US index futures are trading higher in pre-market on Friday, striving to stay positive on the final trading day of September, awaiting American inflation data. Recent days have been turbulent due to heightened investor concerns about interest rates.

At 6:59 AM, Dow Jones futures (DOWI:DJI) rose 154 points, or 0.45%. S&P 500 futures rose 0.46% and Nasdaq-100 futures rose 0.60%. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was at 4.553%.

In the commodities market, November West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose 0.93%, to $92.56 per barrel. November Brent crude oil rose 0.81% near $96.15 per barrel. 62% concentration iron ore was not traded on the Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE) in China due to a holiday. The previous day, the commodity price rose 0.89%, reaching $116.51 per ton.

On Friday’s U.S. economic agenda, investors are awaiting, at 8:30 AM, the Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) index, predicted to rise by 0.50% monthly in August, with a yearly forecast of 3.50%. Personal spending and income, both with a consensus of 0.40%, will also be released at the same time.

At 9:45 AM, investors are waiting for Chicago’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), one of the major U.S. production hubs. At 10:00 AM, Michigan’s consumer confidence will be released, expected to be 67.70 points in September. To conclude the agenda, New York Fed President John Williams will speak at 12:45 PM, and Baker Hughes will release the weekly rig count at 1:00 PM.

The possibility of a U.S. government shutdown on October 1 remains a global concern, as the House and Senate have not yet agreed on next year’s budget. If the deadlock continues, non-essential federal agencies might halt services due to lack of employee payment. An agreement is expected by Sunday.

In the Eurozone, September inflation dropped to 4.30% YoY, compared to 5.20% in August, suggesting that European Central Bank (ECB) measures might be taking effect. In Germany, retail sales unexpectedly fell in August, while the unemployment rate met projections in September. In the UK, the Q2 GDP met expectations, standing out among European economies since the pandemic’s start.

In Asia, markets closed with no clear direction, reflecting Wall Street and Japanese economic data. Japanese retail sales and industrial production showed stability, while inflation slowed in September. In China’s real estate scene, Evergrande stated its founder is under police custody for suspected “illegal crimes” and is seeking creditor approval to restructure a $31.7 billion offshore debt.

At Thursday’s close, the Dow Jones rose 116.07 points or 0.35% to 33,666.34 points. The S&P 500 rose 25.19 points or 0.59% to 4,299.70. The Nasdaq rose 108.42 points or 0.83% to 13,201.28 points. The market had a day of relief with modest gains after recent declines. Shares of big technology companies boosted gains due to the pause in interest rate hikes. Drops in oil prices, weaker US 2Q23 GDP consumption data and “dovish” comments from Chicago Fed President Alan Goolsbee also had a positive influence. Goolsbee suggested the rate increase could be hasty. Declines in oil eased inflation concerns, while weak economic data eased pressure on interest rates.

Ahead of Friday’s corporate earnings, investors will be watching the report from Carnival Corporation (NYSE:CCL).

Wall Street Corporate Highlights for Today

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) – Microsoft’s Jonathan Tinter testified in the US Department of Justice’s antitrust case against Google, alleging monopoly abuse in search. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and other manufacturers have preferred Google as their default search engine, rejecting proposals from Microsoft’s Bing. According to Bloomberg, Microsoft reportedly discussed selling Bing to Apple in 2020, which could have replaced Google as the default search engine on iPhones. The talks, however, never advanced to significant stages, and the relationship between Apple and Google remained intact, with Google continuing to dominate the search industry and Apple benefiting financially from the existing partnership.

Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:META) – Norway will forward the fine imposed on Meta Platforms to the European data authority, potentially making the penalty permanent in the European Union. Meta, owner of Facebook and Instagram, is being fined for violating users’ privacy and misusing their data for advertising. Additionally, to train its new virtual assistant, Meta AI, Meta used public posts from Facebook and Instagram, keeping private posts and chats out of the dataset to respect consumer privacy, as reported by Nick Clegg, president of Meta’s global affairs.

Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) – France’s competition authority raided Nvidia’s offices over suspected anti-competitive practices, part of a wider investigation into the cloud computing sector. The focus is on whether large companies are using their access to computing power to exclude smaller competitors. Demand for Nvidia chips increased considerably, reaching around 80% of the market, especially after the launch of ChatGPT. The authority has adopted a strict stance, recently confronting Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) regarding radiation concerns. Nvidia faced a turbulent September. The shares reached their peak at the end of August, worth US$493.55, an increase of 238% since the beginning of the year. Values ​​subsequently declined to US$410, but recovered, closing Thursday at US$430.89.

Amazon  (NASDAQ:AMZN) – Amazon shares are down about 13% from their recent closing price peak, creating an “attractive” entry point, according to Evercore analyst Mark Mahaney. He considers the competitive risk of Chinese marketplaces such as Shein and Temu to be “greatly exaggerated,” highlighting Amazon’s user loyalty and competitive advantages. Mahaney believes in the company’s resilience, even with changing competitive dynamics, due to its strong user base and constant innovations.

