US Index Futures are operating higher on Thursday, as are European markets, with investors paying attention to US jobless insurance data and reacting to news of a trade surplus below expectations in China.

By 6:58 AM, Dow Jones (DOWI:DJI) futures were up 62 points, or 0.18%. S&P 500 futures were up 0.33%, while Nasdaq-100 futures were up 0.66%. The 10-year Treasury yield is at 3.816%.

The US second quarter corporate earnings season kicks off today with highly anticipated reports from Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL),  Pepsico (NASDAQ:PEP), Cintas (NASDAQ:CTAS),  Progressive (NYSE:PGR),  Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) and Conagra Brands (NYSE:CAG). Major banks such as JPMorgan Chase,  Citigroup (NYSE:C) and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) will be reporting their financial numbers on Friday.

On Thursday’s US economic calendar, the Labor Department will release the Jobless Claims reports for the week through 7/8 and the June PPI and Core PPI at 8:30 am. At 6:45 pm Fed Director Christopher Waller will deliver a speech on the economic scenario. Additionally, the US government will hold a third Treasury bond auction, this time with a 30-year maturity, at 1 pm. Yesterday, US$32 billion in 10-year bonds were auctioned, with a cut rate of 3.857%.

Elsewhere, China’s trade balance underperformed expectations, with a surplus of US$70.62 billion in June, up from US$65.81 billion in May, but below analysts’ forecast of US$74 billion. Asian stocks closed higher due to prospects of support from the Chinese government to sectors in the country.

In the UK, industrial production fell by 0.6% in May, compared with the -0.4% forecast. However, the trade balance showed a surplus of £6.58 billion, beating expectations and showing an improvement from the previous deficit of £2.46 billion.

In commodities markets, West Texas Intermediate crude for August was up 0.21% at $75.91 a barrel. Brent crudes for September are up 0.22% near $80.31 a barrel. Iron ore futures traded in Dalian, China, followed the recent movement and rose 1.6%, at US$115.68 per tonne, still reflecting the expectation of stimuli from the Chinese government.

At Wednesday’s close, riskier assets performed well as US Treasury yields fell. The Nasdaq jumped 158.26 points, or 1.2%, to 13,918.96 points, and the S&P 500 rose 32.90 points, or 0.7%, to 4,472.16 points. The Dow closed up 86.01 points or 0.3% at 34,347.43 points. This was also in response to the CPI inflation data, which showed a greater-than-expected deceleration, reinforcing the expectation that the Federal Reserve may end the cycle of increasing interest rates after the meeting at the end of this month. Although the S&P 500 saw a significant increase, it was the Nasdaq 100 that showed the greatest growth, as it is more sensitive to future interest rates.

The CPI reached its lowest level in more than two years, considering the variation in 12 months. In the core index, there was a deceleration from 0.4% in May to 0.2% in June. Regarding the overall index, there was an acceleration to 0.2% compared to 0.1% in May, but still, both numbers were below market expectations. It is worth mentioning that the Fed’s target is 2%, so the 3% rate is still above what is needed for the US central bank to fulfill its mandate, but it is an advance that may indicate a positive outlook on the horizon.

Wall Street Corporate Highlights for Today

Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) – Alphabet’s Google announced on Thursday that it is launching its artificial intelligence chatbot, Bard, in the European Union. After delays due to data privacy concerns, the European release was cleared, with a scheduled review after three months. Google also launched Bard in Brazil, introducing new features such as image uploading. The company has seen a 35% increase in its shares this year.

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) – On the first day of’s Prime Day event, US online sales increased nearly 6% to $6.4 billion year-over-year. In other news, Amazon is facing a complaint from the National Council on Labor Relations for refusing to negotiate with a New York workers’ union. The board is seeking a solution that would require Amazon to negotiate in good faith with the union. The company contested the results of the vote to join the union and postponed discussions. Meanwhile, dozens of Amazon warehouse workers in New York sued the union, citing a lack of democratic elections for leadership positions.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) – Apple faces union tensions at its first unionized US store. The union accused the company of dealing in bad faith and sharing trading information with other stores. Apple denies the allegations and says it is committed to respectful dealings. The clash comes after months of negotiation and the union has filed a complaint with the National Council for Labor Relations. Apple has sought to block other stores from unionizing, using the situation as a wake-up call. In addition, Apple has released iOS 17 in the form of a public beta. It brings changes like custom contact posters, autocorrect improvements, updated iMessage app, and a new Journal app.

Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:META) – Meta is preparing to challenge the European Union’s antitrust allegations at a closed hearing. The European Commission has accused Meta of linking its classified ads service to Facebook, giving it an unfair advantage, and imposing unfair trading conditions on competitors. The company could face fines and change orders if found guilty. Meta Platforms has yet to launch its Threads product in the EU.

Roblox (NYSE:RBLX) – Roblox Corp’s online game Roblox will be launching soon on  Meta Platforms‘ Quest virtual reality (VR) headsets  (META), as announced by Meta in a blog post. The beta will initially be available on Quest 2 and Quest Pro in the coming weeks, allowing developers to optimize their games for VR. Roblox has millions of daily users and is available on multiple platforms.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) – The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed an appeal against the court ruling that allowed Microsoft to acquire Activision Blizzard. However, the FTC is running out of time to stop the deal, as the hold ends on Friday and the acquisition is expected to close on July 18. Microsoft has voiced its opposition to the feature and both companies’ actions have had mixed reactions in the market.

Broadcom (NASDAQ:AVGO), VMware (NYSE:VMW) ​​– Broadcom has received EU antitrust approval for its proposed acquisition of VMware for $61 billion. The deal will help Broadcom diversify into enterprise software. The European Commission has confirmed that Marvell Technology (NASDAQ:MRVL) and other competitors will be granted access to programming interfaces and source code for storage adapters. The merger is also under scrutiny by US and UK authorities. Broadcom has already received authorizations in several other jurisdictions.

Vedanta (NYSE:VEDL) – Indian company Vedanta plans to enter the chip and display manufacturing market later this year after Foxconn‘s investment (USOTC:FXCOF) is cancelled. Vedanta is seeking government approval to install its semiconductor and display units. The company also found new partners for the venture after Foxconn pulled out of the joint venture due to approval issues and stalled talks with STMicroelectronics (NYSE:STM).

Chinese companies – Shares of Chinese internet platform companies rose significantly in Hong Kong on Thursday, following a sign of Chinese government support for the sector. Meituan (USOTC:MPNGY), Bilibili (NASDAQ:BILI), Kuaishou Technology  (USOTC:KUASF) and Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) posted gains, boosted by the meeting between Premier Li Qiang and industry executives. Analysts believe this meeting signals a possible end to regulatory crackdowns on the technology sector, which should improve investor sentiment. (NASDAQ:JD) – Inc., China’s second-largest e-commerce platform, unveiled its own language model called ChatRhino, for enterprise use. The service will initially be used internally and later extended to enterprise customers starting in 2024. will also launch a platform for developers next month. Shares of the company rose 6.2% in Hong Kong.

Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) – CEO Robert Iger’s contract has been extended for an additional two years by the Walt Disney Board. Iger, who returned from retirement in 2022, faces long-term challenges in his film and television businesses. The board seeks to maintain leadership during the company’s transformation. Iger said there is still much to do before completing this transformative work, and the board continues to interview candidates for the CEO position.

Imax Corp (NYSE:IMAX) – Imax Corp announced a proposal to acquire its Imax China Holding Inc unit in a cash transaction worth approximately $124 million. Imax China would become a wholly owned subsidiary of Imax. The company highlighted the potential for expanding its brand and technology in the growing entertainment market in China, where it has more than 770 units, the most in any global market.

Azul (NYSE:AZUL) – Azul announced the launch of a public offering of senior secured notes, due in 2028, as part of its restructuring plan. The company will use receivables from the TudoAzul loyalty program and the Azul Viagens travel package business as collateral. The offering seeks to raise additional capital to further the company’s growth and expand its operations.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) – According to Reuters, Morgan Stanley has hired Daniel Cohen, a former executive at Truist Financial Corp, to join the investment bank. Cohen, who specializes in healthcare services, will continue to focus on negotiations in the pharmaceutical sector.

JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) – JP Morgan Securities was ordered to pay $2.5 million to a financial adviser who was fired over allegations of structuring bank deposits to avoid the company’s attention. The decision was reached by an arbitration panel, which also ordered the removal of separation information on Form U5 filed by the company. JPMorgan plans to pursue legal options against the decision.

