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Thursday’s Wall Street Highlights: HSBC, Meta, Ryanair, Peloton, Micron, and more

Fernanda T
Latest News
September 28 2023 3:32AM

US index futures were mixed in Thursday’s pre-market as investors approached the final days of trading in a challenging month and quarter economically and financially.

At 7:05 AM, Dow Jones futures rose 35 points, or 0.10%. S&P 500 futures were up 0.06%, while Nasdaq-100 futures fell 0.10%. The yield on 10-year Treasury bonds stood at 4.643%.

In the commodities market, West Texas Intermediate crude oil for November dropped 0.14% to $93.55 per barrel, while Brent crude for November fell 0.26% to nearly $96.32 per barrel. Meanwhile, iron ore with 62% concentration on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE) rose 0.89% to $116.66 per ton.

On Thursday’s economic calendar, investors awaited the release of final second-quarter GDP data and jobless claims at 8:30 AM. Pending home sales figures will be revealed at 10:00 AM. One of the most anticipated events of the day will be at 4:00 PM when Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell participates in an event with educators, while Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Tom Barkin and Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Austan Goolsbee deliver speeches.

Moreover, Wall Street is closely monitoring developments in Washington as lawmakers continue their discussions on U.S. spending legislation. Failure to reach an agreement by the end of this week could result in a government shutdown.

Asian markets closed with mixed results, with Japan leading the declines due to rising government bond yields. Investor confidence in the Chinese real estate sector weakened in Hong Kong after China Evergrande’s shares were suspended. Markets in South Korea were closed, while Australian stocks ended lower due to losses in gold and banking stocks. China’s Shanghai Composite closed with a small gain of 0.10%, with investors exercising caution, possibly due to the Golden Week holiday in China and expectations of the country’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) data release over the weekend.

At Wednesday’s close, the Dow Jones fell 68.61 points or 0.20% to a new three-month closing low of 33,550.27 points. The S&P 500 rose 0.98 points or 0.02% to 4,274.51. The Nasdaq Composite rose 29.24 points or 0.22% to 13,092.85. Global markets faced high volatility, influenced by the possibility of a shutdown in the USA, problems with the Evergrande Group and rising interest rates. The volatility of securities and the increase in oil prices also had an impact, highlighting a scenario of uncertainty and economic tensions.

Ahead of Thursday’s corporate earnings, investors will be watching, before the market opens, reports from Accenture (NYSE:ACN), Carmax (NYSE:KMX) and Jabil (NYSE:JBL). After the close, quarterly results are expected from Nike (NYSE:NKE), Blackberry (NYSE:BB) and Vail Resorts (NYSE:MTN).

Wall Street Corporate Highlights for Today

Apple  (NASDAQ:AAPL) – iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max users are reporting overheating on Apple’s new devices. The complaints are diverse, and the company has not yet officially commented. Additionally, Google Pixel is challenging iPhone’s dominance in Japan, capturing 12% of the market as iPhones become more expensive. Japan is a vital market for mobile software and games. The falling yen is impacting the price of the iPhone, benefiting the Pixel, and changes to mobile carrier subsidies are influencing consumer choices.

Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:META) – Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta Platforms, introduced new AI products, including bots, smart glasses and an updated virtual reality headset, aimed at integrating AI into consumers’ everyday lives. The glasses, released on October 17, cost $299 and can live stream to social media. These innovations reflect Zuckerberg’s continued focus on artificial intelligence and mixed reality to power the company’s metaverse, despite the significant expenses involved. In other news, Alexis Black Bjorlin, Meta’s vice president of infrastructure, will step down at the end of the month. Bjorlin led the team responsible for designing custom AI chips, and Yee Jiun Song will take over the role. Furthermore, SEC is finalizing agreements with about 24 Wall Street firms to resolve investigations into record-keeping failures. These settlements, marking the SEC’s latest enforcement action against the use of WhatsApp and other messaging apps not authorized by Wall Street, would carry fines and commitments to correct wrongdoing.

Snap Inc  (NYSE:SNAP) – Snap Inc is closing its enterprise-facing augmented reality (AR) division, resulting in 170 layoffs, as it struggles in a challenging economic climate and reduced advertising spending. Launched in March, the service sought to diversify the company’s revenue, which was predominantly dependent on advertising. CEO Evan Spiegel cited the need to focus on core advertising businesses and face competition from generative artificial intelligence as reasons for the closure.

Micron Technology  (NASDAQ:MU) – Micron projected a larger-than-expected loss for the first quarter, sending its shares down 5.0% in Thursday’s pre-market trading. Despite this, it is increasing the production of new products and aims to become a supplier to Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA). Micron anticipates a loss of US$1.07 per share, contrasting with the expectation of 95 cents by analysts surveyed by LSEG. For the fiscal fourth quarter, Micron reported revenue of $4.01 billion, a 40% drop from the year-ago quarter, with an adjusted loss of $1.07 per share and a loss under accounting principles generally accepted values ​​of $1.31 per share. Investors who hoped that advances in AI would help Micron mitigate short-term losses had their expectations dashed. CEO, Sanjay Mehrotra, indicates that revenue will begin to grow in early 2024, with expectations of a significant recovery at the end of the year.

