US Index Futures are down in pre-market trading on Thursday, reflecting the statement from the monetary authority one day after the Federal Reserve kept the interest rate in the United States unchanged.

At 7:04 AM, Dow Jones futures (DOWI:DJI) fell 163 points, or 0.47%. S&P 500 futures were down 0.65% and Nasdaq-100 futures were down 0.88%. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was at 4.441%.

In the commodities market, West Texas Intermediate crude oil for November fell 0.95% to $88.81 per barrel. Brent oil for November fell 0.94% to US$92.65 per barrel. Iron ore with a concentration of 62% fell 1.90%, quoted at US$ 116.86 per ton.

On Thursday’s economic agenda in the United States, investors are awaiting, at 8:30 AM, the weekly unemployment insurance data, which is forecasted to show 225,000 new claims, an increase compared to the previous week when 220,000 were recorded.

At the same time, the balance of the current account for June, forecasted to have a deficit of $221 billion, and the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index, consensus being a drop of 0.70% in September, will also be released. At 10 AM, it will be the turn of August’s used home sales data.

Attention is also turned to the new economic forecasts revealed in the “Dot-Plot.” The GDP forecast for 2023 was adjusted to 2.1%, from 1.0%, and the economic expansion forecast for 2024 increased to 1.5%, from 1.1%.

In Europe, investors were closely watching the imminent decision of the Bank of England (BoE) on interest rates. The Bank of England halted a series of 14 interest rate increases, maintaining the rate at 5.25% after data showed inflation below expectations. Investors were already anticipating the pause due to lower inflation growth in August. The decision came in a context of challenges to balance inflation and economic growth. A speech by Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank (ECB), and consumer confidence data from the eurozone are also awaited.

In Asia, markets closed lower, impacted by the resolution of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). China’s pledge to implement more stimulus measures to bolster the economy and promote advanced industrial sectors failed to boost market morale. These measures are considered positive as they have the potential to revitalize the real estate and financial sectors, pillars of the local economy.

On Wednesday, global markets were performing positively ahead of the FOMC verdict, however, US stocks reversed sharply lower after the release of the Fed’s projections. These pointed out that most members anticipate a further increase interest rate later this year. Even so, the FOMC decided, at the current meeting, to keep the Federal Funds interest rate unchanged, at between 5.25 and 5.50%. Future interest rates started considering the possibility of an increase in the long-term interest rate.

Prior to the decision, markets were responding positively to inflation in the United Kingdom, which rose much less than expected, at 0.3% (versus an expectation of 0.7%), strengthening the view that we may also be reaching the end of the interest rate hike cycle in the country. Dow Jones ended the day down 76.85 points or 0.22%, to 34,440.88 points. S&P 500 fell 41.75 points or 0.94% to a nearly one-month closing low of 4,402.20. Nasdaq led the decline, falling 209.06 points or 1.53% to 13,469.13, its lowest closing level in nearly a month.

On the corporate earnings front Thursday, investors will be watching reports from Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI), FactSet (NYSE:FDS), Valneva (NASDAQ:VALN), Scholastic (NASDAQ:SCHL) and Flux Power (NASDAQ:FLUX).

Wall Street Corporate Highlights for Today

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) – Apple’s main Taiwanese suppliers faced a decline in sales in August, with a 12.3% drop in revenue, reflecting weak consumer demand in electronics. However, growth in demand for AI hardware has boosted companies like Quanta Computer Inc. The new generation iPhone could potentially revive Apple’s sales later in the year.

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) – Amazon revealed new devices and improvements to Alexa, its voice assistant, incorporating generative artificial intelligence to compete with other chatbots such as Google Bard. Alexa will speak more naturally and have new functions. Additionally, Italy’s Safilo and Amazon have launched Carrera “smart” glasses with Alexa technology in the United States. They offer six hours of continuous use and direct sound to the ears, minimizing external hearing. In other news, Amazon reversed its decision to impose a 2% fee on merchants who don’t use its shipping services, after announcing the fee in August. The company stated that this revocation is intended to maintain participation in the program, and the decision was made after careful consideration and feedback from merchants.

Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Broadcom (NASDAQ:AVGO) – Google may abandon Broadcom as an AI chip supplier in 2027, designing its own chips, following disputes over pricing. That sent Broadcom shares down 4.9% in premarket trading Thursday. Google has stepped up investments in AI following the success of OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) – During a five-day visit to India, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang explored business opportunities in AI, envisioning India as a vital market due to trade restrictions with China. India, rich in data and talent, and boasting a growing digital economy, is investing aggressively in AI infrastructure and electronics production. Nvidia, already with a significant presence in the country, sees significant potential in its emerging technology market.

Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) – Qualcomm has announced its entry into the Wi-Fi router market, with UK-based Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR) and EE (NYSE:EE) as its first customers. The new routers will utilize the Wi-Fi 7 standard, allowing for faster data flow and traffic prioritization for certain services where legal. The company also acquired OptiCore Technologies, which focuses on optical networks.

CrowdStrike (NASDAQ:CRWD) – CrowdStrike Holdings saw pre-market trading rise after revealing at Fal.Con that it has raised its subscription gross margin target model to 82%-85% of revenue, an increase of 400 basis points over the previous objective, and also expanded its operating margin target to 28% to 32%, an increase of 900 basis points. The company has set a deadline of three to five years to achieve these objectives.

Klaviyo (NYSE:KVYO),  Instacart (NASDAQ:CART), Arm Holdings (NASDAQ:ARM) – On Wednesday, Klaviyo shares closed below their first-day peak, raising uncertainty about future listings. The poor performances of Arm Holdings and Instacart and unfavorable market conditions, marked by high interest rates and market declines, reinforce doubts about the expected resurgence of IPOs. Klaviyo is down 3.6% in pre-market trading on Thursday to $31.58 after it opened for trading on Wednesday at $36.75, a 23% increase from the initial offering price of $30, and closed at $32.76, an increase of 9.2%.

3D Stratasys (NASDAQ:SSYS), Desktop Metal (NYSE:DM) – Consultancy Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) recommended that Stratasys shareholders reject plans to acquire Desktop Metal, suggesting that an offer from 3D Systems would be more advantageous. ISS argues that it is unclear whether Desktop Metal’s proposal creates value for Stratasys shareholders, especially with recent declines in the share prices of the companies involved. Voting will be on September 28th.

Vinfast (NASDAQ:VFS) – VinFast, a Vietnamese electric vehicle producer, plans to ship its first cars to Europe this year after regulatory approval, at a time when tariffs could be imposed by the European Union on Chinese competitors. Around 3,000 VF8 crossovers are planned to be shipped to France, Germany and the Netherlands in the fourth quarter of this year. This expansion represents a significant increase compared to previous targets and comes as EU research could create a market gap. If successful, Europe will become VinFast’s main overseas market this year.

Nio (NYSE:NIO) – Chinese electric vehicle maker NIO has launched an Android smartphone, aiming to improve its drivers’ experience and regain investor trust. The device, costing around $900, will begin shipping on September 28th. NIO does not aim to compete with other phone brands, but to integrate more technology into its vehicles.

Ford Motor (NYSE:F), Stellantis (NYSE:STLA), General Motors (NYSE:GM) – Detroit automakers and the United Auto Workers have not made significant progress in negotiations, facing possible strikes. The demands include 40% pay increases and a 32-hour work week. GM, Ford and Stellantis face disruptions, with little progress in sight, and a complete shutdown could affect US GDP growth. Ford Motor workers in Canada will vote Saturday on a three-year interim agreement, after a last-minute compromise that avoided strikes. General Motors shut down its Fairfax, Kansas, facility, affecting three plants and resulting in extensive layoffs. Stellantis is also facing disruptions, temporarily laying off employees.

Stellantis (NYSE:STLA) – UK affiliates of Volkswagen (EU:VWA) and Stellantis are calling for regulatory clarity, following rumors that the UK may delay its ban on petrol and diesel cars from 2030. Both companies emphasize the need for a framework clear legislation and binding targets for infrastructure.

FedEx (NYSE:FDX) – FedEx reported a surprising quarterly profit, to $4.55 per share – 82 cents more than Wall Street expected, according to LSEG data. Shares are up 4.9% in premarket trading after cutting costs and gaining customers from UPS and Yellow. The company, optimizing operations and mitigating expenses, is positive for the holiday season, a period when volumes typically double, and plans to repurchase US$1.5 billion in shares this fiscal year.

Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) – Exxon Mobil forecasts its fuel and chemical profits will reach $16 billion by 2027, an increase of $4 billion, as demand grows. The company, differing from the International Energy Agency, predicts that demand for gasoline will only peak at the end of this decade. Exxon has integrated its refining and chemicals businesses to maximize profits while adapting to market demands.

General Electric (NYSE:GE) – General Electric and Safran SA have requested sales records from AOG Technics, which is involved in a fake components scandal. The case reached a court in London after several airlines found suspicious parts on their planes. The parts with suspicious documentation would be present in CFM56 engines, used in Airbus and Boeing planes.

