Wall Street set to open lower despite hopes of monetary stimulus

stock index futures

Futures move lower

U.S. stock index futures drifted lower on Monday, despite increased expectations of monetary stimulus from central banks around the world, including the Federal Reserve.

In a note to clients on Sunday, Goldman economists led by Jan Hatzius said the Fed could likely cut interest rates aggressively at or even before its March 17-18 monetary policy meeting to help shield the economy from the effects of the coronavirus outbreak.

The deadly virus that originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan was largely to blame for last week’s massive Wall Street sell-off, which was the worst since the 2008 financial crisis.

Hatzius and his team now expect the central bank to announce “a cut of a half percentage point by March 18” and “an additional half percentage point in the second quarter for a total reduction of 1 percentage point from the Fed’s current target range of 1.50-1.75%.”

Goldman also expects rate cuts from the European Central Bank, the U.K., Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland, India, Norway, and South Korea.

“Even relative to some of our new policy rate forecasts, we think the risk is on the downside, at least in terms of timing. Specifically, we see a high risk that the easing we expect over the next several weeks occurs in coordinated fashion, perhaps as early as the coming week,” the economists said, according to CNBC.

As of 7:15 a.m. ET, the blue-chip Dow futures were down 182.5 points, or about 0.72% to 25,181.5. The S&P 500 futures dropped 26.12 points, or around 0.89% to 2,924.88 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures lost 33.62 points, or roughly 0.4% to 8,420.38.

Elliott Management seeks to oust Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey

Elliott Management, the hedge fund founded by Paul Singer, has reportedly taken a roughly $1 billion stake in Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) and nominated four directors to the board of the social media company.

According to Bloomberg, which first reported the news late Friday, Elliott plans to push for changes at Twitter, including replacing Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey.

People familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that Singer reportedly objects to Dorsey remaining as Twitter CEO while he continues to divide his attention between it and Square (NYSE: SQ), the online payments company he also runs.

At the time of writing, Twitter shares were up 5.39% to $34.99 each in premarket trade Monday.

Tilray, JD report earnings today

JD.com Inc (NASDAQ: JD) is expected to report fourth-quarter earnings at $0.44 per share on revenue of $166.62 billion ahead of the bell today. Dentsply Sirona (NASDAQ: XRAY) and Core-Mark Holding (NASDAQ: CORE) will also announce their results before the opening bell.

Tilray (NASDAQ: TLRY) is scheduled to publish fourth-quarter results after the market close today. Analysts expect the cannabis company to post a loss of $0.38 per share on revenue of $55.52 million.

Other earnings to watch after the closing bell include Maxar Technologies (NYSE: MAXR), Boingo Wireless (NASDAQ: WIFI) and Allscripts Healthcare Solutions (NASDAQ: MDRX).