In the pre-market on Thursday, U.S. index futures are showing positive performance, with investors keeping an eye on the fourth-quarter GDP.

At 05:45 AM, Dow Jones futures (DOWI:DJI) rose by 102 points, or 0.27%. S&P 500 futures increased by 0.07%, and Nasdaq-100 futures remained stable. The yield on 10-year Treasury bonds stood at 4.157%.

In the commodity market, West Texas Intermediate crude oil for March rose by 1.54% to $76.25 per barrel. Brent crude oil for March increased by 1.39%, nearing $81.15 per barrel. Iron ore with a 62% concentration, traded on the Dalian exchange, rose by 1.60% to $139.24 per metric ton.

Thursday’s economic agenda will be busy with important indicators. At 08:30 AM, the Chicago Fed will release the December national activity index, followed by the fourth-quarter GDP reading and December durable goods orders from the Department of Commerce. It is expected that the fourth-quarter GDP will reveal a seasonally adjusted annual expansion of 2%, marking a decrease compared to the 4.9% growth observed in the previous quarter. These numbers could significantly influence the stock market as investors seek a better understanding of the economic condition at the beginning of the year.

At the same time, the Department of Labor will report on last week’s jobless claims. Ending the day at 10 AM, December new home sales will be announced by the Department of Commerce, providing a comprehensive overview of the US economic health.

Asian markets closed higher, led by significant gains in China (+3.03%) and Hong Kong (+1.96%), following the People’s Bank of China’s announcement of a reduction in reserve requirements, especially boosting the real estate sector and promoting greater liquidity as a strategy to revitalize the economy.

European markets are declining, with investors keeping an eye on the imminent ECB decision on monetary policy. There is a 60% expectation of a possible rate cut in April, according to Reuters analysis based on LSEG data.

On Wednesday, U.S. stocks opened higher but retreated throughout the day, with the Dow Jones closing in the negative and both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq posting modest gains. Technology stocks led the initial gains, driven by positive results from Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and ASML (NASDAQ:ASML). The Dow Jones fell by 0.26% to 37,806.39 points. The S&P 500 rose by 0.08% to 4,868.55 points. The Nasdaq increased by 0.36% to 15,481.92 points. The enthusiasm waned due to concerns over interest rates and a turnaround in treasury yields. While the oil services and semiconductor sectors showed strength, the shares of gold and telecommunications fell, as did those sensitive to interest rates.

For the quarterly earnings front on Thursday, financial reports are scheduled to be presented by American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL), Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV), Alaska Airlines (NYSE:ALK), NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE), The Blackstone Group (NYSE:BX), Humana (NYSE:HUM), Dow Inc (NYSE:DOW), Sherwin Williams (NYSE:SHW), Valero (NYSE:VLO), and others before the market opens. After the close, numbers from Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), Visa (NYSE:V), T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS), L3 Harris (NYSE:LHX), Levi’s (NYSE:LEVI), CapitalOne (NYSE:COF), and more are awaited.

Wall Street corporate highlights for today

Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) – Google, part of Alphabet, will invest $8 million in Israeli and Palestinian tech companies to assist during the Israel-Hamas conflict. $4 million will support AI startups in Israel, while $4 million will go to early-stage Palestinian startups and companies, in addition to providing grants and loans to 1,000 small Palestinian businesses and early support for 50 tech startups in the region. The initiative aims to preserve jobs and create new ones. Moreover, Google reached a settlement in a patent infringement lawsuit involving chips used in its artificial intelligence technology. The settlement was reached on the same day that closing arguments were scheduled to begin in the trial of the lawsuit filed by Singular Computing, which sought $1.67 billion in damages for allegations of Google’s improper use of its computing processing innovations. The details of the settlement were not disclosed. Google denied Singular’s patent violations and expressed satisfaction in resolving the matter.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) – Smartphone shipments in China fell 2.1% in the last quarter of 2023 due to local competition led by Huawei. Apple faces challenges in its third-largest market, with some companies and government agencies restricting the use of Apple devices. Huawei saw its shipments increase by 36.2% in the last quarter of the year. Although Apple led smartphone sales in China in 2023, analysts predict sales pressure this year due to competition and limited product upgrades. In other news, Apple is adjusting its strategy to launch an electric car after a decade of efforts. Previously aiming for a fully autonomous vehicle, the company is now focusing on a Level 2+ driver assistance model. The launch, planned for 2028, is a crucial step in a tumultuous project aimed at revitalizing Apple’s growth. Uncertainty hangs over the project, but the company continues to invest significant resources. Additionally, Apple plans to impose new fees and restrictions on allowing third-party software downloads outside the App Store, only in Europe, in compliance with the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA), targeting the influence of big tech companies.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) – Microsoft briefly surpassed the $3 trillion market value mark on Wednesday, remaining the world’s second most valuable company, behind Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). Both companies compete for the title of Wall Street’s most capitalized stocks.

Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA), Equinix (NASDAQ:EQIX) – Equinix and Nvidia have partnered to offer Nvidia’s supercomputing systems to corporate customers. This will allow companies to have artificial intelligence systems and more control over their data, rather than relying on cloud providers like Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) or Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT). The partnership aims to meet companies’ privacy and security needs, with Equinix handling the construction and operation of Nvidia’s systems.

IBM (NYSE:IBM) – IBM exceeded expectations in the fourth quarter with adjusted earnings of $3.87 per share and revenue of $17.4 billion. Shares rose 7.8% in Thursday’s pre-market to $187.49. The company projected continued growth for 2024, forecasting single-digit revenue growth and generating about $12 billion in free cash flow. In 2023, total revenue was $61.9 billion, surpassing the free cash flow target of $10.5 billion with $11.2 billion.

Spotify (NYSE:SPOT) – Spotify will allow European users to purchase audiobooks and subscriptions within the music streaming app, complying with the EU’s Digital Markets Act. This bypasses Apple’s 30% App Store fee, which has previously generated disputes.

Seagate Technology (NASDAQ:STX) – Seagate Technology forecasted revenue of approximately $1.65 billion for the third quarter, in line with analysts’ estimates, driven by continued recovery in PC and cloud markets. In the second quarter, the company reported revenue of $1.56 billion, exceeding estimates, and adjusted earnings of 12 cents per share, reversing three quarters of losses.

Lam Research (NASDAQ:LRCX) – Lam Research, a chip equipment manufacturer, reported a significant drop in second-quarter profits, but its adjusted earnings per share of $7.52 beat analysts’ projections. Additionally, the company announced an adjusted earnings forecast for the third quarter between $6.50 and $8, surpassing Wall Street’s estimate of $6.63.

ServiceNow (NYSE:NOW) – ServiceNow raised its annual subscription revenue forecasts, expecting to reach between $10.56 billion and $10.58 billion in 2024, up from a previous projection of $10.4 billion. In the fourth quarter, the company reported revenue of $2.44 billion and subscription revenue of $2.37 billion, exceeding analysts’ expectations. Adjusted earnings were $3.11 per share, compared to the forecast of $2.79 per share.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE:HPE) – Last Wednesday, Hewlett Packard Enterprise announced that on December 12, it discovered that the “Midnight Blizzard” hacker group had breached its cloud email system since May 2023. According to HP, the group extracted emails related to cybersecurity, market strategies, business operations, and other areas of the company. The Midnight Blizzard group, associated with the 2020 SolarWinds attack on Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), did not significantly impact HP’s operations.

Nokia (NYSE:NOK) – Nokia’s shares rose 8% in Thursday’s pre-market after reporting better-than-expected margins, despite sales falling short of estimates. The company posted a loss of 33 million euros, with revenues of 5.71 billion euros, while analysts expected adjusted earnings of 659 million euros on sales of 6.27 billion euros. Nokia cited economic uncertainty as a reason for the pressure on carrier spending, but investors were impressed with its gross margin of 43.1%, which fell by only 0.4 percentage points, due to improvements in mobile networks and cloud services.

Paramount Global (NASDAQ:PARA) – Paramount Global’s shares rose 3.1% in the pre-market due to interest from Skydance Media in leading an acquisition, along with RedBird Capital Partners and KKR (NYSE:KKR), which would also include purchasing Shari Redstone’s National Amusements.

United Airlines (NASDAQ:UAL) – United Airlines embarked on a new phase on Wednesday, after receiving final approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to reintegrate its Boeing (NYSE:BA) aircraft fleet, including the Boeing 737 MAX 9, into scheduled service beginning on Sunday.

Boeing (NYSE:BA) – Boeing resumed deliveries of the 737 MAX to a Chinese airline after a four-year freeze, marking the first delivery since March 2019 for the U.S. airplane manufacturer’s profitable jet. Additionally, Boeing’s CEO, Dave Calhoun, met with U.S. lawmakers to discuss the explosion of a 737 MAX 9’s cabin panel. Senators Maria Cantwell and Jerry Moran called for Congressional oversight and will hold hearings to investigate the incident. Boeing has not disclosed the cause but stated it is committed to finding out. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration also intervened, freezing production increases and causing market uncertainties.

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) – Tesla plans to start production of its next electric vehicle in Texas in the second half of 2025, according to Elon Musk, although it faces significant technological challenges. Musk also warned that Chinese automakers, without trade barriers, will dominate the global electric vehicle market, mentioning the success of BYD. The company warned of slower sales growth and reported a fourth-quarter gross margin of 17.6%, below estimates. Tesla’s fourth-quarter revenue increased to $25.17 billion, while net profit was $7.9 billion, boosted by non-cash gains. Shares fell 8% in Thursday’s pre-market.

Ford Motor (NYSE:F) – Ford Motor announced a remeasurement loss of about $1.7 billion before taxes, related to pensions and post-retirement benefits for its employees in the fourth quarter, reducing its net income by about $1.3 billion after taxes. This loss was influenced by lower discount rates compared to the previous year. Additionally, Ford Motor announced a global recall of 2.24 million older Explorer SUVs due to issues with the A-pillar trim retention clips, affecting 1.89 million SUVs in the U.S.

