Home / Stocks / The Stock Market Is Calmer. Abbott Labs and GM Are Is Jumping.

The Stock Market Is Calmer. Abbott Labs and GM Are Is Jumping.

Monday trading may start in the red, but it doesn’t look as bad—or as volatile—as recent sessions.

Overseas stock markets are mostly lower. Hong Kong’s
Hang Seng Index,
for instance, fell 1.3%. Japan’s
Nikkei 225 Index
was off 1.6% and Europe’s
FTSE 100 Index
is 0.8% lower.

U.S. stock futures, on the other hand, are up a little.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
futures are up 0.1%.
SP 500
futures have risen 0.3% and
Nasdaq Composite
futures are 0.4% higher.

Investors will be grateful for smaller premarket moves. The 10-day absolute average daily percentage move of the stock market through March 24 was almost 7%, according to Dow Jones Market Data. That is the highest since the onset of the Great Depression: Recent market volatility has been extreme.

The Dow and SP dropped 4.1% and 3.4%, respectively, on Friday. Still, the indexes rose 12.8% and 10.3%, respectively, for the week. Overall, the Dow is down almost 15% so far in March. The SP is off about 14%.

Premarket gains and losses, for the most part, are still all about Covid-19 and the global pandemic.

Stock in
Abbott Laboratories
(ticker: ABT) is up more than 12% in premarket trading. Friday, the firm received emergency-use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for a rapid point-of-care test than can diagnose the Covid-19 coronavirus in as little as five minutes.

Shares of
Owens Minor
(OMI)—maker of surgical equipment—are surging, up 36% in premarket trading. CEO Edward Pesicka reiterated the company’s earnings guidance on Friday, making it clear the outbreak hasn’t hurt profit. The company expects to make about 55 cents a share in 2020.

General Motors
(GM) stock is up 6.1% in premarket trading. Friday, the auto maker announced it was making surgical masks as well as critical- care ventilators.

The ventilators, built in partnership with Ventec Life Systems, will ship in about a month.

“This unique partnership combines Ventec’s respiratory care expertise with GM’s manufacturing might to produce sophisticated and high-quality critical care ventilators,” Ventec CEO Chris Kiple in a company news release. “This pandemic is unprecedented and so is this response.”

Travel-related stocks, on the other hand, are down. President Donald Trump suggested Sunday that social-distancing measures might be in place through the month of April.

Shares of cruise operator
(CCL), for instance, are off 8.7%.
Hilton Worldwide
(HLT) stock is down 0.9%.
American Airlines
(AAL) shares fell 5.3%.

Monday and Tuesday might be the calm before the storm. Investors get a new batch of new economic data when March turns to April on Wednesday.

Write to Al Root at allen.root@dowjones.com

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