Take a look at some of the biggest movers in the premarket:
Verizon (VZ) – Goldman Sachs added Verizon to its “Conviction Buy” list, saying it offers investors the most attractive combination of total return and risk, thanks to the stability of its wireless business.
Xerox (XRX) – Xerox dropped its $35 billion hostile bid for HP Inc. (HPQ), saying it was prioritizing its response to the outbreak over all other considerations. Xerox had planned to put up its own slate of directors for election to HP’s board but has now dropped that effort as well.
Home Depot (HD) – The home improvement retailer will institute new safety measures in response to the outbreak, including earlier store closures and limiting the number of customers allowed into stores at one time. The company has also increased paid time off for hourly workers.
British American Tobacco (BTI) – The cigarette maker’s US biotech unit – Kentucky BioProcessing – is developing a COVID-19 vaccine derived from tobacco leaves that is currently undergoing pre-clinical testing. The unit said it could produce between 1 million and 3 million doses per week starting in June.
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), HSBC (HSBC), Barclays (BCS) – These and other big U.K. banks canceled their dividends to shore up their balance sheets amid an expected increase in bad loans due to the virus outbreak.
Becton Dickinson (BDX) – The medical products maker and privately held diagnostics company BioMedomics will launch a test that can determine both current and past exposure to the coronavirus within minutes. Becton Dickinson said the tests will be distributed this month.
Macy’s (M) – The retailer’s stock is being removed from the S&P 500 index and will be placed in the S&P SmallCap 600 as of April 6. Macy’s has a market cap of about $1.5 billion, the smallest in the S&P 500. Carrier Global, which will become a publicly traded company as of Friday following its spin-off from United Technologies (UTX), will replace Macy’s in the S&P 500.
Caterpillar (CAT) – Caterpillar will withhold annual salary increases for executives, managers, and salaried employees, in an effort to hold down expenses amid the coronavirus outbreak. The heavy equipment maker will also not pay out bonuses to employees next year.
Quest Diagnostics (DGX) – Quest has pulled its previous financial guidance for 2020, as it tries to determine the impact of the coronavirus on its results. The medical lab operator said that even with a surge of COVID-19 testing, overall testing volume dropped more than 40% during the last two weeks of March.
Sysco Corp. (SYY) – Sysco is cutting out fresh food sales for its customers and focusing on frozen products, according to a report in the New York Post. The food distributor is also said to be cutting out Saturday deliveries, product returns, and guaranteed delivery times.
Papa John’s Pizza (PZZA) – The restaurant chain’s stock was upgraded to “buy” from “neutral” at MKM Partners, which said the pizza segment of the restaurant industry appears better positioned to deal with the current environment, given their delivery and digital infrastructure.