September 27, 2020

Wall Street tries to end a rough week on a positive note

BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures were pointing to gains at Friday’s open after early strong advances Thursday turned into steep losses by the close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 405 points, or 1.45%. The S&P 500 retreated 1.8%. The Nasdaq saw the biggest decline of 2%. All three stock benchmarks have closed lower for four of the past five sessions. The Nasdaq was tracking for its worst week since March. The Dow and S&P 500 were pacing for their biggest weekly declines since late June. (CNBC)

The New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq will hold moments of silence at 9:20 a.m. ET, 10 minutes before Wall Street opens, to remember the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Friday marks 19 years since Islamic extremists from Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda terror group hijacked and crashed planes in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania.

The government is out with its August consumer price index at 8:30 a.m. ET. Investors will be watching these figures following the Federal Reserve’s announcement last month that it will let inflation run hotter than normal. (CNBC)

Shares of Peloton Interactive jumped about 12% in Friday’s premarket trading after the fitness equipment and exercise platform company said that fiscal fourth-quarter sales surged 172% to $607.1 million. Peloton’s high-tech stationary bikes and treadmills have become two of the hottest commodities for people looking to work out at home during the coronavirus pandemic. Peloton swung to a per-share profit of 27 cents from a year-ago loss of $2.07 per share. The company also gave rosier guidance. (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

Senate Republicans failed to advance their latest coronavirus stimulus bill. The so-called skinny relief package on Thursday fell short of the 60 votes needed to move forward as all Democrats and one Republican, Rand Paul of Kentucky, opposed it. The GOP legislation included reinstating enhanced unemployment insurance, but at $300 per week from the previous $600, and authorizing new small business loans. (CNBC)

Dining out raises the risk of contracting Covid-19 more than other activities, such as shopping or going to a salon, according to a report published Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The findings come as many states consider the safest ways to reopen businesses, especially restaurants. (NBC News)

* FDA chief says he has ‘no intention’ of overruling career staff on coronavirus vaccine decision (CNBC)
* Fauci says to ‘hunker down’ for the rest of the year (CNBC)
* Stanford Medical faculty lambaste former colleague and Trump coronavirus advisor Dr. Scott Atlas (CNBC)
* Trump says everyone knew the coronavirus was airborne in February: It’s ‘no big thing’ (CNBC)
* Trump pushes universities to keep students on campus despite rising coronavirus cases (CNBC)

The defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City beat the Houston Texans 34-20 last night before a socially distanced crowd of about 17,000 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Before the game, players protested against racial injustice. (AP)

More than 150 business leaders in New York City, including CEOs of Goldman Sachs, Vornado Realty Trust (VNO) and JetBlue (JBLU), joined together to warn Mayor Bill de Blasio that he needs to take more decisive action to address crime and other quality-of-life issues that they said were jeopardizing the city’s economic recovery. (NY Times)

A series of events — some unforeseeable, others more squarely under Michael Corbat’s responsibility — made him speed up plans to retire as CEO of Citigroup. On Thursday, he announced he would step down in February and that Citi appointed Jane Fraser to take his place, which will make her the first female CEO of a major U.S. bank. (CNBC)

Trump said the deadline set for Chinese company ByteDance to sell its popular short-video app TikTok’s U.S. assets would not be extended. A bid from Microsoft (MSFT) and Walmart (WMT) and an offer from Oracle are considered the leading candidates in those sales talks. (Reuters)

Russian government hackers have targeted at least 200 organizations tied to the 2020 U.S. election in recent weeks, including national and state political parties and political consultants working for both Republicans and Democrats, according to Microsoft (MSFT). (WSJ)

Britain and Japan today agreed in principle to a trade deal, in a move that sees the U.K. strike its first major agreement post-Brexit. It comes as Britain struggles to secure an agreement with its closest trading partners in the European Union. (CNBC)

Deadly wildfires in heavily populated northwest Oregon were growing, with more than 10% of the 4.2 million people in the state, told to flee encroaching flames. In California, the death toll could rise as searchers look for 16 missing people. (AP)

STOCKS TO WATCH

Oracle (ORCL) reported quarterly profit of 93 cents per share, 7 cents a share above estimates. The business software giant’s revenue also beat Wall Street forecasts. Oracle’s results were helped by an increased focus on cloud-based products and services as more people work remotely.

Chewy (CHWY) lost 8 cents per share for its latest quarter, half the loss that Wall Street was expecting. Revenue also came in above forecasts. The online pet products seller added more customers in the first half of this year than it did all of last year, as homebound consumers ordered more of their pet supplies online.

Dave & Buster’s (PLAY) reported a quarterly loss of $1.24 per share, smaller than the anticipated loss of $1.40. The restaurant chain’s revenue came in below Wall Street estimates, however, and was 85% below year-ago levels. Dave & Buster’s re-opened 27 locations during the quarter, but is still not providing fiscal 2020 guidance amid Covid-19 related uncertainty.

Crocs (CROX) said it expected current-quarter revenue to grow about 10% from the year-ago total of $312.8 million, saying the brand has shown tremendous resilience in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. The projected revenue for the quarter ending Sept. 30 would be above the current consensus estimate of $305.2 million.

Zumiez (ZUMZ) earned $1.01 per share for its second quarter, well above the consensus estimate of $1.01 a share. The retailer of action sports apparel and equipment reported better-than-expected revenue as well. Comparable sales at re-opened stores were up more than 37% from a year ago. About 95% of the company’s stores have now reopened following pandemic-related closures.

Tesla (TSLA) plans to export China-made Model 3 cars to Asian and European markets, according to multiple reports, with mass production of vehicles intended for export to begin during the fourth quarter.

Ebay (EBAY) founder Pierre Omidyar has stepped down from the online marketplace operator’s board of directors as part of a board overhaul. Ebay said this and other departures are not related to any disagreement with the company. Elliott Management partner Jesse Cohn is also leaving the eBay board.

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