US index futures are up in premarket trading on Friday, in a day with few major indicators around the world, awaiting Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s speech at the Jackson Hole symposium.

By 6:40 AM, Dow Jones (DOWI:DJI) futures were up 109 points, or 0.32%. S&P 500 futures rose 0.30% and Nasdaq-100 futures were up 0.16%. The yield on the 10-year Treasury bond was at 4.249%.

On Friday’s US economic agenda, investors await, at 10:00 am, the release of the Michigan consumer confidence index, which has a consensus of 71.2 points, in addition to the number of oil probes for the week by Baker Hughes, at 1 pm.

Powell’s speech at the Jackson Hole symposium, scheduled for 10 am, is the big event of the day. The market’s expectation is that the chairman of the Fed will give some signal about the American monetary policy.

Another speech expected at the event is from the president of the European Central Bank, Christine Lagarde, scheduled for 3 pm, since the latest economic data in the bloc were not encouraging, which may reinforce a less harsh path in Europe’s economic policy.

German GDP remained stable in the second quarter, as expected, reflecting challenges in the economic recovery due to high interest rates impacting consumption and investment. The Ifo index, an indicator of the German business climate, fell to 85.70 points in August, below expectations. In the UK, the Gfk index, which measures consumer confidence, fell 25 points in August, better than expected. These European figures suggest a softer monetary policy by the European Central Bank, possibly benefiting stock markets.

In Asia, markets closed lower, influenced by the fall in US stock markets and expectations of Powell’s speech in Jackson Hole, and by stimulus measures in China. China has extended a tax refund policy for certain property sellers until 2025. In Japan, inflation was 2.8% in August, slightly lower than in July.

In commodities markets, West Texas Intermediate crude for October rose 1.16% at $79.97 a barrel. Brent crude for October rose 1.18% at $84.34 a barrel. Iron ore futures traded in Dalian, China, rose 0.55% to $113.42 a tonne, recovering from recent declines, supported by expectations of further stimulus in China.

As of Thursday’s close, there was a drop in momentum for US stock markets as well as the technology sector. This was due to yet another rise in interest rates on US government bonds, despite the impressive performance reported by Nvidia. The Dow Jones dropped 373.56 points or 1.08% to 34,099.42 points. The S&P 500 fell 59.70 points or 1.35% to 4,376.31 points. The Nasdaq plunged 257.06 points or 1.87% to 13,463.97 points.

Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) posted earnings per share of $2.70, substantially beating the $2.07 estimate. Despite that, investors were turning their attention to Jerome Powell’s speech at the Jackson Hole Symposium event today. At the same time, data on jobless claims in the US indicated a tight job market. As a result, the brief rally seen in technology stocks has lost steam.

Wall Street Corporate Highlights for Today

Big Tech – Big tech companies including Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Meta (NASDAQ:META) face stricter EU rules on content moderation and privacy. The Digital Services Act (DSA) impacts platforms with more than 45 million users. Violations can carry significant fines, and some companies, such as Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Zalando (USOTC:ZLDSF), object to its inclusion. Compliance is challenging, and reports indicate that Facebook has approved problematic ads.

Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:META) – Canadian regulator CRTC will establish a framework for negotiations between media and technology companies in the fall, aiming to implement mandatory negotiations by 2025. Google and Meta criticized the Online News Act of Canada, adopted in June.

Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:META) – Meta Platforms will launch “Code Llama”, an AI model to assist in writing code, free of charge and based on human prompts. The initiative follows trends such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Code Llama will compete with Microsoft ‘s GitHub Copilot (NASDAQ:MSFT).

Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) – After its shares tripled this year, Nvidia decided to buy back $25 billion in shares, surprising some investors even with a solid second-quarter report. The move raised questions as the company is growing fast and could reinvest profits. The buyback represents just 2.1% of Nvidia’s market value. Other investors see the decision as a show of confidence.

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) – Amazon is in talks with Disney (NYSE:DIS) about collaborating on the streaming version of ESPN, potentially acquiring a minority stake. ESPN reckons charging between $20 and $35 for the service, arguably the most expensive in the US.

Disney  (NYSE:DIS) – Shares of Disney fell 3.9% on Thursday, hitting a nearly nine-year low. Investors anticipate further declines after Bob Iger’s announcement of recovery plans. The high activity in put options suggests bearishness among traders.

General Motors (NYSE:GM) – Following criticism from US senators, Ultium Cells, a partnership between GM and LG Energy, will raise wages in Ohio by 25%. The increase will be retroactive to December 2022, with workers receiving up to $7,000. Negotiations with the UAW union continue.

Tesla  (NASDAQ:TSLA) – Investors hurt by Elon Musk’s tweet about Tesla could receive a share of a $42.3 million fund. The US Securities and Exchange Commission approved the payment to 3,350 claimants, covering 51.7% of losses. In other news, NHTSA will conclude its two-year investigation into Tesla’s Autopilot, with an announcement expected soon.

Spirit Airlines (NYSE:SPR) – Spirit Airlines has agreed to pay up to US$8.25 million to settle a claim by passengers caught with baggage fees when purchasing tickets on third-party platforms. Eligible passengers will receive up to 75% of their fees back. The original lawsuit sought $100 million in damages.

Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) – Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky has won a $2.7 billion US Navy contract to build 35 CH-53K helicopters. This model, which debuted in 2018, has triple the capacity of its predecessor. Deliveries will start in 2026.

Nike (NYSE:NKE) – Institutional Shareholder Services recommended that Nike investors support Arjuna Capital’s resolution for greater transparency on pay equity for women and minorities. Although Nike has already disclosed some disparities, the proposal seeks greater clarity. Nike faces gender discrimination lawsuit.

