U.S. index futures are up in Thursday’s pre-market, reflecting investor expectations regarding the announcement of October’s personal consumption expenditures and the forecasted data for the weekly unemployment insurance claims.

As of 6:09 AM, the Dow Jones futures (DOWI:DJI) rose by 168 points, or 0.47%. The S&P 500 futures advanced 0.19%, and the Nasdaq-100 futures increased by 0.23%. The yield rate of the 10-year Treasury bonds was at 4.299%.

In the commodities market, West Texas Intermediate crude oil for January rose 1.88%, to $79.32 per barrel. Brent crude for January increased by 1.79%, close to $84.59 per barrel. Iron ore with a 62% concentration, traded on the Dalian exchange, rose 0.9%, to $129.65 per ton.

On this Thursday’s economic agenda, investors are following the 08:30 AM release of consumer spending prices, which are expected to rise by 0.2% in October, a slowdown compared to September, supporting the theory that prices are decreasing. At the same time, personal spending and income, which are both expected to increase by 0.2%, and the weekly unemployment insurance claim, projected at 220,000 new claims, will also be announced.

At 09:05 AM, a speech by the President of the New York Fed, John Williams, is scheduled. A bit later, at 09:45 AM, the Chicago PMI index will be released, estimated at 45.4 points for November. At 10 AM, October’s pending home sales data will be announced.

European markets are performing positively, with regional investors attentive to the preliminary inflation data from the Eurozone for November. Recent economic indicators have shown a slowdown in France’s inflation, which registered 3.4% year-on-year in November, a decrease from the 4% observed in October. Additionally, the most recent data on France’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the third quarter, released on Thursday, showed a slight contraction of 0.1%. Later, starting at 08:30 AM, speeches from some European Central Bank (ECB) members are scheduled, including the institution’s President, Christine Lagarde, and the Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Andrea Enria.

Asian stock markets generally performed well on Thursday. In China, the Shanghai Stock Exchange recorded a slight increase, while Shenzhen experienced a small decrease, influenced by the country’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) assessments. China’s manufacturing PMI decreased from 59.5 in October to 49.4 in November, and the services PMI fell from 50.6 to 50.2, below expectations. In Tokyo, the market reacted positively, with the Nikkei index closing up 0.50%, influenced by the expectation of important U.S. economic data. Notably, shares of Advantest, NEC, and Makita saw significant gains.

U.S. stocks experienced an uncertain trading day on Wednesday. The Dow Jones increased by 0.04%, the S&P 500 decreased by 0.09%, and the Nasdaq fell by 0.16%. The market’s reaction was due to mixed statements from Federal Reserve officials regarding interest rates. The initial optimism was spurred by the rise in shares of General Motors (NYSE:GM), following its announcement of share repurchases and dividend hikes. The computer hardware and banking sectors showed strong performance.

For Thursday’s corporate earnings front, investors are set to focus on the reports from Kroger (NYSE:KR), Big Lots (NYSE:BIG), Frontline (NYSE:FRO), TD Bank (NYSE:TD), and others before market opening. Post-market close, attention will turn to the reports from Dell (NYSE:DELL), Marvell Technologies (NASDAQ:MRVL), Ulta Beauty (NASDAQ:ULTA), UiPath (NYSE:PATH), Ambarella (NASDAQ:AMBA), PagerDuty (NYSE:PD), and more.

Today’s Wall Street corporate highlights

Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:META) – The BEUC and its 18 members have reported to consumer protection that Meta Platforms’ new ad-free subscription service in Europe breaches EU laws, alleging unfair practices and high fees, and arguing that data can be collected even with payment, launched to comply with EU privacy rules. Additionally, the CEOs of social media companies Meta, X, TikTok, Snap (NYSE:SNAP), and Discord will testify about online child sexual exploitation at a U.S. Senate hearing on January 31, after initially Discord and X refused to participate. The hearing will provide an opportunity to pressure companies on protecting children online.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) – Microsoft will take a non-voting observer position on the OpenAI board, as announced by CEO Sam Altman. This allows participation in meetings and access to confidential information, but no influence on elections or director choices.

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), iRobot (NASDAQ:IRBT) – Initially, European Commission lawyers opposed sending a notice to Amazon about its $1.4 billion acquisition of iRobot. Later, they supported the antitrust authorities’ decision to send a statement of objections about the deal, limiting it to concerns over competition in robotic vacuum cleaners. Amazon can still obtain approval, but authorities are seeking solutions to their concerns.

Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) – Salesforce shares rose 9.3% in Thursday’s pre-market. In the third quarter, Salesforce recorded revenue of $8.72 billion, surpassing expectations. Its adjusted earnings per share were $2.11, exceeding estimates by 5 cents. The company now forecasts adjusted earnings for the year between $8.18 and $8.19 per share, compared to the previously predicted $8.04 to $8.06. For the fourth quarter, it expects adjusted earnings in the range of $2.25 to $2.26 per share and predicted revenues between $9.18 billion and $9.23 billion. It also raised the lower end of its annual revenue forecast to $34.75 billion. The company recently launched its AI tool, Einstein Copilot.

