US index futures are down in Friday’s pre-market, with investors gearing up to assess the earnings of major banks.

At 7:01 AM, Dow Jones futures (DOWI:DJI) fell 11 points, or 0.03%. S&P 500 futures dropped 0.20%, and Nasdaq-100 futures declined 0.44%. The yield on 10-year Treasury bonds stood at 4.602%.

In the commodities market, November West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose 3.88% to $86.11 per barrel. December Brent crude oil also increased by 3.56%, nearing $89.05 per barrel.

On the economic agenda for Friday, investors await import and export price data at 8:30 AM, while Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker is scheduled to speak at 09 AM. At 10 AM, the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey is due, with a forecast of 67.2 points in October, down from the previous month.

In Asia, markets closed lower, keeping an eye on U.S. and Chinese inflation, as well as data from China’s trade balance, which showed a surplus above expectations. The possibility of additional stimulus from Beijing is still seen as essential.

In the European market, which is currently trading lower, industrial production in the Eurozone increased by 0.60% in August on a monthly basis, surpassing expectations. On an annual basis, there was a 5.10% decline, exceeding projections.

At 8 AM, a speech by the President of the European Central Bank (ECB), Christine Lagarde, is scheduled, where she is expected to discuss monetary policy at an International Monetary Fund (IMF) event.

At Thursday’s close, US stocks fell interrupting the recent upward trend. The Dow Jones fell 173.73 points or 0.51% to 33,631.14 points. The S&P 500 fell 27.34 points or 0.62% to 4,349.61. The Nasdaq fell 85.46 points or 0.63% to 13,574.22. Rising Treasury yields and better-than-expected consumer price data impacted the market. Real estate and airline sectors also saw notable declines.

On the corporate earnings front Wednesday, investors will be watching reports from JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), UnitedHeath (NYSE:UNH), BlackRock (NYSE:BLK), Citigroup (NYSE:C), Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), Progressive (NYSE:PGR) and PNC Financial (NYSE:PNC).

Wall Street Corporate Highlights for Today

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) – The British antitrust body approved Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision after concerns were addressed. The deal could now be completed by October 18, with the regulator saying Microsoft’s concession was crucial to avoiding monopoly in the UK cloud gaming market.

Fortinet (NASDAQ:FTNT) – Barclays downgraded Fortinet’s rating from “overweight” to “equal weight” and revised the price target from $71 to $63. The cybersecurity company is scheduled to report its third-quarter results on November 2. As a result, the shares fell 2.6%, reaching $56.50 in pre-market trading.

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) – Amazon is expanding its logistics services initiative, potentially targeting more than $100 billion in revenue, according to Truist Securities analyst Youssef Squali. The company aims to transform its logistics network into a service offering for merchants beyond Amazon, converting a cost center into a profit center. Despite the high valuation, analyst confidence in Amazon remains high, with most recommending buying shares and an average price target that implies a 31% gain over the next year.

TSMC  (NYSE:TSM) – TSMC hopes to obtain U.S. permission to supply U.S. chip equipment to its factory in China on an indefinite basis, seeking permanent authorization through the “validated end user” (VEU) process. This follows similar authorization given to Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix by the South Korean government. Last year, TSMC received a one-year authorization from the US for its factory in Nanjing, China, which produces 28-nanometer chips.

Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) – Qualcomm plans to cut about 2.5% of its workforce, eliminating 1,064 positions in San Diego and 194 in Santa Clara, California, in mid-December, according to documents filed with the Department of Development California Employment. The company had 51,000 employees globally.

Smart Global Holdings (NASDAQ:SGH) – Smart Global Holdings announced that its fiscal fourth quarter sales decreased 12.6% to $316.7 million, below analyst estimates of $375 million. The company projected sales from continuing operations for its fiscal first quarter of around $275 million, with a margin of error of approximately $25 million. This resulted in a 25.4% drop in Smart Global shares in pre-market trading.

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) – Electric vehicle sales in the US exceeded 300,000 in the 3rd quarter, but Tesla’s market share fell to 50%, after having 62% in the 1st quarter. Other manufacturers have reduced prices due to inflation. Tesla’s price war dropped the average price to $50,683 in September. Electric vehicle sales represented 7.9% of total industry sales, with Rivian (NASDAQ:RIVN) exceeding delivery expectations. Tesla missed estimates due to factory upgrades as demand grows for a wider range of electric vehicles in the US. Additionally, Tesla plans to increase wages for workers at its factory in Germany, following criticism from unions over wages below the industry average. Details of the increase will be released in November, following a 6% increase last year.

Ford Motor (NYSE:F) – A senior Ford executive has warned of strikes at its most profitable plants due to wage pressure from the United Auto Workers (UAW). Ford seeks to reallocate resources within its bid to secure a deal, while the UAW directs negotiations to Stellantis (NYSE:STLA). The United Auto Workers closed Ford’s largest factory in the world, the Kentucky Truck Plant, following Ford’s refusal to move forward in contract negotiations. The decision could affect Ford’s annual profits, as the plant generates about a sixth of its global revenue.

