Stock market live updates: Dow futures up 750, brief limit up, hope for a stimulus deal

All eyes are on Congress to pass a much-needed stimulus bill to rescue the economy from the coronavirus damage. The stock market is staging a turnaround with futures on the major indexes all briefly hitting “limit up” levels. Here’s what’s happening:

Energy companies are coming under pressure as oil prices sink, but Chevron CEO Michael Wirth said the company has no plans to slash its dividend. “Our dividend is our number one priority and it’s very secure,” he said Tuesday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “We’re taking actions to preserve cash. It will have some impact on production in the near term, but we’ve stayed with our financial priorities, which include protecting the dividend.”

On Tuesday the oil giant said it will cut its capital spending plans for 2020 by 20% and suspend its buyback program in an effort to reduce costs. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude prices have been nearly cut in half over the last month as oil gets hit on both the demand and supply side. “This is the fourth time in my career I’ve seen prices drop by more than 50% in a very short period of time. We’ve been here before, we know what to do, we’re taking action,” Wirth said. — Stevens

Stimulus from the Federal Reserve and Congress will lead to a “major market rally [that] is likely to occur immediately” and will benefit bank stocks, Odeon Capital banking analyst Dick Bove says. Specifically, Bove said he likes JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America among the big banks and M&T Bank and SVB Financial among the regionals. Also, he lists preferred shares of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Finally, he upgraded Wells Fargo and Comerica from sell to hold. Bove last week estimated that banks as a sector could see an earnings drop of 90% this year, and he said in his Tuesday note that he has not changed that outlook though the current situation presents a trading opportunity. – Cox

Senate leaders and the Trump administration are moving closer to reaching an agreement on a $2 trillion stimulus deal to blunt the negative economic impact from the coronavirus pandemic. Washington Post reported Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer told Democrats on a conference call that “he was hopeful” about striking a deal by the end of the day. The Hill also cited a briefing call, saying lawmakers are on the cusp of a deal. Negotiations on the bill were set to continue Tuesday morning. Democrats have twice blocked the Senate Republican rescue plan.— Li

The firm upgraded Virgin Galactic back to overweight from equal-weight, with the stock below $13 after topping $40 last month. Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas said that “the world has changed … however, the story and the balance sheet remains intact.” He added that Virgin Galactic has “a healthy cash position” of about $500 million and an estimated $16 million per month cash burn, so the space tourism company has over 2 1/2 years of runway. —Sheetz


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