Day Ahead: Top 3 Things to Watch for March 17

imageStock Markets14 hours ago (Mar 16, 2020 06:07PM ET)

(C) Reuters.

By Kim Khan

Investing.com – Strong selling into the close left Wall Street with another day of historic losses, with the Dow down nearly 3,000 points, or 12.93%, the second-biggest percentage drop in history, eclipsing the crash of 1929.

President Donald Trump said the Covid-19 outbreak could last through August and could cause a recession, which prompted investors to head to the exits.

Stocks will continue to be in the grip of any virus headlines.

Here are three things that could move the markets tomorrow.

1. FedEx Global Commentary Will Be Key

Although earnings have been on the back burner, with investors focused on more macro themes, FedEx’s report after the bell tomorrow should be closely watched. The global shipping company is well positioned to give the market some insight on how the pandemic is affecting the worldwide economy.

FedEx (NYSE:FDX) is expected to post a quarterly profit of $1.53 per share on revenue of about $16.9 billion, according to analysts’ forecasts compiled by Investing.com.

Last week Cowen lowered its price target on FedEx to $160 per share from $185, mainly due to expected impact of the virus.

“We expect a cut to FY20 guidance, but recovery commentary is key,” Cowen said.

Also in transportation airlines will be closely watched, with those long hoping the government can come in with a rescue package, which Trump says he is looking at “very closely”. The industry said it would need about $50 billion.

2. Retail Sales on Tap

On the economic front, the latest retail sales numbers will be front and center.

The Commerce Department will issue its report at 8:30 AM ET (12:30 GMT).

.Retail sales are expected to have risen 0.2% in February, down from a 0.3% rise in March, according to economists’ forecasts compiled by Investing.com.

At 9:15 AM ET, the February figures on industrial production and capacity utilization arrive.

Economists are looking for industrial production to have risen 0.4% and capacity utilization to have ticked up to 77.1%.

3. API Inventories Eyed

Along with stocks, oil prices took a beating, with WTI futures down 10.1% to $28.87.

U.S. oil output growth from the Permian basin is expected to offset declines in every other shale formation in April, helping push overall production up by about 18,000 barrels per day (bpd) to a record 9.08 million bpd, data showed today.

Output from the Permian basin of Texas and New Mexico, is expected to rise 38,000 bpd to a record 4.79 million bpd, data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed.

After the bell tomorrow the American Petroleum Institute will issue its estimate of U.S. oil inventories. Last week showed a strong build of about 6.41 million barrels.

Day Ahead: Top 3 Things to Watch for March 17

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