General Motors (NYSE:GM) – Canadian union Unifor has set an October 9 deadline for negotiations with General Motors. Discussions aim to reach an agreement similar to that of Ford of Canada. GM Canada and Unifor resumed negotiations on September 26.

Stellantis (NYSE:STLA) – On Thursday, the United Auto Workers (UAW) made a new counterproposal to Stellantis as tensions in labor negotiations with the Detroit Three intensify. Disputes remain, particularly over wages and benefits. Automakers propose smaller raises and less generous benefits than the UAW demands.

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) – The lawyer for victims of a Tesla Model 3 accident blamed the company’s Autopilot system in court, claiming that “an automobile company should never sell experimental products to consumers.” Tesla defends the safety of the system and attributed the accident to “classic human error”. The case takes place in California and involves allegations that the system caused the car to swerve and crash. Tesla denies the allegations. Additionally, Tesla faces a lawsuit from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, accused of tolerating racial harassment at its Fremont, California, factory. It is alleged that black employees suffered abuse, stereotyping and retaliation. The EEOC seeks damages, back pay and changes to the company’s employment practices. In 2021, an employee received $137 million in a similar case, later reduced to $15 million.

Nio (NYSE:NIO) – Nio and Mercedes-Benz (USOTC:MBGYY) held exploratory talks for a potential partnership and investment. However, details about technology and investment were not discussed and Mercedes demonstrated internal resistance, probably not going ahead with the union. Both companies denied plans to collaborate.

CarMax (NYSE:KMX) – CarMax reported lower-than-expected quarterly earnings due to decreased demand for used vehicles. Despite robust demand during the pandemic, consumers are opting for newer models with better financing conditions. However, labor strikes at large automakers could impact the availability of new cars, possibly raising used car prices. With adjustments, the company earned 75 cents per share, 3 cents below analysts’ expectations, according to LSEG data. Total revenue decreased by approximately 13%, reaching US$7.07 billion, exceeding projections of US$7.03 billion.

Boeing (NYSE:BA) – Boeing agreed to pay US$8.1 million to resolve accusations of violating US laws by failing to fulfill contractual obligations in the production of the V-22 Osprey, as declared by the US Department of Justice. The settlement concerns violations of the False Claims Act between 2007 and 2018 relating to the manufacturing of components for the aircraft. Boeing denies the allegations and has not admitted liability.

United Airlines (NASDAQ:UAL) – United Airlines will offer conditional positions to active U.S. military pilots to join as first officers upon completion of service. This move comes as airlines seek qualified pilots to meet increased demand for post-pandemic travel. United, which already employs more than 16,000 pilots, plans to add more than 10,000 this decade.

Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) – Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian admitted that the company has possibly over-restricted its SkyMiles program and access to Sky Clubs, hinting at future modifications to the restrictions. This statement comes after criticism for limiting access to lounges and changes to the terms of the rewards program. Bastian did not detail the possible changes, but promised updates in the coming weeks.

Chevron (NYSE:CVX) – This year, oil tankers, including one from Chevron, have faced threats in the Gulf of Oman. Chevron, managing geopolitical risks and global operational issues, stands out in performance and diversification. The company faces environmental and social challenges in places like Venezuela and Myanmar, while pursuing clean energy innovation and sustainable strategies, continuing to deliver strong results for shareholders against a backdrop of rising oil prices.

AGCO Corp (NYSE:AGCO), Trimble (NASDAQ:TRMB) – AGCO Corp will acquire 85% of Trimble’s agricultural division for US$2 billion, expanding its portfolio in precision agriculture. This agreement accelerates the race to automate agriculture amid food crises and enables advances in autonomous equipment and disruptive technologies.

Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.B) – Analyst James Shanahan downgraded his rating on Berkshire Hathaway to “Hold” from “Buy,” citing its superior performance in the financial sector. Berkshire shares are up 15.5% this year, outperforming financial indexes, implying a lower likelihood of outperformance. Shanahan attributes the stock’s performance to the prospect of robust profits and accelerated investment, while also benefiting from the company’s solid cash flow and confidence in Warren Buffett’s leadership.

BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) – Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, expressed openness to more acquisitions, aiming to solidify the company as a reference for investors. Fink sees significant opportunities in inorganic growth and is focused on diversifying offerings by integrating private asset strategies and advanced technologies. He highlighted, at the Berlin Global Dialogue forum, the importance of private capital and anticipated that the search for productivity could accelerate the adoption of technology, while warning of possible modest recessions and the urgency of promoting hope and stability.