Johnson Controls International  (NYSE:JCI) – Johnson Controls faced a cybersecurity incident, disrupting operations and possibly affecting profits. The company is investigating the incident and has reported disruptions to its IT infrastructure, although many applications remain operational. The company is still evaluating the impact on financial results.

Disney  (NYSE:DIS),  Warner Bros Discovery  (NASDAQ:WBD) Paramount Global   (NASDAQ:PARA)Netflix  (NASDAQ:NFLX) – Hollywood studios and striking actors will negotiate on October 2, after months without dialogue. The SAG-AFTRA union, with 160,000 members, demands higher wages and limits on the use of AI, in addition to other measures aimed at equity and fair compensation, especially on streaming platforms.

Sony  (NYSE:SONY) – Sony Group announced the retirement of gaming chief Jim Ryan in March, with Hiroki Totoki taking over on an interim basis. Ryan, CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment since 2019, led the launch of the PlayStation 5. Its successor will face challenges such as expanding into PC and smartphone gaming and adapting to changes in the gaming industry.

Berkshire Hathaway  (NYSE:BRK.B)HP Inc  (NYSE:HPQ) – Berkshire Hathaway reduced its stake in HP Inc, selling 4.6 million units, approximately $118 million. The move follows continued reductions in the company’s shareholding in September. There is speculation that Berkshire may continue to sell its HP shares, with the sales reflecting recent challenges faced by HP, including reductions in earnings expectations.

Jefferies Financial  (NYSE:JEF) – The bank reported fiscal third-quarter earnings of 22 cents per share on revenue of $1.18 billion, lower than the same quarter last year. Jefferies reported that this quarter’s earnings were impacted by a pre-tax loss in the company’s legacy commercial banking portfolio. Shares are flat in premarket trading Thursday.

HSBC  (NYSE:HSBC)Citigroup  (NYSE:C) – HSBC is close to acquiring Citigroup’s wealth management division in China, which manages US$3 billion in assets. This deal would mean a significant expansion for HSBC in China, a key market for the bank, and would include the transition of hundreds of Citi employees. Financial details remain unknown.

UBS  (NYSE:UBS) – UBS saw its shares fall on Wednesday following reports of increased scrutiny by the US Department of Justice over alleged compliance failures helping Russian clients evade sanctions. The investigation, still in its early stages, focuses mainly on potential violations by Credit Suisse, which was acquired by UBS. The bank has provisions of about $10 billion for litigation, enough to cover potential related costs, according to JPMorgan.

JPMorgan Chase  (NYSE:JPM) – JPMorgan Hedged Equity fund (JHEQX) holds a significant position in options that could accelerate the sale of US stocks if the S&P 500 falls below a certain point, increasing volatility in the market. This fund, known for its impactful positions in derivatives, is observed by experts and traders, who analyze the potential effects of its movements in the markets, creating a scenario of caution and strategy due to its significant influences on stock market fluctuations.

Bank of America  (NYSE:BAC) – Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan said the Federal Reserve is winning the fight against inflation, but interest rates are expected to remain high. Despite slowing consumer spending growth, Moynihan sees the economy avoiding a recession, heading for a “soft landing.” He also expressed concerns about proposed capital rules, arguing they could restrict lending and reduce competitiveness.

Kraken – Cryptocurrency exchange Kraken plans to offer trading in US stocks and ETFs, starting services in the US and UK through its Kraken Securities division in 2024, as reported by Bloomberg. The company already has the necessary licenses in the UK and has applied for a brokerage license in the US.

Peloton Interactive  (NASDAQ:PTON)Lululemon Athletica  (NASDAQ:LULU) – Peloton and Lululemon announced a five-year global partnership, sending Peloton shares up 12.3% in Thursday pre-market trading. Peloton will be the exclusive provider of digital fitness content for Lululemon, while Lululemon will be Peloton’s primary sportswear partner. Lululemon will also discontinue sales of its Studio Mirror due to low demand.

Nike  (NYSE:NKE) – In releasing its results, Nike will focus on the performance of the Jordan brand, crucial to its profits. Data indicates a decrease in the resale value of these shoes, while other brands are growing. There are concerns that Jordan is “losing steam,” with resale values ​​and premiums declining significantly.

Costco Wholesale   (NASDAQ:COST) – Costco, known for its diverse product catalog, reported that its 1-ounce gold bars are selling out within hours. CFO Richard Galanti confirmed the high demand during the quarterly earnings release. Gold is generally considered a safe investment, and with economic concerns, products like gold bars become attractive.

