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Tuesday’s Wall Street Highlights: Snap, Ericsson, NetScout Systems, Baidu, and more

Fernanda T
Latest News
October 17 2023 03:37AM

US index futures are declining in Tuesday’s pre-market trading as investors monitor economic data, earnings reports from key companies, and follow developments in the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

As of 07:00, Dow Jones futures (DOWI:DJI) dropped by 61 points, or 0.18%. The S&P 500 futures were down by 0.23% and the Nasdaq-100 futures fell by 0.27%. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was at 4.767%.

In the commodities market, West Texas Intermediate crude oil for November increased by 0.27% to $86.88 per barrel. Brent crude for December went up by 0.39%, to $90.00 per barrel. Iron ore with a 62% concentration grade, traded on the Dalian exchange, rose by 2.12% to US$ 118.28 per ton.

On Tuesday’s U.S. economic calendar, investors await retail sales at 08:00 AM, with a consensus estimate for a 0.3% rise in September, and industrial production, which will be released at 9:15 AM, is projected to remain stable on a monthly basis. At 10:00 AM, business inventories are expected, which should increase by 0.3% in August, as well as the NAHB housing market index, projected to reach 44 points in October. The API will release last week’s oil stock data at 16:30 PM.

Throughout the day, speeches from Fed members are anticipated. A speech by New York Fed President John Williams is scheduled for 8:00 AM, followed by Fed Governor Michelle Bowman at 9:20 AM. Lastly, Richmond Fed President Thomas Barkin is set to speak at 10:45 AM.

In the Middle East, Israel has not yet initiated an invasion of the Gaza Strip, providing some relief to the markets. Such an escalation could significantly impact oil prices due to threats from Iran. Israel’s hesitation follows U.S. President Joe Biden expressing his opposition to the invasion. Yesterday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Biden’s visit to Israel on Wednesday. The U.S. President will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to reaffirm Israel’s right to self-defense.

In Asia, markets closed higher due to decreased tensions in the Middle East conflict. Furthermore, new stimulus measures in China were announced to support economic recovery, boosting investor sentiment in the region. In China, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) kept its medium-term lending rate unchanged at 2.5% and injected a substantial amount of money into the financial system through the medium-term lending facility. This was done while the institution withdrew short-term liquidity in open market operations.

Hong Kong’s HSI index increased by 0.75%, while the Shanghai Composite rose by 0.32%. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index climbed 1.20%. Country Garden is due to make a coupon payment of $15 million today. Last week, the developer warned it might not meet all its debt payments. It’s expected to default on its obligations again.

In Europe, markets are trading mixed, even after Germany’s and the Eurozone’s ZEW economic sentiment indices exceeded expectations. At 13:00 PM, investors await a speech from the Vice-President of the European Central Bank (ECB), Luis de Guindos, which may provide new guidance on the central bank’s next steps.

At Monday’s close, stock markets rose, while US Treasury bonds fell. The Dow Jones finished up 314.25 points or 0.93% at 33,984.54. The S&P 500 advanced 45.85 points or 1.06% to 4,373.63, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 160.75 points or 1.20% at 13,567.98. The global concern was to prevent Israel’s advance into Gaza from bringing Iran into the conflict. After a period of appreciation, the price of oil fell again, and the American currency depreciated. In a note, the president of the Philadelphia Federal Reserve, Patrick Harker, mentioned that he sees no need for interest rate increases in the US this year, which positively influenced market sentiment.

On Tuesday’s corporate earnings front, investors will be watching before the market opens for reports from Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), BNY Mellon (NYSE:BK), Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Prologis (NYSE:PLD), Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC), Albertsons (NYSE:ACI). After the closing, the results of United Airlines (NASDAQ:UAL), Interactive Brokers (NASDAQ:IBKR), JB Hunt (NASDAQ:JBHT), among others, are expected.

Wall Street Corporate Highlights for Today

Apple  (NASDAQ:AAPL) – Apple CEO Tim Cook made a surprise visit to China, highlighting the importance of the Chinese market. Cook praised gamers who gathered at an Apple store in Chengdu to play “Honor of Kings,” a popular Tencent game. The iPhone 15 series has faced lukewarm sales in China, with Huawei trying to make a comeback with a new smartphone. Analysts at Jefferies have suggested that Huawei has overtaken Apple as the top smartphone maker in China.

Microsoft  (NASDAQ:MSFT) – Microsoft’s LinkedIn announced the layoff of 668 employees in engineering, talent and finance in its second round of job cuts this year due to slowing revenue. This number represents more than 3% of the 20,000 employees and reflects the economic uncertainty in the technology sector.

Netflix  (NASDAQ:NFLX) – Netflix’s crackdown on password sharing likely attracted around 6 million new subscribers in the third quarter. The company, considered a utility in some markets, may raise prices following the Hollywood actors’ strike. Netflix also plans to expand advertising, with estimates suggesting revenue of $188.1 million in the third quarter. The company expects to record its biggest quarterly subscriber additions this year, with third-quarter revenue projected at $8.54 billion, the fastest growth in five quarters.

