Banks dominate this morning's list of stocks to watch, after the Federal Reserve's stress tests approved the capital plans for 31 of 33 banks, with only the U.S. banking units of Deutsche Bank and Banco Santander failing to gain the Fed's approval.
Morgan Stanley — Morgan Stanley did win approval for its capital return plans, but it was conditional. Morgan Stanley will be required to submit a revised plan addressing weaknesses found by the Fed in its internal processes, with that report due by December 29.
M&T Bank — M&T also gained Fed approval, but it had to scale back capital distribution plans to keep its buffers above central bank minimums.
American Express, JPMorgan Chase, KeyCorp, SunTrust, BB&T, Regions Financial, Bank of New York Mellon, PNC, Discover Financial, Capital One, State Street, and Huntington Bancshares — All these banks announced dividend hikes and/or stock buybacks.
Among other stocks to watch:
Darden Restaurants — The Olive Garden parent reported quarterly profit of $1.10 per share, two cents a share above estimates. Its revenue fell short of forecasts, however, as did its 2017 earnings outlook. Darden did announced a dividend hike to 56 cents per share from 50 cents a share.
McCormick —The spice maker beat estimates by a penny with adjusted quarterly profit of 75 cents per share, with revenue matching estimates. The company's results were helped by cost cutting and acquisitions.
ConAgra — The company matched forecasts with adjusted per-share profit of 52 cents per share, Revenue fell short of estimates, however. ConAgra's results were helped by strength in profit margins, as commodity costs fell and productivity savings increased.
Priceline Group — Morgan Stanley upgraded the travel website operator's stock to "overweight" from "equal-weight," noting increasing profitability and the opportunity to make inroads in the alternative accommodations market.
Tractor Supply — The company gave weaker-than-expected current-quarter guidance and cut its annual earnings forecast, saying cooler than average spring weather had hurt sales. Tractor Supply is a retailer of farm equipment and related products.
Netflix — Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos told a media event in South Korea that the streaming service is still considering an entry into China, as it looks for new ways to increase its subscriber base internationally.
United Continental — The airline's flight attendant union leaders have agreed to put a tentative contract agreement to a membership vote, following several years of negotiations on a combined labor contract for workers from the old United Airlines and Continental Airlines, which merged in 2010.
Nielsen — The ratings service unveiled its first-ever results surveying viewership of TV shows on streaming services. The information was presented to a Las Vegas conference and obtained by The Wall Street Journal.
Oracle — The business software company sold $14 billion in bonds Wednesday in the third largest bond offering of 2016.
Seagate Technology — Seagate will cut about 1,600 jobs, or three percent of the hard disk drive maker's workforce. That follows a round of job cuts last year and lower than expected earnings for the company's most recent quarter.