Duckhorn Portfolio  (NYSE:NAPA) – The premium wine maker projected an annual outlook that was lower than analysts expected. Duckhorn forecast full-year profit of between 67 and 69 cents per share, excluding items, slightly below the 70 cents per share consensus estimate forecast by analysts surveyed by FactSet. The company projects annual revenue of between US$420 million and US$430 million, lower than the US$432.8 million anticipated by analysts. However, the company managed to exceed expectations in the fourth fiscal quarter in both aspects.

Philip Morris International  (NYSE:PM) – Philip Morris aims for more than two-thirds of its revenue by 2030 to come from “smoke-free” products, integrating strategies to exit the cigarette market. The target is 50% by 2025, expanding to two-thirds by 2030, with products like IQOS. Additionally, the company revised downward its annual profit projections, attributing the decision to the strong dollar and exchange rate issues in Argentina. Earnings per share expectations for 2023 are between $5.19 and $5.28, below the $5.66 forecast by FactSet analysts, although it still represents adjusted growth of 8% to 9.5%.

Workday  (NASDAQ:WDAY) – Workday shares declined 9.8% in premarket trading Thursday after the company adjusted its long-term goals, now projecting annual subscription revenue growth of 17% to 19% by fiscal year 2027, a drop from the previous forecast of 20%. Additionally, the company revised its operating cash flow margin target from 35% to 30%.

HB Fuller  (NYSE:FUL) – The chemical company released disappointing financial results for the third quarter. HB Fuller reported earnings per share of $1.06, excluding items, with a revenue of $900.6 million, while analysts surveyed by FactSet had anticipated earnings of $1.14 per share and a revenue of $954 million. Shares are stable in pre-market trading.

Yelp  (NYSE:YELP) – Yelp has filed a lawsuit against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton for keeping up notices that crisis pregnancy centers do not offer abortion services, following allegations by Paxton of violating Texas law. Yelp argues that the notices are protected by the First Amendment, aiming to prevent consumers from being misled about the services offered by such centers.

Exxon Mobil  (NYSE:XOM) – A US judge has denied Exxon Mobil’s request to use tanker trucks to transport crude oil in California while a pipeline is repaired. Exxon argued that the trucks are essential to resuming operations at platforms and facilities closed since a 2015 spill, but the judge held that they have no inherent right to use trucks, citing safety concerns. Environmental groups applauded the decision.

Ryanair  (NASDAQ:RYAAY)Boeing  (NYSE:BA) – Ryanair will reduce its winter flights due to delays in the delivery of Boeing aircraft, receiving 14 instead of 27 aircraft between September and December. Despite this, it maintains its annual traffic forecast, unless delays persist. Cuts will affect several European locations, and the company is collaborating with Boeing to speed up future deliveries.

Jetblue  (NASDAQ:JBLU) – Senator Elizabeth Warren questioned JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes about a possible fare hike following its $3.8 billion merger with Spirit Airlines (NYSE:SAVE), citing documents that suggest an increase of up to 40%. JetBlue denies the allegations, saying the merger will increase competition and reduce fares. The Justice Department is challenging the deal, citing reduced competition and consumer choice.

Ford Motor  (NYSE:F)General Motors  (NYSE:GM)Stellantis  (NYSE:STLA) – Negotiations between the United Auto Workers (UAW) and automakers are intensifying ahead of Friday’s deadline. The union may expand the strike that began on September 15 if there is not enough progress. While Ford has made progress in negotiations, General Motors and Stellantis face more strikes. Visits from presidents kept attention on the strikes. The outcome of these negotiations is crucial and investors are on hold, with shares showing little change.

General Motors  (NYSE:GM) – The Teamsters union has asked U.S. regulators to deny a petition from General Motors to exempt Cruise Origin, its autonomous vehicle unit, from safety standards. The petition seeks approval to deploy up to 2,500 vehicles annually without human controls. The union cites safety and employment concerns, while Cruise emphasizes commitment to safety.

Ford Motor  (NYSE:F) – The chairmen of three US House committees requested documents from Ford about its partnership with CATL, a Chinese battery company, and threatened to summon Ford CEO Jim Farley to testify before Congress, raising concerns about dependency and tax subsidies.

Toyota Motor  (NYSE:TM) – Toyota plans to build its third car factory in India, expanding its production capacity in the country for the first time in more than a decade, due to its partnership with Suzuki. This factory will boost production capacity by 30%, with Toyota also developing a new SUV as an anchor product for the new facility, targeting record sales in the region in 2023.

Lucid Group  (NASDAQ:LCID) – Lucid Group opened its first international factory in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, advancing the country’s electrification plans. The factory, part of a deal that includes the kingdom purchasing up to 100,000 vehicles over 10 years, reinforces the Saudi goal of diversifying away from oil dependence. The factory will assemble the Lucid Air, with planned expansion to 155,000 units annually.

Faraday Future Intelligent Electric  (NASDAQ:FFIE) – Financially struggling Faraday Future aims to raise $90 million through a stock offering. CEO Matthias Aydt has expressed intentions to improve liquidity and resolve supply chain and governance issues.