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Dow Futures Rally After Oil Shock as Attention Shifts to Reopening U.S. Economy

Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:50 PM
Sam Bourgi
Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:50 PM
  • Dow Jones futures climbed by as much as 132 points in after-hours trading.
  • Crude oil for June delivery stabilized after the front-month May contract crashed on Monday.
  • American businesses are taking tentative steps to shield their employees from Covid-19 once lockdown restrictions ease.

Dow futures rallied overnight Monday, shaking off some of the bearishness from New York trading as investors’ attention shifted back to President Trump’s effort to reopen the economy.

It looks like the president is getting some buy-in from industry, with some of America’s largest companies deploying several tactics to mobilize their workforce once again.

Dow Futures Point to Stable Tuesday Open

Futures on all three major U.S. indexes rallied in after-hours trading. Dow Jones Industrial Average contracts rallied by as much as 132 points to reach 23,620.00. S&P 500 futures gained 0.5% to 2,821.00. The Nasdaq 100 mini futures contract climbed 0.6% to 8,742.25.

Dow Jones futures
Dow futures are up triple digits overnight. | Chart: Yahoo Finance 

At the current pace, stocks are poised to rebound at the start of New York trading on Tuesday. The major indexes declined between 1% and 2.4% on Monday.

Oil Futures Stabilize

The May contract on West Texas Intermediate (WTI) experienced a historic price collapse on Monday, falling more than 300% to a low of negative $40 in New York.

Crude broke below zero because there’s not enough capacity to hold all the supply flooding the market. Refineries and storage facilities are near peak capacity after the Covid-19 crisis ravaged global markets and slashed crude demand.

The price decline accelerated even as Saudi Arabia, Russia, and other major producers agreed to curb supplies by 10 million barrels per day .

Oil prices were in the process of stabilizing Monday night, with the June futures contract climbing as much as 9.1% to $22.29 a barrel. The June contract didn’t flip negative in New York trading, but still shed around 15%.

WTI June futures
June WTI futures have come off their highs, but are still up 4.5%. | Chart: barchart.com 

Attention Shifts to Reopening Economy

President Trump stoked optimism last week after he laid out new federal guidelines for ending the Covid-19 lockdown . The three-phase process puts the onus on states to decide how to reopen their economies gradually.

As The Wall Street Journal reports , American businesses are already planning for a gradual revival, and are taking extra steps to ensure workplaces are protected.

The Journal said companies like Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Ford Motor, FedEx, United Parcel Service, Bridgestone, and Amazon have all taken steps to shield their employees from the novel disease.

Although the government’s guidelines intend to be broad, President Trump said last week that some states were in “good shape” to reopen sooner than later. The president is eying May 1 as the start of the “phased” opening of the economy.