Wednesday, February 12, 2020
Deaths occurring due to the Wuhan-based coronavirus, currently referred to as COVID-19, has reached 1113 in mainland China, with 44,653 known cases in the country. This has officially made it a deadlier virus than the SARS epidemic from 18 years ago.
So why, with threats to the global economy tied at least somewhat to the spread of this disease, are pre-market futures trading up? Because the rate of new disease diagnoses is falling. This suggests COVID-19 may at least be being brought under control, limiting the damage it might do to the world economy.
This week is a relatively slow one for new economic data, although we do expect a new read on the Federal Budget for January today at 2pm ET. For December, this budget headline reached $9 billion. On Tuesday, new job openings for December came in lighter than expected: 6.4 million versus 6.8 million estimated.
Fed Chair Jay Powell continues his testimony on Capitol Hill today; if yesterday’s words from the head of the Federal Reserve is any indication, no notable surprises are expected. For instance, regarding COVID-19, Powell said that the disease could pose a threat to global growth. He made sure to mention economic growth in the U.S. remains strong, however.
CVS Health (CVS - Free Report) outperformed expectations in its Q4 earnings report released early this morning, topping earnings projections by 5 cents to $1.73 per share on $66.9 billion in sales, ahead of the $64.22 billion anticipated and representing 23% growth year over year. CVS has not missed its earnings consensus since Q3 2015, and full-year estimates have been raised to $7.04-7.17 per share. The stock is up 0.8% on the news in today’s pre-market.
Shopify (SHOP - Free Report) also impressed investors with a big beat on both top and bottom lines: 43 cents per share versus 23 cents expected, on $505.2 million which easily surpassed the Zacks consensus $482.3 million. Big growth in Gross Merchandizer Volume (GMV, a key metric in Shopify’s business model) was a major catalyst to company outperformance. Shares have climbed nearly 14% on the news this morning.
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