Citigroup (NYSE:C) – Citigroup and its former unit, Citi International Financial Services, were fined $1.975 million by the SEC for failing to meet disclosure obligations when recommending securities to retail clients. Both entities agreed to the settlement without admitting wrongdoing.

JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (NYSE:TSM) – JPMorgan anticipates an uncertain future for TSMC, predicting a mixed outlook on upcoming earnings. Analyst Gokul Hariharan expects conservatism in TSMC’s investments and a muted recovery in 2024, with possible disappointments next year due to excess inventories and weak demand in several chip segments. However, he remains optimistic for 2025.

Vail Resorts (NYSE:MTN) – In the fourth fiscal quarter, Vail Resorts presented a loss greater than that of the previous year, attributed to “considerable weather problems last season”. However, the ski resort company anticipates growth for fiscal 2024 compared to 2023.

Nike (NYSE:NKE) – Nike beat first-quarter profit forecasts as high prices offset low demand and cost pressures, sending its shares up 8.2% in Friday pre-market trading. The company expects an increase in gross margins in the second quarter and maintains its annual forecasts, focusing on running shoes. Nike’s report boosted shares of other athletic footwear and accessories companies.

Coty (NYSE:COTY) – Coty will price its global offering of 33 million shares at $10.80 each, beginning trading in Paris. The company, which owns CoverGirl, has seen a 7% drop in its shares since the launch of the offer. Coty plans to use the funds to reduce debt after rising annual sales forecasts due to strong demand for its premium beauty products even as inflation continues.

GameStop (NYSE:GME) – On Thursday, GameStop named billionaire Ryan Cohen as CEO, tightening its grip on the struggling video game retailer. Cohen, already prominent for turning Chewy (NYSE:CHWY) into an online powerhouse, has been steering GameStop toward a more e-commerce-oriented model amid resistance from the company’s brick-and-mortar model, and has faced concerns about the pace of changes and his history as an activist investor.

BlackBerry (NYSE:BB) – BlackBerry presented quarterly results in line with forecasts, but with revenue below expectations. Shares gained 0.2% in pre-market trading on Friday, following a 2.7% drop in regular trading on Thursday. The company reported a loss of US$42 million in the second quarter, a decrease compared to the previous year. Revenue was $132 million, down from $168 million a year ago, and also below analysts’ forecast of $134.3 million. CEO John Chen sees a better than 50% chance of completing a strategic review of the company before his contract ends in November. Veritas Capital has expressed interest in BlackBerry. The delay in the review has intensified concerns about the company’s financial performance, which has already seen its shares fall, and uncertainty persists.

Goodyear Tire & Rubber (NASDAQ:GT) – Goodyear said a fire at its factory in Poland will impact sales, estimating a drop of $20-25 million in the third quarter and $10-15 million in the fourth quarter. The incident, which occurred on August 20, significantly damaged the Debica unit, reducing production to 70% of capacity. Full recovery is expected by the end of 2024. The company is implementing strategies to mitigate the impact on customers.

Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM) – Philip Morris announced a slower U.S. launch for its IQOS heated tobacco device, favoring competitors in the near term. The company, producer of Marlboro, aims for the majority of its revenue to come from “smoke-free” products by 2030, and will reduce its focus on nicotine-free products, focusing more on IQOS and ZYN, aiming to transform its image as a product supplier traditional tobacco products.

DXC Technology (NYSE:DXC), Kohl’s Corp (NYSE:KSS) – Veralto Corp., a spinoff of Danaher Corp., will join the S&P 500 on Monday, replacing DXC Technology Co., which will migrate to the S&P SmallCap 600 on Tuesday , where it will replace Ebix Inc. Separately, Vestis Corp. will be added to the S&P MidCap 400 on Monday, replacing Kohl’s Corp., which will join the S&P SmallCap 600 on Tuesday.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) – Unitaid called for immediate action from the CEO of Johnson & Johnson to expand access to the tuberculosis drug bedaquiline. The global agency claims the company impedes access by limiting competition and maintaining secondary patents in countries with a high incidence of drug-resistant tuberculosis.

Bionomics (NASDAQ:BNOX) – Bionomics saw its shares rise 242% on Thursday after releasing promising results from a mid-stage trial for a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. In pre-market trading on Friday, shares are down 13.4%.

Novo Integrated Sciences (NASDAQ:NVOS) – Shares of Novo Integrated Sciences soared after the company announced a $1 billion financing deal with Blacksheep Trust over the next 15 years. After the close, shares rose as much as 155%, recovering from a previous drop of 15.37%. Shares are up 83.6% in Friday premarket trading. The company, with a market capitalization of US$31.8 million, expects to complete the transactions this fiscal quarter, following due diligence procedures.

PTC Therapeutics (NASDAQ:PTCT) – Biopharmaceutical company PTC Therapeutics made a 25% cut in its workforce, declaring that such a measure would enable a 20% decrease in its annual operating expenses.

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