Walmart (NYSE:WMT), Hugo Boss (USOTC:HUGPF) – The Canadian Ombudsman for Responsible Business (CORE) is investigating Canadian units of Walmart, Hugo Boss and Diesel over allegations of Uighur forced labor. The decision came after complaints from 28 organizations in 2022. Walmart refuted the allegations.

Visa (NYSE:V), Mastercard (NYSE:MA) – Visa and Mastercard have reduced partnerships with cryptocurrency exchange Binance due to global regulatory scrutiny. Visa has stopped issuing new cards in Europe, and Mastercard will end the partnership in September. Binance, recently isolated from some banking systems, disputes the allegations.

Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) – Ericsson forecast revenues of USD 1 billion in IPR licensing to 2023 after renewing a patent agreement with Huawei. Both will have global access to the other’s proprietary technologies.

Whirlpool (NYSE:WHR) – Whirlpool has agreed to pay $11.5 million to settle CPSC allegations of delayed communication about self-starting cooktops, risk of burns and fire. The problem has affected brands like JennAir and KitchenAid. The company performed a recall in 2019.

AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC) – AMC Entertainment will convert preferred stock to common stock on Friday. The conversion is aimed at raising funds to pay off debt, as previous attempts in 2021 have failed. The company recently performed a reverse share split, allowing it to issue more shares. Disputes with shareholders led to additional payments in shares. With the conversion, AMC will be able to issue an additional 550 million shares. Despite dilution concerns, the CEO defends fundraising as essential.

TD Bank Group (NYSE:TD) – TD Bank Group anticipates fines due to US investigations into its anti-money laundering program. The information was revealed in quarterly earnings, sending TD shares down 3% on Thursday after third-quarter earnings missed estimates. The bank canceled the acquisition of First Horizon.

HSBC (NYSE:HSBC) – HSBC has expanded debt offering to early start-ups in the US through its innovation division. This strategy comes as funding declines globally.

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) – Strategists at Bank of America predict trouble in technology stocks due to higher interest rates, overshadowing optimism about artificial intelligence. We see “hassle in the second half rather than an era of new AI rules,” strategists led by Michael Hartnett wrote in a note on Friday. The Nasdaq, affected, is still up 35% this year. Hartnett warns of more volatility after record inflows.

Novartis (NYSE:NVS) – Novartis has received FDA approval for the first biosimilar treatment for multiple sclerosis. This biosimilar, Tyruko, is a version of Biogen’s Tysabri (NASDAQ:BIIB). Novartis plans to spin off its biosimilars business in October.

Hawaiian Electric (NYSE:HE) – Hawaiian Electric suspended its dividend to strengthen its cash position and focus on rebuilding after the Maui wildfires. Although a dividend has already been declared, the company is seeking to understand the weather events that caused the fires. Maui sued the company for failing to turn off power in adverse conditions. Shares are down 22.0% in premarket trading on Friday.

Better Home & Finance (NASDAQ:BETR) – Better Home & Finance, a mortgage origination company, completed a merger with SPAC Aurora Acquisition Corp (NASDAQ:AURCU), despite the challenging environment of rising mortgage rates. Shares of the combined company plummeted 93% after listing. The motivation for the merger was financing, seeking $565 million, primarily from SoftBank. Despite the difficult circumstances of the mortgage market in 2022, Better promises efficiency and innovation. The merger has seen several tweaks since the initial announcement in 2021.


Affirm (NASDAQ:AFRM) – After delivering better-than-expected quarterly results, the stock gained 9.8% in premarket trading on Friday. Affirm lost 69 cents a share on revenue of $446 million, beating Refinitiv’s estimate of a loss of 85 cents on revenue of $406 million. The CEO highlighted sequential credit improvements and accelerated growth.

Marvell Technology (NASDAQ:MRVL) – Despite beating Wall Street forecasts, the chip company’s stock was down about -4.4% premarket. Marvell reported a profit of 33 cents per share, excluding items, beating Refinitiv’s expectation of 32 cents. Its revenue was $1.34 billion, slightly above the analysts’ forecast of $1.33 billion.

Ulta Beauty (NASDAQ:ULTA) – Despite beating second-quarter expectations, the cosmetics retailer’s stock was flat in premarket trading on Friday. Ulta earned $6.02 a share and revenue was in line with estimates of $2.51 billion. According to Refinitiv, forecasts were for a profit of $5.85 per share. In addition, the company has adjusted its annual forecast upwards.

Intuit (NASDAQ:INTU) – Even as the company posted fourth-quarter earnings above expectations in terms of earnings and financial results, the stock was flat in premarket trading. Intuit projected revenue for the next quarter that missed forecasts. The company’s expectation is that revenue will grow from 10% to 11% in the first quarter, but analysts predicted an increase of 13%.

Workday (NASDAQ:WDAY) – The enterprise cloud management company reported better-than-estimated financial performance in the second quarter. In addition, the company has adjusted its subscription revenue estimate for fiscal 2024 upwards.

GAP (NYSE:GPS) – Gap Inc predicted lower sales due to lower demand and competition from rivals such as Shein and Amazon. It missed Q2 revenue expectations as consumers spent less. In the second quarter, Gap’s net sales declined 8% to $3.55 billion, missing analysts’ forecast of $3.57 billion. Gap earned an adjusted 34 cents per share through July 29, beating expectations of 9 cents. The brand has hired Mattel’s Richard Dickson as CEO, seeking to revitalize sales.

Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN) – Nordstrom issued a similar warning to Macy’s about cautious demand and rising defaults. Sales slowed at its flagship stores and discount Nordstrom Rack line. Nordstrom earned 84 cents a share for the quarter, above expectations for a profit of 44 cents. Total revenue fell about 8% to $3.77 billion, compared with expectations of $3.65 billion, according to Refinitiv data.

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