Morning Brief

What to watch today: Wall Street set for another rally as Pfizer booster shows promise on omicron


U.S. stock futures reversed higher and pointed to gains for a third day on Wednesday after Pfizer said three doses of its vaccine are effective at neutralizing the omicron variant. The Dow on Tuesday rallied 492 points or 1.4%. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq, which both had their best days since March, jumped 2% and 3%, respectively. This week's gains put all three stock benchmarks back within striking distance of their November record closes. (CNBC)

On Wednesday's economic calendar, at 10 a.m. ET, the government releases the October's JOLTS data, short for Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. A brief drop in mortgage rates, due to the market reaction to the first word of omicron, caused refinance demand to rise a dramatic 9% last week. However, homebuyer demand for mortgages fell 5% after four straight weeks of gains. (CNBC)

* Americans plan robust spending this holiday season, but worry about inflation, supply bottlenecks (CNBC)


Pfizer said Wednesday a third Covid vaccine shot produces antibody levels comparable with those induced by the initial two-dose series against the original strain, which are associated with a high level of protection. "Ensuring as many people as possible are fully vaccinated with the first two dose series and a booster remains the best course," Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said. (CNBC)

* Dr. Gottlieb says omicron may extend pandemic, still sees 2022 as a 'transition year' (CNBC)
* Symptoms, vaccine evasion and a new 'offshoot': What we know now about omicron (CNBC)
* Three themes to watch as CVS has its first investor day since start of pandemic (CNBC)

Meta Platforms, formerly Facebook, said it'll fully reopen its U.S. offices on Jan. 31, but it'll give its employees the option to delay their return by three to five months. In August, Meta said it intended to delay its plan to return U.S. employees to their office until January 2022 due to ongoing concerns with Covid. (CNBC)

* Instagram chief faces Senate hearing on potential dangers of app for young people (WSJ)
* Crypto CEOs to testify before lawmakers looking at stricter regulation (WSJ)

The House took a first step toward preventing a possible default on U.S. debt. The chamber on Tuesday passed a bill that would allow the Senate to raise the country's borrowing limit with a simple majority vote. Lawmakers attached the provision to legislation that would prevent automatic Medicare cuts set to take place at the end of the year. (CNBC)

* House passes $768 Billion defense policy bill, unveiled hours before vote (NY Times)
* Biden bank regulator pick withdraws after Senate fight over her background (CNBC)

Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes admitted Tuesday she gave a journalist inaccurate information for a lengthy profile she used to woo investors. With cross-examination wrapping up, Holmes took the stand in her own defense for a sixth day. She was questioned about the 2014 Fortune cover story, "This CEO Is Out For Blood," written by Roger Parloff. (CNBC)

Stitch Fix (SFIX) plunged about 25% in Wednesday's premarket after issuing current-quarter revenue guidance and membership metrics that fell short of Wall Street forecasts. The online apparel retailer did post a narrower-than-expected loss for its latest quarter and better-than-expected revenue, but not enough to sway investor concerns. (CNBC)


Robinhood (HOOD) filed to terminate a planned share sale by backers of the trading platform company. The stock jumped 3% in the premarket.

Campbell Soup (CPB) beat estimates by 8 cents with adjusted quarterly earnings of 89 cents per share, although revenue was slightly below analyst forecasts. Campbell said demand remains elevated for its products, and that it's been able to moderate the impact of higher input costs through strong pricing and productivity improvements. The stock added 1.4% in the premarket.

Thor Industries (THO) earned $4.34 per share for its latest quarter, well above the $3.24 consensus estimate. Revenue was also above Wall Street forecasts amid continued strong demand. The recreational vehicle maker jumped 6% in premarket trading.

Weber (WEBR) rose 1% in the premarket after it reported a narrower-than-expected loss for its latest quarter and beat Wall Street revenue forecasts. The grill maker lost 13 cents per share, 5 cents less than analysts had anticipated.

Dave & Buster's (PLAY) estimates by 8 cents with a quarterly profit of 23 cents per share, while the operator of entertainment center-themed restaurants also saw revenue come in above Street forecasts. Dave & Buster's rallied 4.5% in the premarket.

ChargePoint Holdings (CHPT) posted an adjusted loss of 14 cents per share for its latest quarter, 1 cent wider than anticipated, while the charging station network operator saw revenue slightly above estimates. The company did give stronger-than-expected current-quarter revenue guidance and raised its full-year outlook. Despite the upbeat outlook, ChargePoint fell 2.7% in premarket trading.

PagerDuty (PD) reported an adjusted quarterly loss of 7 cents per share, 2 cents narrower than analysts had predicted, while revenue topped Street forecasts. The maker of IT response software also gave better-than-expected current-quarter revenue guidance, and its stock surged 10.9% in premarket action.

Toll Brothers (TOL) earned $3.02 per share for its latest quarter, compared with a consensus estimate of $2.49, while the luxury home builder also reported better-than-expected revenue. It is also projecting 20% growth in fiscal 2022 revenue as demand remains elevated. Toll added 1.5% in the premarket.

BlackRock (BLK)is pulling about $2 trillion of assets from State Street (STT), which had served as the sole custodian of BlackRock's ETFs. BlackRock will be shifting some of its ETF custodianship to Citigroup (C), JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Bank of America (BAC).

Visa (V) is launching new consulting and advisory services to help its clients navigate the world of cryptocurrencies. The payments processor said Wednesday its crypto advisory practice, housed within its consulting and analytics division. Visa shares were modestly higher in the premarket.