April is in the history books, and it’s a month some investors would rather forget. While the Dow Industrials added a mere point last month, the Nasdaq fell a hefty 1.5% and the S&P 500 dropped 0.8%.
With the slow and steamy summer months ahead, investors may find it time to simply obey the old Wall Street adage: sell in May and go away.
But rather than slipping on this first day of May, futures are holding on tight to the flat line in anticipation of Friday’s April jobs report. Many international stock markets in Europe and Asia are closed for the May Day holiday.
U.S. investors will be eyeing data on April auto sales released throughout the day, as well as the national ISM manufacturing report. Many regional surveys have come in weak, with data yesterday showing Chicago business activity slowing to its lowest level since November of 2009. Today is the opportunity for ISM to flesh out all the regional data.
Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) is cutting 2,000 more jobs, according to The Wall Street Journal. The positions expected to be cut are reportedly high-income workers in the investment banking, commercial banking, and non-U.S. wealth management units. BofA has previously announced plans to slash 30,000 workers in its consumer banking divisions over three years.
Meanwhile, if you don’t have a bank account, Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) still wants your business. Its new “Pay with Cash” program lets online shoppers select the “cash” option at checkout. The customer then has 48 hours to pay for their online order with cash at any physical Wal-Mart store.
The FDIC says a quarter of U.S. households are “unbanked” or “underbanked,” meaning they do not have access to credit cards and/or checking accounts; but, a majority of those households do have access to the Internet.
In a first for the airline industry, Delta (NYSE:DAL) is buying an oil refinery. Delta’s Monroe Energy unit has agreed to pay $150 million for a ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) refinery in Pennsylvania. BP will supply crude oil to that plant, and Delta will then refine it into jet fuel, among other blends.
Delta hopes to save $300 million a year. The move is radical and risky for an airline, but if it proves successful, other airlines tackling volatile fuel bills may follow suit. It remains to be seen if passengers will be rewarded with savings when they book their travel with Delta.