Barclays (NYSE:BCS) – Barclays won an appeal to the UK High Court in a case questioning banks’ obligations to protect customers against fraud. Customer Fiona Philipp sued the bank after falling victim to authorized payment fraud. The court ruled that the bank had no responsibility to ignore instructions from customers suspected of fraud. In other news, Barclays is considering increasing investment in its smaller businesses such as US credit cards as part of a plan to boost its share price. However, some shareholders would prefer the bank to opt for share buybacks. The strategic review is being led by CEO CS Venkatakrishnan, with assistance from consultants from the Boston Consulting Group.

ARK Innovation (AMEX:ARKK) – Cathie Wood’s ARK Innovation fund hit an 11-month high, buoyed by expectations of falling inflation that would benefit speculative tech stocks. The fund is up nearly 52% this year, with companies like Coinbase (NASDAQ:COIN) and Exact Sciences (NASDAQ:EXAS) leading gains. The prospect of lower interest rates boosted optimism in small-cap technology stocks. Elsewhere, ARK Investment sold 20,874 Tesla shares, worth $5.7 million, within its Autonomous Technology and Robotics ETF. Several transactions were carried out on the ETF, including the purchase of shares in Cameco Corp (NYSE:CCJ) and Teradyne Inc.(NASDAQ:TER), and the sale of shares in Kratos Defense and Security Solutions Inc (NASDAQ:KTOS) and AeroVironment Inc (NASDAQ:AVAV). Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) now represents 0.51% of the ETF.

Viasat (NASDAQ:VSAT) – Viasat reported that an anomaly occurred during the deployment of the ViaSat-3 Americas satellite, which may affect its performance. The company’s shares fell 20.9% in premarket trading on Thursday following the incident. Viasat is reviewing the situation and will share more information in its earnings conference call in August.

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) – Tesla is in talks with the Indian government to establish a car factory in the country with an annual capacity of up to 500,000 electric vehicles, according to the Times of India. The company is considering using India as an export base for Indo-Pacific countries. In other news, Tesla has announced that the $7,500 federal tax credits for the Model 3 will likely be reduced after December 31st. The move comes amid tougher US battery rules aimed at increasing domestic manufacturing and reducing reliance on China. Additionally, Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said he will hold a virtual meeting with Elon Musk on Friday. In other news, vehicles with foreign battery components will no longer be eligible for tax credits starting in 2024. Furthermore, Elon Musk launched his artificial intelligence startup xAI, with the aim of building an alternative to ChatGPT. Musk seeks to create a safer AI based on maximum curiosity rather than explicitly programming morality.

General Motors (NYSE:GM) – US regulators will soon make a decision on General Motors (GM) autonomous driving unit’s petition to deploy up to 2,500 autonomous vehicles annually without human controls. The petition seeks approval for vehicles without steering wheels, mirrors, turn signals and windshield wipers. The road safety agency will issue a decision in the coming weeks.

Lucid (NASDAQ:LCID) – The shares of Lucid Group Inc. fell on Wednesday after disclosure that the company delivered 1,404 electric vehicles and produced 2,173 vehicles in the second quarter. Analysts had expected higher production. The fall in the stock raises concerns about weak demand and highlights the importance of the future launch of the Gravity electric SUV. Lucid will report full second-quarter results on August 7.

Cirrus Logic (NASDAQ:CRUS) – Cirrus Logic announced that it will reduce its workforce by 5%, which equates to approximately 85 employees, due to general market conditions and the impact related to the cancellation of a new product scheduled for launch this fall. The company expects to shoulder the costs related to the cuts in the fiscal second quarter.

McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) – Carlyle Group Inc (NASDAQ:CG) and Trustar Capital plan to raise $4 billion in funds to buy out part of their stakes in McDonald’s operations in Hong Kong and mainland China. The change would allow for a partial exit for acquisition companies six years after the business is purchased. The creation of a new vehicle would provide a potential exit or partial exit for existing investors and allow new capital to be raised. The plan has shareholder approval and is being discussed with interested investors. A deal is expected to be finalized by the end of the year.

