Morning Brief

What to watch today: Stocks set for more gains after halting 3-day losing streak

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BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures Friday pointed to a second day of gains on Wall Street, one day after a rebound rally halted a three-session losing streak. The Nasdaq on Thursday shot up nearly 1.8%, pulling the tech-heavy index into positive territory for the week. (CNBC)

Ahead of Friday trading, the Dow and S&P 500 were still lower for the week, despite Thursday's more than 0.5% and 1% respective advances. Tesla, chip stocks and other speculative names, which took big hits in the previous session, bounced back Thursday as bitcoin prices recovered. (CNBC)

Bitcoin traded above $40,000 on Friday as the bounce back rally in the world's biggest cryptocurrency by market value stabilized following Wednesday's collapse to more than three month lows near $30,000. Keeping a lid on gains was concern about U.S. calls for stricter cryptocurrency compliance with the IRS (CNBC)

On today's economic calendar, the National Association of Realtors is out with April existing home sales at 10 a.m. ET. Economists expect a 0.2% increase to an annual rate of 6.02 million units. Existing home sales fell 3.7% in March. (CNBC)

Oatly (OTLY) soared 5.9% in premarket trading following the oat milk maker's debut Wall Street session Thursday. Oatly's IPO was priced at $17 per share, with the first trade at $22.12 and a closing Thursday price of $20.20 for a first-day advance of almost 19%. (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

The Biden administration is proposing a global minimum corporate tax rate of 15%. However, Treasury said Thursday the final rate could go even higher, calling 15% a "floor and that discussions should continue to be ambitious and push that rate higher." Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said that establishing a global minimum rate would help halt the "race to the bottom" globally for tax rates. (CNBC)

Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook is set to take the witness stand Friday to defend the company's App Store against charges that it's has grown into an illegal monopoly. Fortnite maker Epic Games claims that Apple's App Store has morphed into a price-gouging vehicle, reaping 15% to 30% commissions from in-app transactions and blocking apps from offering other payment alternatives. (AP)

Tesla (TSLA) hiked prices on its Model 3s and Model Ys for the fifth time in the last few months, according to EV news site Electrek. The Model 3 Standard Range Plus and Model 3 Long Range AWD both went up $500, starting now at $39,490 and $48,490, respectively. The Model Y Long Range AWD also went up $500, starting now at $51,490.

Carnival (CCL) said its flagship brand, as well as its Holland America line, would resume Alaska cruises in July. Princess Cruises made a similar announcement, after the passage of new legislation by the House and Senate. The legislation temporarily waives the rule that required Alaska cruises to make a stop in Canada. Carnival shares gained 1.6% in premarket trading. (CNBC)

Dr. Anthony Fauci said middle schools and high schools could be completely mask-free in the fall. "If the children get vaccinated, it is conceivable that that would actually wind up being a recommendation. We'll just have to wait and see," the chief medical advisor to the White House said. (CNBC)

* New CDC mask guidelines could actually increase Covid risk at work, scientists say (CNBC)

Moderna's (MRNA) Covid-vaccine was officially approved by regulators in Japan and South Korea. Japan also gave approval to the Covid vaccine produced by AstraZeneca (AZN) and Oxford University. Moderna was up 1.5% in the premarket. (Reuters)

STOCKS TO WATCH

Ross Stores (ROST) reported first-quarter earnings of $1.34 per share, compared to an 88 cents a share consensus estimate. The discount retailer's revenue came in well above forecasts. Results got a boost from stimulus payments to consumers and an overall improvement in the economic environment. Ross also announced a new $1.5 billion stock buyback program. The stock added 1.4% in premarket trading.

Foot Locker (FL) shares rallied 3.3% in the premarket after the footwear and apparel retailer reported quarterly profit of $1.96 per share. That was well above the $1.09 a share consensus estimate, with revenue also topping forecasts and comparable-store sales surging a better than expected 80.3%.

VF Corp (VFC), the company behind apparel brands like North Face, Timberland and Vans, posted a mixed quarter, beating top line estimates but reporting lower-than-expected per-share profit. VF said the majority of its supply chain is operational, although it's seen isolated product delays. VF shares tumbled 6% in the premarket.

Deckers Outdoor (DECK) – Deckers earned $1.18 per share for its fiscal fourth quarter, well above the consensus estimate of 64 cents a share. The footwear and apparel maker — which counts UGG and Teva among its brand names — also reported better-than-expected revenue, but issued a mixed outlook. Deckers rallied 6% in the premarket.

The Buckle (BKE) shares jumped 7.9% in the premarket after reporting better-than-expected profit and revenue for its latest quarter. The accessories retailer earned $1.16 per share, compared to a consensus estimate of 43 cents a share, helped by the reopening of its stores.

Deere (DE) rose 1.1% in premarket trading after beating estimates on the top and bottom line and raising its full-year forecast. Deere earned $5.68 per share for its fiscal second quarter, compared to a consensus estimate of $4.52 a share. Revenue also beat estimates as a rebounding global economy boosts demand for farm and construction equipment.

Palo Alto Networks (PANW) reported quarterly earnings of $1.38 per share, beating estimates by 10 cents a share. The cybersecurity company's revenue also came in above Wall Street projections. Palo Alto raised its full-year forecast amid an increase in remote working security issues and challenges. Palo Alto shares surged 5.7% in Friday's premarket.

Applied Materials (AMAT) came in 12 cents a share above estimates, with quarterly profit of $1.63 per share. The maker of semiconductor manufacturing equipment reported better-than-expected revenue as well. Applied Materials also gave an upbeat full-year forecast, with chip manufacturers trying to ramp up production in the face of a worldwide chip shortage. Applied Materials added 1.1% in the premarket.

Kansas City Southern (KSU) is expected to officially end its merger agreement with Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) today, according to people familiar with the matter who spoke to The Wall Street Journal. Kansas City Southern will instead accept a competing bid from Canadian National Railway (CNI) after Canadian Pacific declined to raise its original bid.