Snap  (NYSE:SNAP) – Snap shares rose on Monday, beating expectations as it is forecast to have more than 475 million daily active users (DAUs) by 2024. The company also expects advertising revenue growth in excess of 20% in 2024, exceeding Wall Street estimates. Snap has faced recent competition challenges and falling advertising demand.

Chevron  (NYSE:CVX) – Workers at Chevron’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants in Australia have reiterated their intention to strike as mediated negotiations continue. Chevron claims workers are being unreasonable.

Ford Motor  (NYSE:F) – Ford CEO Bill Ford called on the United Auto Workers union at a press conference to end the 32-day strike and reach a new labor agreement, warning of its growing impact on the automaker and the US economy. The strike has already cost billions, while negotiations continue.

General Motors  (NYSE:GM) – U.S. automotive safety regulators have begun a preliminary assessment of 594 General Motors autonomous vehicles operated by Cruise LLC. The investigation was opened due to reports of a lack of caution by vehicles near pedestrians.

Tesla  (NASDAQ:TSLA) – Tesla will recall 54,676 Model Model X vehicles manufactured between 2021-2023, as the vehicle controller is likely to fail to detect low brake fluid and not display a warning light. The company has released a free software update to fix the problem, according to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHSTA). As of October 10, no accidents, injuries or deaths related to this issue have been reported.

Toyota Motor  (NYSE:TM) – Toyota will extend the partial production shutdown at its domestic automakers until Wednesday due to an accident at its supplier Chuo Spring, which makes automotive components. The incident also affected companies in the Toyota Auto Body and Toyota Industries group.

Ericsson  (NASDAQ:ERIC) – Ericsson revealed on Tuesday that it foresees persistent uncertainty in its mobile networks business until 2024, after reporting a decline in revenue in the third quarter due to demand for 5G equipment in North America. The company’s shares fell 9% in early trading, hitting 2017 lows. Ericsson expects the next quarter to perform similarly. The company increased its cost reduction target to 12 billion SEK, including laying off 8,500 employees, and highlighted the importance of cost reduction to face the uncertain market.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing  (NYSE:TSM) – TSMC is expected to announce a 30% drop in third-quarter profit, reflecting past performance and revenue of about $17 billion. Future prospects include demand for replacement and AI chips, but also concerns about customer demand.

ASML Holding  (NASDAQ:ASML) – Investors are keeping an eye on ASML Holding, with concerns about sanctions on China and a possible glut of chips. ASML’s U.S. shares are up 11% this year, but challenges remain, such as export restrictions and uncertain demand.

NetScout Systems  (NASDAQ:NTCT) – Shares of NetScout Systems fell more than 20% in premarket trading after the cybersecurity company cut its annual guidance due to slower order conversions. For the year, they expect adjusted earnings of $2 to $2.20 per share, below previous estimates. NetScout CEO Anil Singhal attributed this to industry and economic challenges faced by customers. For the second quarter, they expect adjusted earnings of 60 cents to 62 cents per share, well below analyst forecasts.

Baidu  (NASDAQ:BIDU) – The Chinese technology giant unveiled Ernie 4.0, its generative AI model, at an event in Beijing. CEO Robin Li highlighted the model’s memory capabilities, but analysts noted the lack of significant advances over the previous version. Baidu has also integrated generative AI into its products such as Baidu Drive and Baidu Maps, enabling natural language queries. The company is at the forefront of AI in China and has 45 million users for Ernie.

Alibaba  (NYSE:BABA) – Alibaba, Tencent, Xiaomi and Shunwei Capital are among the backers of a Chinese AI startup, Baichuan, which has raised $300 million in funding. The company is developing generative AI technologies to compete with giants like Microsoft  (NASDAQ:MSFT) and OpenAI, with broad technology support from China and the quest for leadership in AI globally remains intense despite US sanctions on the chip sector.

Coca-Cola  (NYSE:KO) – Pernod Ricard and Coca-Cola have agreed to launch a canned version of the Absolut & Sprite cocktail in selected European markets, including Great Britain, the Netherlands and Spain, from 2024. The agreement capitalizes on the growing pre-mixed cocktail trend and the profit potential of the ready-to-drink alcoholic beverage category.

Diageo  (NYSE:DEO) – During the pandemic, sales of canned and bottled cocktails saw a notable increase, reaching $1.6 billion in supplier revenue in 2021. Diageo is now launching the Cocktail Collection, offering classic cocktails from high quality in 350 ml and 750 ml bottles, with affordable prices. Recipes have been carefully developed to maintain shelf stability. The sales trend for ultra-premium spirits continues to outpace the ready-to-drink cocktail sector, and the convenience of these options is gaining prominence. Diageo plans to further expand its range of pre-mixed drinks.

Tyson Foods  (NYSE:TSN) – Tyson Foods workers and activists protested in front of the meat company’s US headquarters, calling for better working conditions and an end to child labor in the industry. They marched with signs and shouted anti-exploitation slogans as Tyson faces pressure to ensure safer work practices and avoid the use of child labor in its supply chain.