Domino’s Pizza (NYSE:DPZ) – Andrew Rennie, former head of a large operator of Domino’s Pizza franchises in Europe, will join Domino’s Pizza Group (DPG) as CEO in August. He will replace Elias Diaz Sese, who has served as interim CEO of Domino’s Pizza Group since October 2022. Domino’s Pizza shares jumped in Wednesday’s trading after it announced that customers will be able to use the Uber Eats and Postmates apps to make requests. Domino’s has entered into an exclusive agreement with Uber, making Uber Eats its third-party delivery platform in the US until at least 2024. The partnership will expand the pizza brand’s reach to new customers, while Domino’s continues to utilize its own drivers for delivery. delivery. The deal also allows Uber to share customer order data with Domino’s.

Mondelez (NASDAQ:MDLZ) – Toblerone chocolate bar is removing the Matterhorn peak from its iconic logo due to legal requirements. The parent company, Mondelēz International, needs to meet certain criteria for producing and sourcing materials in Switzerland. Although the mountain is replaced, the Toblerone brand remains strong.

Shopify (NYSE:SHOP) – E-commerce company Shopify has announced the upcoming launch of its AI assistant for merchants called “Sidekick”. The assistant will be available on the Shopify platform and will answer questions, provide sales insights, and help entrepreneurs update their stores. The exact release date has not been specified.

Thrivent (NASDAQ:TEFMX) – Carolyn Armitage, head of Thrivent Advisor Network (TAN), has left the hybrid investment advisory firm, a spokeswoman confirmed. TAN has approximately 25 teams and oversees more than $5 billion in client assets. No additional details were provided about the leadership change. Armitage joined TAN in 2021 to expand its customer base. She is currently seeking employment opportunities in the Los Angeles area.

Recursion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:RXRX) – Recursion Pharmaceuticals (RXRX) announced on Wednesday that it has received a $50 million investment from Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) through a PIPE transaction. Shares in Recursion were up 78%, while Nvidia’s were up 3.5%.

Nomura Holdings (NYSE:NMR) – Nomura Holdings is expanding into the European equity business, seven years after exiting that market, in an effort to boost its earnings. The company is resuming corporate equity derivatives and Delta One products, as well as starting debt finance businesses in the region. Nomura has hired more than 30 executives to strengthen its global presence, targeting private equity, hedge fund and large corporate clients. The initiative is part of the company’s efforts to resume growth after facing significant losses in negotiations with family office Archegos Capital Management LP.


MillerKnoll (NASDAQ:MLKN) – Shares in MillerKnoll were down 4.9% in premarket trade on Thursday after the furniture company issued a first-quarter and full-year outlook below analyst estimates.

Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) – Delta Air Lines posted its highest-ever quarterly earnings and revenue, driven by strong demand for travel. Earnings per share were $2.68 cents versus $2.40 expected. Adjusted Revenue was $14.61 billion versus $14.49 billion expected. International travel and demand for premium seats boosted results, while lower fuel costs contributed to the airline’s positive performance. Delta raised its 2023 earnings forecast and the stock rose following the announcement. CEO Ed Bastian expressed continued optimism, predicting sustained growth in travel demand.

PepsiCo (NASDAQ:PEP) – PepsiCo beat analyst expectations by reporting quarterly earnings and earnings. The company’s shares soared after the announcement. Organic revenue increased 13% and adjusted EPS was $2.09. While volume declined in some divisions, the company raised its growth outlook for the year.

Market view

Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) – On Tuesday, Cowen analyst Matthew Ramsay raised his price target for AMD shares to $135 from $115. He reiterated his “Outperform” rating.

DraftKings (NASDAQ:DKNG) – BofA analyst Shaun Kelley raised his rating on DraftKings stock from “Neutral” to “Buy” and raised the price target to $35 from $25. expressed confidence that the company is heading towards profitability as more states legalize online sports betting and costs rise.

Carvana (NYSE:CVNA) – Carvana rose 9.2% on Wednesday after JMP Securities raised the used car dealership’s share price target to $50 from $25 and maintained its “Outperform” rating.

SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR) – Shares in SunPower rose 8.2% on Wednesday after being raised to a “Strong Buy” of “Outperform” by Raymond James.

Jefferies Financial Group (NYSE:JEF) – Jefferies Financial Group gained 4.9% on Wednesday after being upgraded to “Equal Weight” from “Underweight” by Morgan Stanley.

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