5 things to know before the stock market opens Tuesday

Health, Fitness & Food

1. Dow erases most losses after strong Walmart earnings

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will testify virtually before the Senate Banking Committee starting at 10 a.m. ET. It’s the first update to Congress required by the $2.2 trillion coronavirus rescue economic package approved in March. Senators are expected to question Powell and Mnuchin about actions still needed to keep the world’s largest economy afloat.

U.S. homebuilding dropped to a five-year low in April, underlining fears the coronavirus crisis would lead to the deepest economic contraction in the second-quarter since the Great Depression. Housing starts tumbled 30.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 891,000 units last month. Data for March was revised to show homebuilding declining to a pace of 1.276 million units instead of dropping to 1.216 million units as previously reported.

2. Tale of two Dow stocks

Walmart shares rose more than 3% in Tuesday’s premarket after the retail giant said its online investments helped prepare the company for the crush of consumer demand for groceries, cleaning items and other stay-at-home essentials during the coronavirus outbreak. The big-box retailer’s e-commerce sales in the U.S. shot up by 74% and its same-store sales grew by 10% in the first quarter. Walmart, like many other companies, withdrew its guidance for 2020 due to the uncertainty related to the pandemic.

Home Depot shares fell about 1.5% in Tuesday’s premarket after the home improvement chain reported first-quarter sales rose sharply but profits were weighed down by extra costs related to the coronavirus crisis. Home Depot also suspended its 2020 outlook. Last month, Home Depot canceled major spring seasonal promotions that drive foot traffic to stores.

3. Dimon wants to rebuild economy for everyone

Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase, appears on CNBC’s Squawk Box at the 2020 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Jan. 22nd, 2020.

Adam Galica | CNBC

JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon said in a memo that the coronavirus crisis should be used to build an economy that offers opportunities for “dramatically more people.” Ahead of Tuesday’s annual shareholders meeting, Dimon detailed the steps the bank has taken to support customers and employees since the crisis began two months ago, as well as his thinking about returning employees to work sites. In his annual letter last month, Dimon said he expects the pandemic will bring a “bad recession” and elements of financial strain similar to the 2008 downturn. Dimon, 64, returned to JPMorgan after a heart procedure in March to find an industry at a critical juncture.

4. Trump threatens to cut WHO funding, reveals he’s taking hydroxychloroquine

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with restaurant executives in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, May 18, 2020. Trump said he is currently taking hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malaria drug he has promoted as a treatment to combat coronavirus infection.

Doug Mills | Bloomberg | Getty Images

President Donald Trump threatened to permanently cut off U.S. funding of the World Health Organization if the international health agency does not make “major substantive improvements within the next 30 days.” Trump halted U.S. funding for the WHO last month as his administration conducted a review of the agency’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The president also said he’s been taking hydroxychloroquine daily for over a week to prevent coronavirus infection even though the anti-malaria drug is not a proven treatment for Covid-19. “I happen to be taking it,” Trump said during a roundtable event at the White House on Monday. “A lot of good things have come out. You’d be surprised at how many people are taking it, especially the front-line workers. Before you catch it.”

5. White House to announce contract to bring back drug manufacturing

White House Trade and Manufacturing Policy Director Peter Navarro speaks as U.S. President Donald Trump and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos during a briefing on the coronavirus pandemic in the press briefing room of the White House on March 27, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Drew Angerer | Getty Images

The Trump administration plans to announce Tuesday a $354 million deal with a new Virginia-based company, Phlow Corp., to bring manufacturing of generic medicines and pharmaceutical ingredients back from oversees, according to The New York Times. The initial contract is set to run for four years but could be extended to 10 years to $812 million. The White House has working to bring drug manufacturing to the U.S., arguing the coronavirus pandemic revealed the nation is too dependent on foreign suppliers.

Ivanka Trump, daughter and advisor to the president, on Tuesday holds the first meeting of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board. Axios said the virtual meeting will feature CEOs including Apple’s Tim Cook. The White House says the discussion will center around “the need for better digital infrastructure and home connectivity.”

Reuters contributed to this report. Follow all the developments on Wall Street in real-time with CNBC’s live markets blog.

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