Novo Nordisk  (NYSE:NVO) – Novo Nordisk has agreed to acquire uncontrolled hypertension drug ocedurenone from KBP Biosciences for up to $1.3 billion. This acquisition aligns with Novo’s strategy to expand its focus from diabetes to other serious chronic diseases.

Moderna  (NASDAQ:MRNA) – Moderna reaffirmed its Covid-19 vaccine sales forecast of between 6 and 8 billion dollars for the year, in contrast to the reduction in Pfizer’s (NYSE:PFE) forecast. The company expects greater visibility into the US vaccine market in October 2023.

Johnson & Johnson  (NYSE:JNJ) – Johnson & Johnson will release its quarterly results without the consumer health division. Earnings of $2.52 per share are expected on sales of $21 billion. Investors will also watch talc litigation and the impact of new obesity drugs on medical devices. Shares are down 10% this year.

Waystar Holding – Waystar Holding Corp. has filed for an initial public offering (IPO) with the aim of listing on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “WAY”. The company plans to use the funds to reduce debt and assist healthcare providers with complex payments. The IPO filing did not reveal details about the number of shares or price range. Waystar, the parent company of Waystar Technologies, had already announced plans for the IPO in August, with JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Barclays acting as underwriters.

Manchester United  (NYSE:MANU) – Manchester United shares fell on Monday following reports that British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe is seeking to acquire 25% of the club, raising concerns about an outright takeover by Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim. The stock hit its lowest level in more than four months.

Lululemon Athletica  (NASDAQ:LULU) – Shares of Lululemon Athletica rose on Monday following its addition to the benchmark S&P 500 index. Replacing Activision Blizzard  (NASDAQ:ATVI), the move drew demand from institutional investors, sending the stock up reach its highest level in almost two years. Lululemon has a market capitalization of more than $52 billion and maintains an average price target of $450, with a “Buy” recommendation from analysts.

Walmart  (NYSE:WMT) – Walmart has enough staff for the holiday season, postponing seasonal hiring. Concerns include high prices, depleting savings and rising labor costs. U.S. hiring could fall to 2008 levels, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Walt Disney  (NYSE:DIS) – Walt Disney celebrated its centennial on Monday, facing recent turmoil. Founded in 1923, it evolved from classics like Mickey Mouse to streaming and theme parks. Despite challenges, long-term shareholders have had solid returns, outperforming the S&P 500 since 1972. After highs in 2021, Disney faces challenges in streaming and parks. Shares are down 58% from their peak. 2023 could mark the third consecutive year of losses, but history suggests a possible recovery.

WeWork  (NYSE:WE) – WeWork has named David Tolley as CEO. The company has faced crises since its failed IPO plan in 2019, but has taken steps to save money and recover.

ServisFirst Bancshares  (NYSE:SFBS) – ServisFirst Bancshares, a bank with a presence in the southern US, reported third-quarter net interest income below Wall Street expectations, affected by the narrowing interest spread. The bank beat earnings per share estimates, with loans up and total deposits at $13.1 billion. CFO Bud Foshee expects profitability to improve in the coming quarters as lending channels recover.

BlackRock  (NYSE:BLK) – The BlackRock Investment Institute said long-term U.S. Treasury yields could fluctuate in the near term as inflation eases and the Federal Reserve approaches peak interest rates. However, over the long term, they expect 10-year yields to reach 5% or higher due to factors such as persistent inflation and rising fiscal deficits.

Charles Schwab  (NYSE:SCHW) – Charles Schwab beat profit expectations in the third quarter, driven by growth in its asset management business. Its shares rose on Monday, reflecting a 17% rise in rates due to robust inflows into its funds. However, net interest income fell 23.5% due to customer allocation decisions in a higher interest rate environment. The company also announced cost-cutting plans, including layoffs and reducing corporate offices.

Goldman Sachs  (NYSE:GS) – Goldman Sachs predicts vulnerability in industrial metals markets due to weakness in demand and higher interest rates. The copper market could come under pressure from restrictions on Chinese imports, while aluminum has a more positive outlook. However, the bank remains bearish on nickel due to increased supply.

Rio Tinto  (NYSE:RIO) – Rio Tinto reported an increase in quarterly copper and aluminum production despite a reduction in the annual estimate for the Canadian iron ore business. Iron ore production was affected by plant downtime and conveyor belt failures, as well as forest fires. Copper production increased due to the high-grade Oyu Tolgoi mine and higher grades at Escondida. Quarterly aluminum production also rose.

Albemarle  (NYSE:ALB) – Liontown Resources has suspended talks to raise financing for its Kathleen Valley lithium project, following the withdrawal of Albemarle’s A$6.6 billion takeover bid. The mining company increased its stake to 19.9%, possibly blocking Albemarle’s bid. Liontown is advancing discussions with lenders to secure financing of at least A$450 million for the project, which is considered one of the top five lithium projects in the world.

SunPower  (NASDAQ:SPWR) – SunPower shares fell 5.7% in premarket trading to $5.46 after Morgan Stanley downgraded its rating from “Equal Weight” to “Underweight” and lowered its price target to $5 from $8.