U.S. index futures are trending upwards in Wednesday’s pre-market, with investors awaiting the release of the second estimate of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the Beige Book in the United States to calibrate bets on monetary policy direction.

As of 05:52 AM, Dow Jones futures (DOWI:DJI) rose by 105 points, or 0.30%. S&P 500 futures advanced 0.33%, and Nasdaq-100 futures increased by 0.45%. The yield rate of 10-year Treasury bonds was at 4.294%.

In the commodities market, West Texas Intermediate crude oil for January rose by 1.33%, to $77.43 per barrel. Brent crude oil for January increased by 1.21%, nearing $82.67 per barrel. Iron ore with a 62% concentration, traded on the Dalian exchange, fell by 0.47%, to $134.07 per ton.

On this Wednesday’s economic agenda, investors are following the 07:00 AM weekly mortgage index, followed by the forecast of a 5% increase in the American GDP for the third quarter at 08:30 AM. At 10:30 AM, the Department of Energy will announce last week’s oil inventories, and at 1:45 PM, Loretta Mester from the Cleveland Fed will speak.

The Beige Book, reporting the economic situation of the 12 Fed districts, will be released at 2:00 PM, indicating expectations of a price deceleration and a less tense labor market.

In Asian markets, there was a decline due to anxiety over U.S. data and renewed concerns about the Chinese real estate sector, where recent sales have been weak and potential new financial support could be limited.

In Europe, consumer confidence in the eurozone in November aligned with forecasts, while inflation expectations dropped to 9.3 points, down from 11.3 in October. The focus is now on Germany’s November inflation, scheduled for 08:00 AM. Additionally, Luis de Guindos, vice-president of the ECB, highlighted that several eurozone banks have been slow to pass on interest rate hikes to savers, due to a scenario of ample liquidity.

On Tuesday, U.S. stocks ended modestly higher, with the Dow Jones reaching its highest closing level in three months, climbing 0.2% to 35,416.98 points. This followed optimistic comments from Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller on economic policy. However, conflicting remarks from Governor Michelle W. Bowman and the wait for important economic reports kept trading activity restrained. Boeing (NYSE:BA) shares rose 1.4% due to a rating upgrade. Gold also saw a rise, boosting the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index by 4.5%. Airline company shares showed strength, while brokerage shares fell.

For Wednesday’s corporate earnings front, investors will be watching reports from Foot Locker (NYSE:FL), Dollar Tree (NASDAQ:DLTR), Farfetch (NYSE:FTCH), Petco (NASDAQ:WOOF), Bili Bili (NASDAQ:BILI), Hormel Foods (NYSE:HRL), and others, before the market opens. After the close, reports from Snowflake (NYSE:SNOW), Salesforce (NYSE:CRM), Okta (NASDAQ:OKTA), Synopsys (NASDAQ:SNPS), Five Below (NASDAQ:FIVE), Victoria’s Secret (NYSE:VSCO), and more will be observed.

Wall Street Corporate Highlights Today

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) – Apple plans to end its credit card partnership with Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) in the next 12 to 15 months, according to the Wall Street Journal. The proposal to terminate the contract, which began with the launch of a virtual card in 2019, will also include the savings account launched this year.

Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:META) – Meta will block new political ads in the week prior to the U.S. presidential elections in 2024, and will require global disclosure when AI is used to create or alter images in political ads, aiming to increase transparency and combat misinformation.

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) – Amazon announced a new AI chip, Trainium2, for its AWS cloud computing service, intensifying competition with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) in the AI market. AWS CEO Adam Selipsky revealed that Trainium2 is four times faster and twice as energy-efficient as its predecessor, competing also with AI chips from Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA). Amazon is also launching the chatbot Q to attract corporate customers to its AWS service, offering support for tasks like summarizing documents and integrating with communication apps. Additionally, Amazon promises to protect companies against legal and reputational harm in AI production, with the new service Guardrails for Bedrock, which filters harmful content. AWS will also offer indemnities against lawsuits for misuse of copyright-protected materials.

Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) – Amazon.com and Nvidia announced an expansion of their partnership in the area of artificial intelligence. Amazon Web Services (AWS) will host the Nvidia DGX Cloud service, providing access to supercomputing for AI model training. They are also collaborating on developing the “world’s fastest GPU-powered AI supercomputer”. AWS introduced the Trainium2 AI chip and the Graviton4 processor, as well as launching the Amazon Q.

Okta (NASDAQ:OKTA) – Okta, an identity services company, revealed that hackers stole user information from its customer support system two months ago. The data includes customers’ names and emails. The breach, which increases the risk of phishing, caused the company’s shares to fall 4.7% in Wednesday’s pre-market trading.

CrowdStrike (NASDAQ:CRWD) – CrowdStrike exceeded expectations in the third quarter, with revenue of $786 million and earnings of 82 cents per share. The company raised its annual forecast, now expecting revenue of about $3.05 billion and earnings of $2.95 to $2.96 per share. Shares are up 1.4% in Wednesday’s pre-market trading.

Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU) – Micron forecasts higher operating expenses in the first quarter, estimating about $990 million, above the previous forecast of $900 million. Despite this, the company anticipates revenue close to $4.7 billion and an adjusted gross margin close to breakeven, thanks to inventory improvements and price recovery. Micron‘s shares fell on Tuesday with the news.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE:HPE) – Hewlett Packard Enterprise exceeded adjusted earnings per share expectations with 52 cents, thanks to cost cuts. However, the company projects an unfavorable outlook for the next quarter due to difficult macroeconomic conditions, such as persistent inflation and high interest rates. Revenue forecast for the first fiscal quarter of 2024 is $6.90 billion to $7.30 billion, with adjusted net income between 42 and 50 cents per share.

Affirm (NASDAQ:AFRM) – Affirm‘s shares are up 0.8% in Wednesday’s pre-market trading, after jumping 11.5% in Tuesday’s regular session, driven by the growing adoption of the “buy now, pay later” service. Analysts at Jefferies upgraded their recommendation for Affirm from “Underperform” to “Hold”.

Unity Software (NYSE:U) – Unity Software Inc. announced the closure of offices in 14 locations, migrating affected employees to remote work. The company also revised agreements with Weta FX, expecting revenue recognition and intangible asset costs in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Textron (NYSE:TXT) – Textron plans to cut approximately 725 jobs, representing 2% of its global workforce, due to declining demand for some of its products, such as motorized vehicles and fuel systems for European automotive manufacturers. The company expects to complete the plan by the first half of 2024, aiming for annual savings of about $75 million, but also anticipates charges of $115 million to $135 million in the fourth quarter. The company’s shares remained stable after the announcement.

Leslie’s (NASDAQ:LESL) – Leslie’s shares fell 15% in Wednesday’s pre-market trading due to fourth-quarter earnings below expectations and bleak forecasts for 2024. The company earned $16.5 million in the quarter, compared to $57.9 million in the previous year, and forecasts lower revenues and profits for the next year due to challenges in the pool industry.

Farfetch (NYSE:FTCH) – Farfetch founder José Neves is planning to take the company private after a turbulent launch on the New York Stock Exchange, according to the Telegraph. Working with advisors from JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM), Neves, who holds 15% of the company and 77% of the voting rights, has the support of Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) and Richemont.

Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) – Ten animators from Walt Disney working remotely in six U.S. states are seeking unionization. They filed for a union election and seek representation from the Animation Guild and IATSE, fighting for equal rights and work standards. In other news, Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger admitted at the company-wide town hall on Tuesday that he faces multiple challenges since his return, but remains optimistic. He highlighted that rebuilding the company post-restructuring is more rewarding than fixing existing problems, and spoke about focusing on efficiency and business expansion.

Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS) – Las Vegas Sands‘ principal shareholder Miriam Adelson sold $2 billion in company shares, planning to use the proceeds to acquire a majority stake in the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks from Mark Cuban. Reports suggest that Cuban values the stake at about $3.5 billion but will maintain control of the team and its operations. The share sale initially generated speculation about a new professional sports franchise in Las Vegas.

Cabaletta Bio (NASDAQ:CABA), Gracell Biotechnologies (NASDAQ:GRCL) – Shares of biotechnology companies, such as Cabaletta Bio and Gracell Biotechnologies, plummeted in Wednesday’s pre-market trading after the FDA investigated cancer risks related to approved CAR-T therapies, including products from Bristol Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY), Novartis (NYSE:NVS), and Kite Pharma. The FDA considers that the benefits outweigh the risks, but is investigating. Shares of smaller companies suffered more, although some analysts question the magnitude of the reaction.

Avidity Biosciences (NASDAQ:RNA) – Avidity Biosciences‘ shares are down 1.6% in Wednesday’s pre-market trading after advancing 15% in Tuesday’s regular session, reaching $7.08. The biopharmaceutical company revealed a licensing and research agreement with Bristol Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY). As part of the partnership to develop and commercialize cardiovascular drugs, Bristol Myers will pay Avidity $60 million in cash and acquire about $40 million in common stock of Avidity at a price of $7.88 per share.

Boeing (NYSE:BA) – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) adopted a new aircraft certification policy, requiring rigor in flight control design changes, following the fatal Boeing 737 MAX accidents in 2018 and 2019. The 2020 legislation obligates manufacturers to disclose critical safety information. Additionally, RBC Capital upgraded Boeing’s stock recommendation from “Sector Perform” to “Outperform” and raised the target price from $200 to $275. Analysts believe that after supply chain challenges and lowered expectations, the outlook for 2024 is promising. This resulted in a 1.4% increase in shares on Monday, reaching $222.37.

