US stock futures pushed higher with European equities on Wednesday, in a show of optimism after the S&P 500 hit an all-time high yesterday.
The benchmark stock index’s sharp rally since late March, fueled in part by stimulus measures from the central bank and the government, has erased its historic crash, leaving the index up over +5.0% for the year.
Going forward, investors searching for fresh catalysts will look to fiscal stimulus talks and the Fed's meeting minutes release today at 2:00pm.
In a positive signal, House Speaker Pelosi suggested that Democrats might be willing adjust their stimulus proposal to speed Covid-19 relief.
The market has for some weeks also been counting on additional stimulus spending by the government to bolster consumer confidence.
Ahead, today's economic calendar also includes; Crude Oil Inventories for the week ended August 14 at 10:30am EST.
Meanwhile, earnings reports expected today from; Nvidia (NVDA), TJX Cos. (TJX), Analog Devices (ADI) and L Brands (LB).
TODAY'S TOP HEADLINES
Politics: Democrats Nominate Joe Biden To Lead Nation. (The WSJ)
Democrats formally made Joe Biden their presidential nominee, a role he has sought for more than three decades.
Today's Economical Announcements.
10:30AM - ★★★ - Crude Oil Inventories (Previous: -4.512M)
02:00PM - ★★★ - FOMC Meeting Minutes
STOCKS IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Pre-Market Movers & News Related Stocks.
Target (TGT): [EARNINGS] Earned $3.38 per share for the second quarter, substantially above the consensus estimate of $1.62 a share. The retailer’s revenue also beat forecasts, with comparable-store sales up 24.3% compared with a consensus FactSet estimate of a 7.6% increase. Target’s digital sales nearly tripled compared to a year earlier.
Sorrento Therapeutics (SRNE): [NEWS] Fired Chief Financial Officer Jiong Sharo, effective immediately. The California-based biotech company did not give a reason for Sharo’s departure.
Momenta Pharmaceuticals (MNTA): [NEWS] Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) announced a deal to buy Momenta Pharmaceuticals for $6.5 billion in cash, or $52.50 per share. J&J said the deal would boost its presence in treatments for autoimmune diseases.
Gilead Sciences (GILD): [NEWS] Gilead’s experimental treatment for moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis will not be approved in its current form, according to a complete response letter from the Food and Drug Administration to Gilead. The letter asks for more data and expresses certain concerns about the treatment, but Gilead said it would address the FDA’s issues and it still believes in the benefit/risk profile of the treatment.
Lowe’s (LOW): [EARNINGS] Reported quarterly earnings of $3.75 per share, beating the consensus estimate of $2.95 a share. Revenue also came in above forecasts. Comparable-store sales were up 34.2%, more than double the 16.3% increase forecast by analysts polled by FactSet. Lowe’s saw digital sales surge by 135%.
Southwest Airlines (LUV): [NEWS] Said its cash burn rate during July was about $17 million per day, smaller than its previous $18 million forecast. The airline now estimates its third-quarter burn rate at $20 million per day compared with a prior $23 million estimate. The airline attributes the smaller cash burn to recent modest improvements in revenue trends.
La-Z-Boy (LZB): [EARNINGS] Reported a profit of 18 cents per share, compared to forecasts of an 18 cents per share loss. The furniture maker’s revenue did come in below analysts’ estimates, however, amid a pandemic-induced 31% drop in sales. La-Z-Boy said sales have picked up as the summer has progressed.
Uber (UBER), Lyft (LYFT): [NEWS] Are considering moving to a licensing model in California, according to The New York Times. By licensing their brands to vehicle fleet operators in that state, the ride-hailing companies would avoid having to reclassify their drivers as employees.
Oracle (ORCL): [NEWS] Received verbal support from President Donald Trump in its efforts to buy the U.S. operations of Chinese video-sharing app TikTok. Microsoft (MSFT) is also in negotiations with TikTok parent ByteDance, and The Wall Street Journal previously reported Twitter (TWTR) was also exploring a bid.
Sony (SNE): [NEWS] Hedge fund Third Point sold its entire holdings of Sony American depositary receipts, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. Third Point still owns a large amount of Sony’s Japanese shares, however, a person familiar with the fund told Reuters.
Blackstone (BX): [NEWS] The private-equity firm is set to buy the over-the-counter drug business of Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical for $2.37 billion, according to multiple published reports in Japan. Takeda is seeking to reduce debt following its $59 billion acquisition of Irish drugmaker Shire, which was completed in early 2019.
Agilent Technologies (A): [EARNINGS] Reported quarterly earnings of 78 cents per share, 12 cents a share above estimates. Revenue also beat forecasts. The life sciences company’s sales in its diagnostics and genomics units came in short of Wall Street projections.
Jack Henry (JKHY): [EARNINGS] Reported quarterly profit of 80 cents per share, 2 cents a share above estimates. The provider of payment processing technology saw revenue fall short of forecasts. The company is also projecting a full-year earnings outlook that is shy of consensus.
GAINERS: GRPN, BE, EVTC, AMZN, NTRA, TSLA
DECLINERS: KSS, JWN, MIDD, VG, FHB
Foley Trasimene Acquisition (BFT.U) (Price: 10) (Est. Vol: $1.3B)
Forum Merger III (FIIIU) (Price: 10) (Est. Vol: $250.0M)
Harmony Biosciences (HRMY) (Price: 24) (Est. Vol: $128.4M)
Inhibrx (INBX) (Price: 17) (Est. Vol: $119.0M)
WE WILL SHOW YOU THE WAY!