Textron Aviation  (NYSE:TXT) – On Wednesday, Textron Aviation and NetJets entered into an agreement, giving Berkshire Hathaway‘s (NYSE:BRK.B) NetJets the option to purchase up to 1,500 Cessna Citation jets over the next 15 years. Potentially valued at US$30 billion, this agreement could begin to take effect in 2025, with deliveries of the Citation Ascend, currently under development.

 Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) – Disney CEO Bob Iger promised to “calm the noise” amid cultural tensions and announced plans to double investments in parks and cruises. The company, central to cultural and legislative controversies, faces streaming challenges and adjustments to its sports brand, ESPN. Iger emphasized the company’s commitment to positive entertainment, moving away from controversial agendas.

General Mills (NYSE:GIS) – General Mills surpassed first-quarter sales and profit forecasts, benefiting from high prices. Despite falling demand, price increases in cereals, snacks and pet products have boosted revenues and margins. The company kept annual forecasts stable.

Unilever (NYSE:UL) – Unilever, looking to streamline its business and facing inflation, revived plans to sell non-core brands including Q-Tips and Impulse, hiring Morgan Stanley and Evercore Inc. Elida Beauty, generating $760 million in 2022 , includes brands such as Caress and St. Ives. The sale process, after an abandoned effort, aims to attract private equity firms in a possible multibillion-dollar deal.

Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) – Starbucks announced a 7.5% increase in its quarterly dividend, from 53 cents to 57 cents, marking the 13th consecutive increase. Shareholders of record on November 10th will receive the dividend on November 24th.

Coty (NYSE:COTY) – Coty adjusted its annual sales forecast due to high demand and prices. The CoverGirl owner has seen an increase in demand for prestige fragrances and cosmetics despite inflation challenges. The company now expects sales growth of 8% to 10% for 2024, above previous forecasts.

KB Home (NYSE:KBH) – KB Home reported positive results and increased revenue forecast, reporting stable demand despite rising mortgage rates. The company anticipated annual revenues of approximately $6.31 billion, surpassing previous estimates. Jeffrey Mezger, the CEO, expressed confidence in the company’s ability to navigate changing market conditions.

DR Horton (NYSE:DHI) – DR Horton has appointed Paul J. Romanowski as President and CEO, effective October 1. He had been appointed co-chief operating officer of the homebuilding company in October 2021. In the CEO role, Romanowski will succeed David V. Auld, who will be reassigned as executive vice chairman of the board. Auld has served as president and CEO since October 2014.

UBS (NYSE:UBS) – UBS has laid off about 70% of staff at Credit Suisse’s Hong Kong bond research unit, keeping fewer than 10 researchers focused on Hong Kong and China stocks, amid post-acquisition integration from Credit Suisse. The merger aims to optimize resources and operations.

Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) – Economists at Goldman Sachs predict the Federal Reserve will begin cutting interest rates in the fourth quarter of next year, pushing back their previous forecast for the second quarter.

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) – Bank of America will raise the hourly minimum wage to $23 in October, with plans to reach $25 per hour by 2025, the company announced. This will result in an annual salary of nearly $48,000 for full-time employees.

JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) – Washington asked JPMorgan for patience before ceasing agricultural payments to Moscow after Russia abandoned a grain export deal. The bank processed payments with U.S. guarantees, but after Russia abandoned the deal, cooperation ceased in August.

Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE:DB) – Deutsche Bank AG expects trading revenue to fall for the third consecutive quarter as the fixed income unit normalizes, CFO James von Moltke said. While investment banking faces declining revenues, the bank sees growth in advisory and underwriting. The bank’s corporate and private areas now drive growth, benefiting from high interest rates, and the bank will continue to focus more on these areas, limiting new capital to investment banking.

Block (NYSE:SQ) – Block’s Square announced a partnership with Jane Technologies to enter the Canadian cannabis market. It will initially focus on Ontario, allowing dispensaries to test their point-of-sale offerings. The goal is to make legal cannabis products as accessible as illicit ones.

US Steel Corp (NYSE:X),  Cleveland-Cliffs Inc (NYSE:CLF) – US Steel and Cleveland-Cliffs dispute the terms of a confidentiality agreement relating to a sales process. Cliffs refused a six-month shutdown proposed by US Steel, keeping options open for potential challenges. Meanwhile, US Steel accepted offers from other interested parties. Cliffs, aiming for transparency, opened its books and demonstrated financial commitment to make its offer happen. Neither company, however, commented on the impasse.

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