US stock futures were largely unchanged this morning, ahead of much-awaited comments by Fed Chairman, Jerome Powell, at 9:10am EST.
Mr Powell will address the Jackson Hole symposium, virtually this year, in an event viewable by the public for the first time. His appearance will be watched for insights into the Fed’s new monetary policy framework.
Fed-watchers anticipate the central bank to adopt a policy that would allow inflation to rise above 2% while keeping interest rates near zero.
Ahead, today's economic calendar also includes; Weekly Jobless Claims and the second estimate for second-quarter Gross Domestic Product at 8:30am EST, followed by Pending Home Sales for July at 10am EST.
Earnings reports are expected today from; Dollar General (DG), Dollar Tree (DLTR), Gap (GPS), VMware (VMW) and Dell Technologies (DELL).
TODAY'S TOP HEADLINES
US: Hurricane Laura Weakens to Category 2 Storm. (The WSJ)
Hurricane Laura weakened to a Category 2 storm hours after barreling ashore near the Texas-Louisiana border, but continued to threaten what forecasters described as lethal flooding and widespread wind damage.
Today's Economical Announcements.
08:30AM - ★★★ - Weekly Jobless Claims (Previous: 1,106,000)
08:30AM - ★★★ - GDP (Q2) (Previous: -5.0%)
09:10AM - ★★★ - Fed Chair Powell Speaks
10:00AM - ★★★ - Pending Home Sales (Jul) (Previous: 16.6%)
STOCKS IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Pre-Market Movers & News Related Stocks.
Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF): [EARNINGS] Reported an unexpected quarterly profit, in addition to seeing revenue come in above Wall Street estimates. Abercrombie said, however, that it expects continued material adverse impacts from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Abbott Labs (ABT): [NEWS] Won Food and Drug Administration approval for a rapid Covid-19 test used by health professionals and medical labs. The portable test will cost $5 and can deliver results in 15 minutes. The approval was granted under the FDA’s emergency use authorization program.
NetApp (NTAP): [EARNINGS] Reported quarterly earnings of 73 cents per share, compared to a consensus estimate of 41 cents a share. The cloud storage software company’s revenue also came in above analysts’ forecasts. Like other companies in this sector, NetApp is benefiting from the pandemic-induced surge in cloud computing as more people work remotely.
Box Inc. (BOX): [EARNINGS] Beat estimates by 6 cents a share, with quarterly profit of 18 cents per share. Revenue came in above forecasts as well. The provider of cloud data storage services also raised its annual revenue forecast, as the jump in people working from home boosts demand.
Coty (COTY): [EARNINGS] Reported a loss of 46 cents per share for its fiscal fourth quarter, wider than the 12 cents a share loss anticipated by Wall Street analysts. Revenue also came in well below forecasts. Coty said the quarter and the full fiscal year were severely impacted by the pandemic, but that it expects significant improvement for the current quarter.
Dollar Tree (DLTR): [EARNINGS] Earned $1.10 per share for its second quarter, 18 cents a share above estimates. Revenue topped forecasts as well. Comparable store sales were up 7.2%, better than the 6.2% consensus FactSet estimate.
WPP (WPP): [EARNINGS] Posted better-than-expected second-quarter results, thanks in part to new business helping companies with expanded e-commerce. The advertising giant also reinstated its dividend. WPP said it would resume its share buyback program when the economic environment stabilizes.
Williams-Sonoma (WSM): [EARNINGS] Earned $1.80 per share for its latest quarter, beating the $1.01 a share consensus estimate. The housewares retailer’s revenue came in slightly above forecasts. Comparable-store sales were better than expected and e-commerce jumped 46%. The stock is under some pressure, however, with the company not giving forward guidance and saying it sees a sizable headwind from shipping charges.
Tiffany (TIF): [EARNINGS] Reported a mixed quarter, with revenue below forecasts, but earnings beating analysts’ estimates. Tiffany’s results were helped by an improvement in sales in China, and the company said global sales trends are continuing to improve during the current quarter. Comparable-store sales fell 24% from a year ago, compared to the drop of 16.9% expected by analysts polled by FactSet.
Burlington Stores (BURL): [EARNINGS] Lost 56 cents per share for its latest quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of a loss of $1.04 per share. Revenue came in slightly below estimates, with comparable sales in re-opened stores down 14% from a year earlier. The company said it should see improvement this quarter as it replenishes inventory, but warns it sees “a lot of risk” as well.
Splunk (SPLK): [EARNINGS] Matched analysts’ forecasts with a quarterly loss of 33 cents per share, but revenue fell short of expectations as Splunk continued its shift from licensed software to a cloud-based subscription model.
Dollar General (DG): [EARNINGS] Earned $3.21 per share for its latest quarter, compared to a consensus estimate of $2.44 a share. Revenue was also above forecasts. Comparable-store sales were up 18.8%, better than the 14.9% increase anticipated by analysts polled by FactSet. Dollar General also announced a $2 billion increase in its share buyback program. Both Dollar General and rival Dollar General benefited from pandemic-fueled shopping for essentials.
Sanderson Farms (SAFM): [EARNINGS] Reported quarterly profit of $1.48 per share, well above the 95 cents a share consensus estimate. Revenue also beat analysts’ forecasts. Sanderson saw strong demand for products sold in the retail channel, although it did see volatility in other areas of its business.
Under Armour (UAA): [NEWS] Was sued by the University of California, Los Angeles, for pulling out of a 15-year apparel deal with the school. UCLA is seeking more than $200 million in damage after Under Armour ended the pact after college sports were canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
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