U.S. stock futures pointed to solid gains Wednesday amid strong earnings from Disney and hope that U.S. lawmakers can reach a deal on coronavirus stimulus relief by the end of this week. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures gained 188 points, or 0.7%. S&P 500 futures traded 0.5% and Nasdaq 100 futures advanced 0.3%. Wednesday's gains put the Dow and S&P 500 on pace for their fourth straight day of gains while the Nasdaq was headed for a six-day winning streak.
Shares of Disney rose more than 6% in the premarket after the media giant eked out a small profit even as the coronavirus pandemic dented sectors like its park business. Disney on Tuesday reported earnings per share of 8 cents. Analysts expected a loss of 64 cents per share, according to Refinitiv. The company also reported more than 100 million paid subscribers for its streaming services.
CVS Health shares traded more than 4% higher after the drug store chain posted quarterly numbers that beat analyst expectations. The company reported earnings per share of $2.64 on revenue of $65.3 billion. Analysts polled by Refinitiv expected a profit of $1.93 per share on revenue of $64.23 billion. CVS also raised its earnings forecast for the year.
A Bank of America analyst downgraded Apple to neutral from buy as the stock was approaching a whopping $2 trillion market capitalization. The analyst, Wamsi Mohan, cited Apple's "highest premium" to the S&P 500 in a decade, higher costs to produce 5G iPhones and potential antitrust regulation over the company's App Store among the risks the tech giant faces. Apple shares dipped 0.4% in the premarket.
ADP reported Wednesday that private payrolls increased by only 167,000 jobs in July, well below the 1 million expected from economists surveyed by Dow Jones and a tumble from the 4.314 million created in June. On Tuesday, President Donald Trump hinted that a strong jobs report would be released by the government at the end of the week, saying "a big number coming out Friday on jobs." Trump has teased strong jobs reports before. In June 2018, he tweeted about an hour before the May 2018 jobs report was released that he was "looking forward to seeing the employment numbers." Economists polled by Dow Jones expected the U.S. economy to have added 1.264 million jobs in July. The government report is scheduled for release on Friday.