Honda Motor (NYSE:HMC) – Honda will invest $3.4 billion in electric motorcycles by 2030, raising the annual sales target to 4 million. The company will launch 30 new models and dedicated factories in 2027. Honda is seeking competitive pricing, comparable to combustion models, focusing on India and ASEAN. Honda aims for an operational profit margin of over 10% for motorcycles and over 5% for electric bikes by 2030. In October, Honda’s global automobile production increased by 23%.

Toyota Motor (NYSE:TM) – In October, Toyota achieved a record in global production, with 900,285 vehicles, a 16.7% year-on-year increase, overcoming challenges like semiconductor shortages and an accident at a supplier. Sales also reached historic marks globally and abroad. Additionally, Toyota and affiliates plan to sell about 10% of Denso, worth approximately $4.7 billion, to finance expansion in electric vehicles. The sale, divided between Toyota, Toyota Industries, and Aisin, is part of a larger capital optimization strategy.

General Motors (NYSE:GM) – Following an accident involving one of its autonomous taxis, General Motors is considering cutting expenses in the Cruise unit, according to the Financial Times. Cruise temporarily suspended its autonomous taxi operations in the US and is reviewing safety, leading to executive resignations.

Nio (NYSE:NIO) – Nio and Geely (USOTC:GELYF), Chinese automakers, have entered a strategic partnership to collaborate on battery-swapping standards and technology, aiming for joint model development. This agreement follows Nio’s partnership with Changan Automobile and includes co-investment plans and building battery-swapping stations.

Uber (NYSE:UBER) – Uber will integrate London’s black cabs into its platform in 2024, facing historical resistance from taxi drivers who see the company as a threat. Uber offers an initial zero commission, seeking to harmonize relations after years of tensions and protests.

Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.B) – Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett’s key partner at Berkshire Hathaway, recently passed away, but this is unlikely to significantly impact the company, dominated by Buffett. Buffett remains active as CEO since 1965. People have long pondered Berkshire’s fate without Buffett, who is 93. Buffett controls the company with a 15% stake and anticipates a rise in shares after his death. Berkshire’s future leadership will include Greg Abel as CEO, Ajit Jain in insurance, and Ted Weschler and Todd Combs in investments. Berkshire’s shares are stable in Wednesday’s pre-market following Munger’s death news.

JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) – J.P.Morgan forecasts an uncertain outlook for risk assets in the first half of next year, awaiting clarity on monetary policy. Strategists, including Mislav Matejka, expect an improvement in risk-reward for stocks after interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve. They maintain an “Overweight” position in European stocks but may revise this with changes in monetary policy. Additionally, Daniel Pinto, president and COO of JPMorgan, predicts that the digital consumer bank Chase UK, launched in 2021, will break even in 12 to 18 months. With about two million customers and $20 billion in deposits, the bank exceeded expectations and plans global expansion. JPMorgan also has a stake in Brazilian digital bank C6.

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) – Bank of America agreed to pay $12 million to settle charges of sending inaccurate information about mortgage applicants to the government, violating the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. Over 400 bank agents failed to collect accurate demographic data, such as race, ethnicity, and gender, from applicants. The bank, which neither admitted nor denied the irregularities, promised to improve employee training and has already corrected most of the data.

Citigroup (NYSE:C) – Kingdom Holding, controlled by Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, increased its stake in Citigroup to 2.2%, buying shares worth approximately $450 million. The company, which already owned 1.6% of the bank, stated that the investment aligns with its strategic plans, without providing further details.

Carlyle Group (NASDAQ:CG) – Carlyle Group announced that the acquisition company will be included in the S&P MidCap 400 index starting Thursday, as determined by S&P Dow Jones Indices.

Bank of Nova Scotia (NYSE:BNS) – Scotiabank faces pressure from an advocacy group to divest from Israeli arms manufacturer Elbit Systems, citing misinformation and security concerns. Scotiabank, through its mutual fund 1832 Asset Management, holds about 5.04% in Elbit. Recent protests have heightened tensions, with the bank denying being Elbit’s largest shareholder and highlighting the risk to employees and customers. Eko, the advocacy group, maintains its petition despite the bank’s claims.

Nomura Holdings (NYSE:NMR) – Nomura Holdings plans to cut risks and costs in its wholesale business, aiming for a risk-weighted asset reduction of up to 6% and additional cost cuts of $100 million. Under CEO Kentaro Okuda’s leadership, the company faces profitability challenges and high costs, seeking improvements, particularly in fixed-income trading, and reallocating resources to less risky areas like advisory and wealth management.

Shein – U.S. lawmakers are demanding evidence against the use of forced labor in Shein before its IPO. The Chinese e-commerce giant plans to go public in New York amid U.S. concerns over forced labor in its low-cost products. Following a confidential IPO request, the company faces scrutiny over its supply chain while trying to comply with SEC regulations and manage its reputation in Washington.

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