Morning Brief

What to watch today: Dow set to post weekly gains despite Covid-driven volatility


Dow futures pointed to a gain at Wall Street's open on this Friday the 13th of November. The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 317 points Thursday, after a small loss Wednesday, as the U.S. kept seeing the worst new daily coronavirus cases of the pandemic. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also fell Thursday. (CNBC)

* JPMorgan's Kolanovic says buy more stocks on vaccine news, market will look past latest Covid surge (CNBC Pro)

Heading into Friday's trading, the Dow and S&P 500 were tracking for weekly gains, while the Nasdaq was looking at losses for the week. All three stock benchmarks hit intraday all-time highs Monday, but none of them closed at records. (CNBC)


Shares of Disney, one of the 30 Dow components, jumped in Friday's premarket, a day after the media and theme park giant reported a smaller-than-expected loss and better-than-expected revenue in its fiscal fourth quarter. The Disney+ streaming service had more than 73 million paid subscribers as Oct. 3, the end of the company's fiscal year. Disney said it would forgo its January dividend payment but still expects to pay the dividend in the future. (CNBC)

While most Disney theme parks were open during the quarter, the continued closure of Disneyland in California hurt results. At its parks, experiences and products division, Disney said the pandemic cost around $2.4 billion in lost operating income and led to a 61% drop in sales. (CNBC)

Theme parks in California will remain shuttered well into 2021, as state guidelines prohibit reopening until coronavirus cases fall below one per 100,000 in the county where they are located. Orange County, where Disneyland's two California parks are located, is seeing 5.6 cases per 100,000 people. Los Angeles County, where Comcast-owned Universal Studios is located, is seeing 11.5 cases per 100,000 residents. (CNBC)

* Schools abandon classes, states retreat as coronavirus cases spike around the nation (AP)
* Five test positive for Covid on first cruise ship to resume sailing in the Caribbean (CNBC)
* Deutsche Bank proposes a 5% tax for people still working from home after the pandemic (CNBC)

California on Thursday became the second U.S. state to top 1 million total coronavirus cases, following Texas earlier in the week. The U.S. on Thursday logged 153,496 new infections, the highest daily case count yet. (CNBC)

* Fauci acknowledges America's 'independent spirit,' but says now it's time to 'do what you're told' (CNBC)
* Fauci says it appears Covid strain from Danish mink farms won’t be a problem for vaccines (CNBC)

Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk said on Thursday he took four rapid coronavirus tests on the same day, with two showing positive results, while the other two were negative. Musk also took PCR tests from separate labs whose results will take about 24 hours. (CNBC)

* Billionaire Trump donors Liz and Dick Uihlein test positive for coronavirus (CNBC)

President-elect Joe Biden now has 290 Electoral College votes, 20 more than needed, after he was projected to win Arizona, NBC News reported. The last time Arizona voted Democratic in a presidential election was 1996, when Bill Clinton was reelected. President Donald Trump, who has been refusing to acknowledge Biden's victory and fighting it in the courts, remains at 217 Electoral College votes. (CNBC)

Pennsylvania's top election official, a Democrat, is asking a federal judge to throw out a Trump campaign lawsuit seeking to block the state from certifying its results, which was projected in Biden's favor. (CNBC)

* Coalition of federal and state officials say Nov. 3 election most secure in U.S. history (CNBC)

In Georgia, where Biden holds about a 14,000 vote lead over Trump among nearly 5 million cast, election officials are set to begin a recount Friday morning and must end it by 11:59 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Georgia's certification deadline is next Friday. (AP)

* Republican returns to NYC delegation as Rep. Rose concedes to GOP's Malliotakis (Politico)

Facebook (FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged to employees that Biden will be the next president, a spokesman for the social network confirmed to CNBC. "It's important that people have confidence that the election was fundamentally fair, and that goes for the tens of millions of people that voted for Trump," Zuckerburg at a companywide meeting, according to BuzzFeed News.

* Zuckerberg defends not suspending ex-Trump aide Bannon from Facebook (Reuters)
* Twitter says labels and warnings slowed spread of false election claims (WSJ)

China on Friday became one of the last major countries to congratulate Biden, while Beijing accused the Trump administration of misusing national security as an excuse to hamper competition. Trump signed an executive order Thursday, barring Americans from investing in a collection of Chinese companies that the White House believes support China's military. (CNBC & AP)

The Commerce Department on Thursday said it will abide by an Oct. 30 temporary injunction that prevented the U.S. government from effectively shutting down TikTok. TikTok and its Chinese parent company ByteDance is awaiting more U.S. government guidance about how to proceed with their minority stake sale. (CNBC)


DraftKings (DKNG) reported a quarterly loss of 57 cents per share, smaller than the 61-cent loss that Wall Street had anticipated, while revenue was above analyst forecasts. DraftKings said it was helped by the resumption of activity by major sports leagues during the third quarter, as well as the start of the NFL season. It increased its current quarter guidance and is projecting 45% year-over-year revenue growth for 2021.

Cisco Systems (CSCO), a Dow stock, beat estimates by 6 cents with an adjusted quarterly profit of 76 cents per share and the networking equipment maker's revenue also beat estimates. Demand for Cisco's products continues to get a boost from the increase in the number of people working from home.

Autodesk (ADSK) said financial results for its third quarter will come in above its prior guidance, with the design software company also said it remained confident in its long term financial goals. Autodesk also announced that Chief Financial Officer Scott Herren is leaving to take the CFO spot at Cisco Systems.

Palantir Technologies (PLTR) earned an adjusted 9 cents per share for its latest quarter, compared to a 2-cent consensus estimate, while revenue also came in above Wall Street forecasts. The data analytics firm also raised its 2020 revenue forecast, after signing 15 new contracts during the third quarter.

Unity Software (U) lost 97 cents per share for its latest quarter, wider than the 15-cent loss that analysts were expecting, although the maker of video gaming software did report better-than-expected revenue. Unity, which went public in September, plans to expand into other markets.

Applied Materials (AMAT) came in 8 cents above estimates with an adjusted quarterly profit of $1.25 per share and the semiconductor manufacturing equipment maker's revenue beat estimates as well. The company also issued an upbeat current-quarter outlook.

Cosmetics maker Revlon (REV) shares were under pressure in the premarket after it reported a third-straight quarterly loss and a 20% sales decline. Revlon said Covid-19 continues to impact its business, but did note that its sales decline slowed compared with the prior quarter.

Spectrum Brands (SPB), a household products company, reported adjusted quarterly earnings of $1.72 per share, beating the consensus estimate of $1.24, with revenue beating forecasts as well. Spectrum said it was helped by a recovery from COVID-19 related supply chain disruptions.


When darkness halted play at 5:30 p.m. ET at the Masters on Thursday evening, Paul Casey, who was able to finish his round one, led the field at 7-under. There were four players at 5-under Thursday; two of them did not complete their rounds. Tiger Woods was among the 4-under cohort Thursday, which also included players who didn't finish round one. Woods did complete his round one. (AP)