General Motors (NYSE:GM) – GM and LG Energy Solution (KOSPI:373220) face $270,000 fines due to health and safety violations at the Ultium Cells battery plant in Ohio following an explosion in March. OSHA issued 19 violations, including lack of safety training and exposure to metal dust. Ultium Cells seeks a hearing with OSHA.

Toyota Motor (NYSE:TM) – Toyota and oil refiner Idemitsu Kosan announced an agreement to develop all-solid-state batteries and plan to commercialize them in 2027-28 as part of its electric vehicle strategy. Companies are seeking solutions to durability problems and planning mass production. Solid-state technology promises greater autonomy and faster charging times.

Honda Motor (NYSE:HMC) – Honda and Mitsubishi have agreed to explore business opportunities related to electric vehicle batteries. The partnership aims to utilize EV batteries for energy storage and promote smart charging and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technologies.

Chevron (NYSE:CVX) – Negotiations between Chevron and unions at LNG facilities in Australia have progressed but have not resulted in an agreement. A union leader mentioned “some” points of contention, without details, and new negotiations are scheduled. Chevron expressed commitment to reaching an agreement. Negotiations are mediated by the Fair Work Commission. After suspending strikes in September, unions threatened to resume strikes in October. The benchmark Dutch gas contract rose on uncertainty.

Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD), Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) – Pioneer Natural Resources leadership will face unemployment after sale to Exxon Mobil. The top five executives will receive a total of $71 million in compensation, with CEO Scott Sheffield receiving about $29 million, representing three times his base salary, plus outstanding awards. These packages, known as “golden parachutes,” are common but often generate controversy due to their size compared to regular employee benefits.

Boeing (NYSE:BA), Spirit AeroSystems (NYSE:SPR) – Boeing and Spirit AeroSystems have expanded inspections for a production defect on 737 Max 8 aircraft. The issue involves holes in the rear pressure bulkhead and now encompasses hand-drilled holes. Boeing did not provide additional details about the scope or its impact on delivery goals. The FAA said there are no immediate safety concerns.

Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) – Delta Air Lines reinforced its confidence in continued demand for travel despite concerns about slowing domestic demand. The company noted strong global bookings and an increase in business travel, maintaining an optimistic view of the situation.

Citigroup (NYSE:C) – Citigroup announced that its board of directors will meet in Singapore for the first time since 2011 as a sign of commitment to the city-state. The meeting comes at a time when Singapore is attracting wealth flows from China and other countries due to its political stability and fund-friendly policies.

Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) – Wells Fargo will roll out its financial planning tool, Life Sync, to all of its nearly 70 million customers, after initially offering it to wealth customers. The tool lets you set financial goals, check credit scores and connect with financial advisors, as well as invest and move money between accounts through the mobile app. This is part of the bank’s efforts to enhance its digital offerings and cut costs.

JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) – JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon warned that the conflict in the Middle East will have ripple effects beyond the region, predicting a rise in anti-Semitism and global Islamophobia. The bank is taking steps to ensure the safety of its employees and will contribute $1 million to relief efforts. American Express (NYSE:AXP) also pledged significant donations. In terms of quarterly results, JPMorgan Chase exceeded analysts’ expectations in the third quarter, reporting an earnings per share of $4.33 and revenue of $40.69 billion. The bank attributed its success to interest income exceeding estimates and credit costs lower than expected. However, CEO Jamie Dimon cautioned that these exceptional results may not be sustainable, as credit costs and interest rates are expected to normalize in the future.

Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) – Goldman Sachs has sued the Malaysian government at the London Court of International Arbitration over alleged breaches of the settlement and asset recovery agreement related to the 1MDB scandal. This follows disagreements over compliance with the 2020 agreement, which involved a $3.9 billion payment. Goldman Sachs is forecast to report weak quarterly earnings, with an average estimate of $5.31 per share, representing a 36% drop from the previous year. The results reflect pressure on investment banking and writedowns on commercial real estate assets. The company also sold GreenSky as part of its strategy to exit the consumer business.

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) – Michael Hartnett, Bank of America strategist, believes the US stock market can avoid a bleak scenario as long as bond yields remain below 5%. He predicts the S&P 500 could stay above 4,200 points in the short term, but a break below that level could be triggered by a stronger dollar, higher yields, oil above $100 per barrel, and a small business credit crisis. Hartnett remains pessimistic for 2023 despite the recent S&P 500 uptick. He believes a recession and rate cuts by the Federal Reserve could generate gains in bonds and gold, along with a broader stock market recovery in 2024. To turn optimistic, he expects to see an economic contraction and rate cuts to attract new investors.

UBS (NYSE:UBS) – UBS Group AG has expressed concerns about the rapid growth of unsecured personal loans in India, warning that the increased risk of default could lead to higher credit costs for Indian lenders. State banks are considered more vulnerable to this trend than those in the private sector. The country’s banking regulator, the Reserve Bank of India, has also highlighted the need to assess risk-taking strategies in personal loans. UBS warned of the risk of regulatory tightening as the RBI is alert to possible crises.

Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB) – Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sewing predicts challenges in the commercial real estate sector due to rising interest rates. While the bank’s exposure is limited, high borrowing costs and post-pandemic remote working will weigh on the asset class. Sewing emphasizes the importance of underwriting principles to mitigate risk.

KKR and Company (NYSE:KKR) – US fund KKR is planning to submit a multibillion-euro bid for Telecom Italia’s (BIT:TITR) fixed network as part of an Italian government-backed plan to reshape the debt-burdened telecoms group. The offer will include Netco, with plans to absorb half of TIM’s domestic employees. The Italian Treasury plans to acquire a 15-20% stake in NetCo’s business as part of the deal.

LendingClub (NYSE:LC) – LendingClub plans to reduce its staff by around 14%, equivalent to 172 employees. This decision is a response to persistent macroeconomic challenges and market pressure, especially due to higher interest rates.

Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) – Walgreens Boots Alliance plans to reduce at least $1 billion in costs by 2024, including closing unprofitable stores, as it seeks to improve efficiency. The company is also cutting capital expenditures by about $600 million and looking to optimize its supply chain with artificial intelligence. These measures were announced after the company forecast financial results below Wall Street expectations due to falling sales of Covid-19 products and other pressures.

Illumina (NASDAQ:ILMN) – US genetic testing company Illumina has been ordered by the EU to sell cancer testing maker Grail after completing the deal without approval. The EU imposed a $457 million antitrust fine and blocked the deal due to monopoly concerns. Illumina must ensure Grail’s independence and competitiveness prior to the sale.

Cassava Sciences (NASDAQ:SAVA) – Cassava Sciences experienced a 27.9% drop in pre-market trading after a Science report alleged scientific misconduct by neuroscientist Hoau-Yan Wang, a longtime Cassava collaborator and member of faculty of the City University of New York. The investigation questioned the validity of 20 research articles, many of which supported the experimental Alzheimer’s drug simufilam. Cassava reaffirmed its confidence in the science behind simufilam and will proceed with its Phase 3 clinical program.

Kroger (NYSE:KR),  Albertsons (NYSE:ACI) – California Attorney General Rob Bonta has expressed concerns about Kroger’s proposed deal to acquire Albertsons for $24.5 billion and is mulling action to block it, citing concerns about higher prices, lower payments to farmers and food deserts. Kroger argues that the merger would result in lower prices, secure jobs and more food for families in need. The FTC is reviewing the deal to ensure compliance with antitrust laws.

Domino’s Pizza (NYSE:DPZ) – Domino’s Pizza is counting on revitalizing demand in the U.S., leveraging its improved loyalty program and promotional offers to offset the reduced benefits of higher prices. The company is focused on providing value to customers in addition to competitive prices.

Dollar General (NYSE:DG) – Shares of Dollar General Corp. rose 7.2% in Friday pre-market trading on the announcement that Todd Vasos would return as CEO immediately. Vasos, who was CEO from 2015 to 2022, succeeds Jeff Owen, and the change aims to restore stability and confidence in the company. Dollar General kept its sales forecast in line with analyst expectations, but lowered its sales growth forecast to 1.5% to 2.5% and expected earnings of between $7.10 and $7.60 per action.

JD.com (NASDAQ:JD) – JD.com is down -4.5% in Friday pre-market trading and hit a record low in Hong Kong, with several brokerages including Morgan Stanley and Citigroup downgrading your ratings and target prices. Rumors about the arrest of a businessman surnamed Liu, unrelated to the company’s president, also affected the shares. The retailer faces challenges due to slow consumption in China and competition from low pricing strategies, making its position in the Chinese e-commerce market less favorable.

AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC) – AMC’s shares rose by 5.6% on Thursday, extending their five-session rally, as Taylor Swift’s concert film generated significant anticipation and broke records ahead of its scheduled release on Friday. The film is expected to have a global opening of up to $200 million, a record for a concert film. In other news, AMC CEO Adam Aron faced extortion in a criminal scheme related to false claims about his personal life, which he reported to the authorities, resulting in the capture and conviction of the extortionist. He had maintained confidentiality until recently.

Viasat (NASDAQ:VSAT) – Viasat expects to recover less than 10% of the planned capacity of ViaSat-3 F1, its failed satellite, but believes it can meet customer needs without replacing it. The company also forecasts sustainable positive cash flow in the first half of 2025.

Newcrest Mining (TSX:NCM),  Newmont Corporation (NYSE:NEM) – Newcrest Mining shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favor of the $16.81 billion acquisition of Newmont Corporation. Around 92.63% of votes were in favor, exceeding the 75% support requirement. The final hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.

Paramount (NASDAQ:PARA), Warner Bros. Discovery (NASDAQ:WBD), Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS), Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) – Entertainment industry stocks fell after negotiations between the film and television actors union collapsed and the studios. The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) suspended negotiations with SAG-AFTRA following the union’s proposal. AMPTP alleges that SAG-AFTRA’s offer includes an unsustainable ratings bonus, while the union accuses AMPTP of intimidation tactics. Wall Street realized that the Hollywood actors’ strike could last longer, impacting the shares of entertainment companies such as Paramount, Warner Bros. Discovery, Walt Disney, Netflix and Comcast.

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