Aurora Innovations (NASDAQ:AUR) – The autonomous vehicle company restructured, reducing its workforce by 3% (1,700 employees as of the end of 2022) to optimize operations as it prepares to launch autonomous trucks in partnership with Continental AG and Volvo later this year. Additionally, the company completed the design of the Aurora Driver autonomous driving system, planning production in 2027 and large-scale deployment following the initial driverless launch in 2024.

General Motors (NYSE:GM) – General Motors plans to invest 7 billion reais ($1.42 billion) in Brazil by 2028 to boost sustainable mobility, renew its portfolio, develop technologies, and possibly produce electric vehicles, supporting the national industry. President Lula praised the investment, part of a new cycle of strengthening GM’s competitiveness in Brazil. GM also plans to launch six new vehicle models in the country this year.

Cleveland-Cliffs (NYSE:CLF) – Cleveland-Cliffs made a takeover bid higher than US Steel Corp (NYSE:X) by $1.4 billion compared to Nippon Steel’s cash offer, according to a regulatory filing. Nippon Steel won with a $14.1 billion offer, at a significant premium. US Steel reported an entity referred to as “Company D”, possibly Cleveland-Cliffs, raising the offer to $54 per share, predicting synergies of $6.50 per share. Concerns included regulations and material costs, leading Cleveland-Cliffs to agree to pay a $1.5 billion termination fee and divest assets up to $2 billion in revenues to secure antitrust approval.

Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI) – Kinder Morgan remains optimistic about natural gas demand, driven by LNG exports and shipments to Mexico. The U.S. led LNG exports in 2023, with forecasts for increased export capacity in North America by 2027. The company is investing in natural gas-related projects, despite weaknesses in pipeline operations in the fourth quarter. Owning the largest natural gas transmission network in the U.S., it also works on projects to address shortages in the southeast market.

DuPont De Nemours (NYSE:DD) – DuPont De Nemours signaled a loss in the fourth quarter and forecasted first-quarter sales below Wall Street expectations. The company estimates a loss between $220 million and $370 million, compared to a profit of $105 million in the previous year. Inventory reductions by customers will continue to affect first-quarter sales. Estimated sales for the first quarter are about $2.8 billion, below the average analyst estimate of $3.04 billion.

UBS (NYSE:UBS) – UBS appointed Aleksandar Ivanovic as the new head of its $1.6 trillion asset management unit, part of the integration of Credit Suisse. Wealth management remains the main source of revenue. The search for a successor to CEO Sergio Ermotti will also begin. Beatriz Martin Jimenez will become Leader of Sustainability and Impact on the global executive board. Changes will take effect on March 1.

Citigroup (NYSE:C) – Laid-off Citigroup employees in New York, part of a major job cut, will receive salaries until April. The 90-day notice period begins on February 1. Access to bank systems will be cut off, but salaries and benefits will be maintained until March and April, and 2023 bonuses will be incorporated into severance packages.

Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) – Goldman Sachs and the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation are expanding their “10,000 Women” program to offer free online business training in French to over 60 million women in Francophone Africa starting in April. The program aims to bridge the financing gap for female entrepreneurs and has already benefited over 164,000 businesses. The partnership seeks to boost women’s entrepreneurship and economic growth in the region.

Haleon Plc (NYSE:HLN) – Haleon Plc agreed to sell its ChapStick lip balm line to Suave Brands for about $510 million, streamlining its portfolio and seeking to pay off debt. The CEO stated that ChapStick is not the company’s main focus. Haleon’s shares remained stable in Thursday’s pre-market.

Tyson Foods (NYSE:TSN) – Tyson Foods replaced CVS Health (NYSE:CVS) with Rightway as the pharmacy benefits manager for its 175,000 employees, seeking more transparency and cost savings. CVS will continue to serve Tyson for specialty medications. Rightway promises to cut employers’ spending by an average of 18%.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) – Abbott reported sales from its medical devices unit in the fourth quarter of $4.44 billion, exceeding estimates of $4.33 billion. Sales of the FreeStyle Libre glucose monitoring device totaled $1.4 billion in the quarter, an increase of 25.5% from the previous year. The company forecast adjusted earnings for 2024 in the range of $4.50 to $4.70 per share, with the midpoint below analysts’ estimate of $4.64 per share. The adjusted quarterly profit was in line with analysts’ estimates, at $1.19 per share.

Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS) – Las Vegas Sands announced a 161% increase in fourth-quarter revenue, reaching $2.92 billion, surpassing analysts’ expectations of $2.89 billion. The casino company attributed this performance to continuous improvements in its operations in Macau and Singapore. Casino revenue in the same period rose to $2.11 billion, compared to $654 million in the previous year, resulting in a 2.9% increase in the company’s shares.

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