Stock rally fizzles out: April 28, 2020

By CNN Business

Updated 6:59 p.m. ET, April 28, 2020
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8:13 a.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Caterpillar's sales plummeted in China

From CNN Business' Paul R. La Monica

An employee assembles an excavator stick at the Caterpillar Inc. manufacturing facility in Victoria, Texas, in August 2018.
An employee assembles an excavator stick at the Caterpillar Inc. manufacturing facility in Victoria, Texas, in August 2018. Callaghan O'Hare/Bloomberg/Getty Images

The coronavirus outbreak is hurting blue-chip American companies with a big presence in China. Just look at construction and mining equipment giant Caterpillar (CAT).

The bulldozer and excavator maker said Tuesday that overall sales fell 21% in the first quarter, led by a 27% drop in its Asia-Pacific unit. Caterpillar generates about a fifth of its total revenue from Asia.

Decreases in China reflected lower end-user demand mostly due to COVID-19 pandemic-related impacts," the company said in the earnings release.

Caterpillar also noted that although "many governments classified Caterpillar's operations as an essential activity for support of critical infrastructure...Caterpillar has suspended operations temporarily at certain facilities during the last several weeks due to supply chain issues, weak customer demand or government regulations."

The company said about 75% of its production facilities are still operational.

Shares of Caterpillar were up slightly in early trading Tuesday but the stock has plunged 22% this year.

7:50 a.m. ET, April 28, 2020

UPS' sales soar, because an 'unprecedented' number of Americans are getting delivery

From CNN Business' Jordan Valinsky

People are stuck at home because of the coronavirus pandemic, and they're getting a lot of packages delivered.

UPS (UPS) noticed an "unprecedented shift in customer and product mix" in the first quarter, with commercial deliveries declining and residential deliveries spiking.

Revenue for the first quarter grew 5%, beating analysts' expectations. Its profit, however, came in below expectations. UPS also scrapped its guidance because it's "unable to predict the extent of the business impact or the duration of the coronavirus pandemic."

Shares fell 4% in premarket trading.

6:59 a.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Southwest posts first loss in 11 years

From CNN Business' Chris Isidore

Southwest Airlines (LUV) reported its first quarterly loss since the depths of the Great Recession 11 years ago.

Southwest lost $77 million excluding special items, which was a bit better than Wall Street forecasts. But it was the carrier's first red ink since the first quarter of 2009.

Revenue fell $915 billion, or 18%, from a year earlier.

The company has been one of the industry's most profitable airlines, but coronavirus has dealt serious damage to airlines. Travel has fallen to virtually zero during the pandemic.

Shares fell more than 1% in premarket trading.

Read more here.

6:57 a.m. ET, April 28, 2020

'Strong demand' for masks boosts 3M's quarterly profits

From CNN Business' Jordan Valinsky

The coronavirus pandemic spurred "strong growth in personal safety" products at 3M (MMM), the company said in its first quarter earnings.

3M makes personal protective equipment, including gowns and the highly coveted N95 respirator masks needed by medical professionals.

The Trump administration recently targeted the company for exporting made-in-the-USA respirators to Canada and to Latin America.

3M's stock rose 3% in premarket trading.

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

Pepsi leans into energy

From CNN Business' Danielle Wiener-Bronner

PepsiCo (PEP) is focusing on energy drinks to get a piece of the lucrative market.

The food and beverage company has closed its acquisition of Rockstar Energy drinks and will become the exclusive distributor of Bang Energy, it said Tuesday.

The deals "position PepsiCo to better participate and capture its fair share within an attractive and highly profitable category," said CEO Ramon Laguarta in a statement discussing the company's first quarter financial results.

Energy is a growing category. US energy drinks and shots sales amounted to about $13.5 billion in 2018, a jump of about 30% from 2013, according to the research company Mintel. Coca-Cola (KO) has also invested in energy drinks.

PepsiCo reported growth in the first quarter, with net revenues up 7.7%. But it pulled its guidance for the year because of uncertainty stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.

6:25 a.m. ET, April 28, 2020

US stock futures rise as oil prices drop

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

6:26 a.m. ET, April 28, 2020

US oil drops as much as 20% as oversupply concerns keep roiling markets

From CNN Business' Jill Disis

US oil prices are still falling as investors continue to fret about an excess supply of crude at a time when no one wants any.

West Texas Intermediate fell more than 7% early Tuesday to $11.81 a barrel. Earlier the US benchmark contract for oil to be delivered in June had fallen as much as 20%, hovering close to $10. It's now trading about a dollar lower than where it settled Monday after another large plunge.

The latest crash came as the United States Oil Fund — a popular investment fund geared to track the price of oil — said in a regulatory filing that it would dump its June WTI contracts this week and reduce contracts for other upcoming months. Instead, the ETF will buy into longer-term oil contracts.

Read more here.

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

HSBC hits pause on mass layoffs after profits plunge by nearly 50%

From CNN Business' Michelle Toh

HSBC (HBCYF) is ramping up the amount of money it is setting aside to cover bad loans as its profits plummet because of the coronavirus pandemic. It is also suspending plans to lay off tens of thousands of staff.

The London-based lender on Tuesday said that pre-tax profit dropped to $3.2 billion in the first quarter, a 48% plunge compared to a year earlier.

The bank added that it increased its allowance for expected credit losses this year to as much as $11 billion — nearly $2 billion more than it had set aside at the end of last year. It said expected credit losses rose to $3 billion last quarter in part due to coronavirus.

It also attributed its recent woes to the ongoing plunge in oil prices.

Read more here.