Broadcom (NASDAQ:AVGO), VMware (NYSE:VMW) – U.S. chip manufacturer Broadcom is exploring strategic options for two VMware business units, following its $69 billion acquisition. The units in question are End-User Computing and Carbon Black. VMware will continue operating as four units under the leadership of Raghu Raghuram.

ASML (NASDAQ:ASML) – ASML CEO Peter Wennink plans to retire in April, to be replaced by Christophe Fouquet, a company veteran. Wennink led ASML through a period of significant growth, making it Europe’s largest technology company. Fouquet oversaw the EUV technology, crucial for advanced chip manufacturing.

Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE) – Adobe plans to oppose the EU’s unfair competition charges regarding its proposed acquisition of Figma at a closed hearing in December. The European Commission alleged that the deal could reduce competition in the interactive design software market.

Snowflake (NYSE:SNOW) – Snowflake shares increased 8.6% in Thursday’s pre-market after reporting upbeat results. The company posted a net loss of $214 million in the fiscal third quarter but surpassed analysts’ expectations with an adjusted earnings per share of 25 cents and revenue of $734 million. The company also forecast higher than expected product revenues for the fiscal fourth quarter, reflecting strong execution in a stabilized macro environment.

Synopsys (NASDAQ:SNPS) – In the fiscal third quarter, Synopsys recorded revenue of $1.599 billion, a 25% increase from the previous year. Total annual revenue amounted to $5.843 billion, a 15% rise. For the next quarter, the company projects revenues of $1.63 billion to $1.66 billion and adjusted earnings of $3.40 to $3.45 per share. For the fiscal year 2024, Synopsys estimates revenues between $6.57 billion and $6.63 billion, with non-GAAP earnings between $13.33 and $13.41 per share. The company’s shares have risen 73% this year.

Nutanix (NASDAQ:NTNX) – Nutanix Inc.’s shares rose over 9.7% in Thursday’s pre-market, beating analysts’ estimates with impressive quarterly results. The company reported a net loss of $15.8 million in the fiscal first quarter, with adjusted earnings of 29 cents per share and revenue of $511 million, surpassing expectations. CEO Rajiv Ramaswami emphasized the importance of AI for enterprise customers undergoing digital transformation. Nutanix’s shares have increased 59.5% this year.

Pure Storage (NYSE:PSTG) – Pure Storage shares fell 16% in Thursday’s pre-market due to a disappointing projection for the fiscal fourth quarter. The October quarter’s revenue was $762.8 million, with non-GAAP operating income of $169.1 million. The company anticipates January revenue of $782 million, below expectations. The shift towards more subscription revenue impacted guidance.

JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) – JPMorgan acquired 10.6% of Spanish defense system manufacturer Indra, becoming its second-largest shareholder, after the Spanish state-owned SEPI. JPMorgan’s investment in Indra is valued at approximately $294.10 million, reflecting increased strategic interest due to rising defense spending following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), Rothschild (LSE:RCHA) – Rothschild, Morgan Stanley, and JPMorgan are expanding operations in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates’ capital, due to growing interest from global banks in the region, attracting sovereign funds and financial companies. The ADGM financial district has significantly grown, becoming one of the world’s largest.

UBS (NYSE:UBS) – The UBS 2023 Billionaires Ambitions report reveals that the number of billionaires increased by 7% to 2,544 worldwide, with their fortunes rising by 9% to about 12 trillion dollars. For the first time, billionaires accumulated more wealth through inheritances than through business activities, with 137 new billionaires inheriting $150.8 billion last year, surpassing the 84 self-made with a total of $140.7 billion. The generational wealth transfer is gaining momentum as more money passes from one generation to another.

Robinhood (NASDAQ:HOOD) – Robinhood plans to launch brokerage services in the United Kingdom as part of its international expansion to democratize access to financial markets. British customers will have access to commission-free trades in U.S. stocks and ADRs, with no exchange fees or account minimums. This comes after a decline in trading activity in the U.S.

Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) – Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed that he will definitively resign when his current contract ends in 2026. He also stated that the ABC broadcast network is not for sale and expressed optimism about Shanghai Disneyland.

Costco (NASDAQ:COST) – Costco had a strong November, with sales of $20.1 billion, a 5.1% increase from the previous year. Same-store sales grew by 3.5%, driven by increased foot traffic and online sales, which rose by 9.9%. Lower gasoline prices reduced total same-store sales by 1.1 percentage points.

