket trading following an earnings report that showed huge increases in online orders.

The company had a 103% spike in digital sales in March, compared to the same period last year. Chipotle started offering free delivery on March 15, and will keep the promotion in place until at least early May.

In the first quarter, revenue increased 7.8% to $1.4 billion, the company reported late Tuesday.

Sales at restaurants open at least 13 months dropped 16% in March, with the week ending in March 29 being particularly brutal, when it had a 35% decline.

Same-store sales at restaurants open at least 13 months were growing before the pandemic with a 12% increase in January and 17% increase in February.

6:52 a.m. ET, April 22, 2020

US stock futures point to a higher open

After two days of losses to open the week, the global panic over oil prices isn't dampening spirits in the US today.

Here's where futures stand at 6:20 am ET:

6:27 a.m. ET, April 22, 2020

Global markets are mixed

The oil panic hung over markets in Asia:

  • Japan's Nikkei (N225) and South Korea's Kospi (KOSPIslumped 0.7% and 0.9%, respectively.
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index (HSI) and China's Shanghai Composite (SHCOMP) started the day lower, but closed up 0.4% and 0.6%.

European markets opened higher:

  • Germany's DAX (DAXgaining 1.6%, as did the FTSE 100 (UKX) in London. France's CAC 40 (CAC40rose 1.1%.
6:26 a.m. ET, April 22, 2020

Global oil prices hit 21-year low

From CNN Business' Mark Thompson

Oil prices continued their epic crash Wednesday as Brent crude futures, the main benchmark for global contracts, plunged by as much as 17% to their lowest level since 1999.

The collapse follows a historic rout on Monday when US oil for May delivery traded at negative prices.

US oil futures for June also plunged Wednesday, and were last down 5.7% to $10.91 a barrel, reversing a rise during early Asian trading hours. The price of a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude had settled Tuesday at $11.57, after falling as low as $6.50.

Brent crashed as low as $15.98 a barrel, before steadying to trade around $17.30, still down more than 10%.

The market is worried about oil hubs running out of room to store barrels that nobody wants as the coronavirus pandemic causes demand for crude to disappear. While Saudi Arabia and Russia recently reached a deal with other members of the OPEC+ alliance to cut supply from May 1 by a record amount, that has done little to alleviate fears.

6:52 a.m. ET, April 22, 2020

Casper lays off 21% of its staff in Europe retreat

From CNN Business' Jordan Valinsky

Casper (CSPR), the trendy bed-in-box company, is dismantling its European operations just four years after entering the area.

Casper said in a regulatory filing late Tuesday that it's laying off 21% of its staff, or around 80 employees. Exiting Europe will save the company $10 million annually and is part of Casper's "overall focus on achieving profitability."

Casper also announced Chief Financial Officer Greg Macfarlane is leaving and it has "begun a formal search for his replacement."

Shares have lost more than half of their value since going public in February.

6:28 a.m. ET, April 22, 2020

Delta is the first US airline to report earnings amid pandemic

From CNN Business' Chris Isidore

Delta Air Lines (DAL) is the first airline to report first-quarter results Wednesday morning, in what promises to be a miserable quarter for the industry.

The coronavirus pandemic caused demand for air travel to fall to "essentially zero" according to United Airlines (UAL).

Analysts surveyed by Refinitiv expect airline earnings to drop more than 200% for the first quarter.

Airlines are forecast to report billions of dollars in losses, compared to a combined $1.8 billion first-quarter profit a year ago. That decline dwarfs forecasts of a 13% to 14% drop in earnings for the S&P 500 as a whole.

Delta's stock has lost 60% of its value this year.