The major stock averages are rising as the prospect of gradual easing in lockdowns increases. There's also more aid coming after a $484B relief bill was signed on Friday and reports indicate that lawmakers may not be done with passing stimulus measures. Meanwhile, WTI crude hit a four-session low as it fell by nearly 25%. Plummeting demand, coupled with extreme global over-production, continues to weigh heavily on oil prices.
ECONOMIC EVENTS: There was no U.S. economic data of note reported.
In Asia, the Bank of Japan, as expected, announced that JGB purchases, which had been formerly capped at Y 80T per year, can now be unlimited while announcing an increase in corporate bond and commercial paper.
TOP NEWS: Boeing (BA) announced over this weekend that it has terminated its Master Transaction Agreement with Embraer (ERJ), under which the two companies had planned to create a joint venture comprising Embraer's commercial aviation business and a second joint venture to develop new markets for the C-390 Millennium medium airlift and air mobility aircraft. In response, Embraer said it "believes strongly that Boeing has wrongfully terminated the MTA, that it has manufactured false claims as a pretext to seek to avoid its commitments to close the transaction and pay Embraer the $4.2B purchase price." The smaller planemaker further accused Boeing of "a systematic pattern of delay and repeated violations of the MTA, because of its unwillingness to complete the transaction in light of its own financial condition and 737 MAX and other business and reputational problems."
In addition to the deal-break news, Boeing hosted its annual shareholder meeting, during which CEO Dave Calhoun said he expects it to take two to three years for air travel to recover. "When it does, the commercial market will be smaller," Calhoun added, according to CNBC's recap of the event.
Meanwhile, General Motors (GM) announced that it has suspended the quarterly cash dividend on its common stock, suspended its share repurchase program and taken "other significant austerity measures to preserve near-term available cash." Following the news, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas said he views today's announcement as part of a broader turn in fundamentals and newsflow that supports GM as his top pick in U.S. autos with a $37 price target and Overweight rating.
Diamond Offshore (DO) became the latest oil driller to announce that the company and select subsidiaries have filed voluntary petitions for reorganization under chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Loews Corporation (L), which is the approximately 53% owner of subsidiary Diamond Offshore Drilling, noted that it will no longer consolidate Diamond's results in its financial statements. "Loews is not responsible for, and does not provide guarantees of, the liabilities and obligations of its subsidiaries, including Diamond," the company noted in a regulatory filing.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple is pushing back the production ramp-up of its flagship iPhones coming later this year by about a month. According Yoko Kubota's sources, Apple is still moving forward with plans to release four new iPhones later this year, including some 5G models.
MAJOR MOVERS: Avadel Pharmaceuticals (AVDL), which rose 31% after it reported top-line data from its Phase 3 REST-ON trial of FT218.
Also higher was Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY), which gained 24% as it has extended its temporary store closures until at least May 16.
Among the notable losers was Verastem (VSTM), which dropped 42% after it announced preliminary data from its VS-6766 Phase 1 clinical study.
Also higher was CNX Midstream Partners (CNXM), which fell 35% after reporting quarterly results.
INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 266.40, or 1.12%, to 24,041.67, the Nasdaq was up 85.38, or 0.99%, to 8,719.90, and the S&P 500 was up 34.57, or 1.22%, to 2,871.31.