Walmart (NYSE:WMT) – Walmart is reducing its reliance on China and importing more products from India to the U.S., due to rising costs and political tensions. India attracts companies with its growing workforce and technological advancement. Walmart has been accelerating its growth in India since 2018 and plans to import $10 billion in Indian goods by 2027. India is also becoming an attractive destination for foreign investments, with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) seeking to export $20 billion in goods from India by 2025.

Alibaba (NYSE:BABA), PDD Holdings (NASDAQ:PDD) – Alibaba is on track to lose its position as China’s most valuable e-commerce company to PDD. The shift reflects turbulence in Alibaba following Chinese government regulatory actions and signals the rise of startups like PDD.

Farfetch (NYSE:FTCH) – Richemont, the owner of Cartier, declared that it will not invest in Farfetch, an online luxury retailer considering leaving the stock market. José Neves, founder of Farfetch, is exploring this move following a problematic listing. Richemont is revising its deal with Farfetch, underscoring the lack of financial obligations.

Nike (NYSE:NKE), Adidas (USOTC:ADDYY) – Emerging footwear brands such as On Holding and Hoka are gaining ground, challenging Nike and Adidas with innovations in running shoes. These brands have captured consumers and are increasing their market share while the giants face challenges.

Foot Locker (NYSE:FL) – Foot Locker plans to enter the Indian market in 2024 in partnership with Metro Brands and Nykaa Fashion. Metro Brands will be responsible for Foot Locker’s physical stores, while Nykaa Fashion will operate Foot Locker’s website in India. The expansion aims to capitalize on the growing sneaker market in the country.

Birkenstock (NYSE:BIRK) – Birkenstock’s shares extended their gains following a dynamic Christmas shopping season in the U.S. After a lukewarm market debut, the shares rose more than 9% on Tuesday and continued climbing on Wednesday, reaching the initial public offering price for the first time.

Vista Outdoor (NYSE:VSTO) – Vista Outdoor’s board rejected the merger offer from Colt CZ Group, choosing to maintain its recommendation to sell its sports products division to the Czechoslovak Group. Colt CZ’s offer was not considered financially more favorable and undervalued the company. Vista’s shares rose after Colt CZ’s offer but have fallen since the deal with CSG.

Phillips 66 (NYSE:PSX) – Elliott Investment Management acquired a $1 billion stake in Phillips 66 and called for a renewal of the energy company’s board, seeking to improve its performance. Phillips 66 is facing challenges in the refining sector, with Elliott believing improvements could raise its shares to $200. The refinery plans to continue constructive dialogue with Elliott Investment.

BP (NYSE:BP) – BP will acquire the remaining 50% of the solar energy joint venture, Lightsource BP, for $322.4 million, boosting its renewable energy efforts. The company plans to expand Lightsource BP and attract a strategic partner in the future to unlock more value.

Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:OXY) – Occidental Petroleum is in talks to acquire Texas energy producer CrownRock in a deal valued at over $10 billion. The deal could be finalized soon, making CrownRock one of the last large private firms in the Permian region.

General Motors (NYSE:GM) – General Motors announced that its new labor agreements following a strike will cost $9.3 billion, while it plans share buybacks, dividend increases, and reduced spending on its autonomous vehicle unit Cruise. The buyback is equivalent to nearly a quarter of GM’s common shares. GM’s shares fell before closing up over 9% on Wednesday after the announcement, still below pre-UAW strike prices in September. The company lowered its profit expectations for 2023 but plans to resume returning capital to shareholders.

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) – Tesla will hold a Cybertruck delivery event today in Austin, Texas, live-streamed on its website. The company will deliver the initial batch of Cybertrucks, raising questions about its sales potential and impact on other Tesla model sales.

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), Toyota (NYSE:TM), Volkswagen (USOTC:VWAGY), Hyundai (KOSPI:005380), Rivian (NASDAQ:RIVN), Nissan (TG:NISA), BMW (TG:BMW), Mercedes-Benz (TG:MBG) – The United Auto Workers (UAW) launched an initiative to unionize the U.S. automotive sector, targeting 13 non-union automakers, including Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen, Hyundai, Rivian, Nissan, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz. The move aims to secure benefits and better conditions for workers, facing antitrust challenges and resistance from the companies.

Boeing (NYSE:BA) – Canada is set to announce a multi-billion dollar contract involving Boeing, ending months of speculation. The purchase of 16 Poseidon P-8A aircraft aims to replace the Aurora CP-140 fleet, with the deal covering training and associated equipment.

Cigna (NYSE:CI), Humana (NYSE:HUM) – Cigna is in talks for a merger with Humana, potentially valued at over $60 billion. This follows regulators blocking similar deals in the U.S. health insurance sector six years ago. The merger could increase competition with leaders like UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH), but faces antitrust challenges and concerns over limited synergies. Cigna is considering selling its Medicare Advantage operations to facilitate the deal.

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