U.S. stock futures were mixed Thursday after strong earnings and economic optimism pushed the Dow Jones Industrial Average up nearly 100 points to a record closing high. The S&P 500 eked out an advance Wednesday, ending about 1% from last month's closing record. The tech-heavy Nasdaq fell modestly, finishing roughly 4% from its April record closing high. (CNBC)
* Today's biggest analyst calls of the day: GM, Peloton, Foot Locker, Uber (CNBC Pro)
The Labor Department on Thursday reported that initial jobless claims sank to a pandemic-era low of 498,000 last week, better than expectations and down 92,000 from the prior week. That's the lowest tally of new filings for unemployment benefits since mid-March 2020 when they totaled 256,000 and the first time under 500,000 since then. (CNBC)
U.S. companies' April payrolls showed big gains but short of lofty expectations, according to the ADP's latest monthly report issued Wednesday. The ADP data during Covid has consistently undershot the government's official monthly tally, which is due out Friday. (CNBC)
IN THE NEWS TODAY
Moderna (MRNA) said its Covid vaccine was 96% effective in kids ages 12 to 17, according to early data released Thursday along with the company's mixed first-quarter earnings and revenue. Shares fell more than 9% in the premarket. (CNBC)
* Poll shows parents are reluctant to get their kids vaccinated against Covid (NT Times)
Citing early data from another ongoing trial, Moderna said Wednesday a Covid booster shot generated a promising immune response against variants first identified in South Africa and Brazil. U.S. health officials said earlier Wednesday that highly contagious variants remain a "wild card" heading into the summer. (CNBC)
* Moderna CEO expects more Covid variants to emerge in coming months (CNBC)
The Biden administration said Wednesday it supports waiving intellectual property protections for Covid vaccines, as other countries around the world struggle to manufacture the life-saving doses. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla on CNBC on Tuesday that such a move would not impact the production of its Covid vaccine.
India again reported record daily new Covid cases. According to The New York Times, India has only fully vaccinated 2% of its 1.3 billion citizens compared with more than 30% in the U.S. The Indian government is facing criticism, in part, for allowing large crowds to gather for election rallies and religious festivals earlier this year.
Gary Gensler, sworn in last month as SEC chairman, will testify Thursday at a House Financial Services Committee on the GameStop saga and Archegos meltdown. According to prepared testimony, Gensler will tell lawmakers his agency is considering measures to require big investors to disclose more about their short positions and use of derivatives as well as gamification of retail trading. (Reuters & CNBC)
* Battle over tax hikes muddies GOP s post-Trump push to be the party of the working class (CNBC)
* Biden to push his $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan in GOP stronghold today (AP)
Peloton (PTON) shares fell another 1.6% in Thursday's premarket after closing down nearly 15%, wiping about $4 billion off its market value in one day. The fitness equipment maker on Wednesday apologized for not voluntarily recalling both its treadmills over safety concerns sooner. (CNBC)
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos this week sold nearly $2 billion worth of shares in his company, according to filings with the SEC compiled by OpenInsider. Bezos previously said he'd sell about $1 billion in Amazon (AMZN) stock each year to fund his space exploration company, Blue Origin. (CNBC)
Elon Musk's SpaceX launched and then landed the latest prototype of its Starship rocket Wednesday, in the fifth high-altitude test flight of the system. Starship prototype rocket Serial Number 15, or SN15, flew as high as 10 kilometers, or about 33,000 feet. (CNBC)
Alphabet's (GOOGL) Google is relaxing its approach to the return to work in permitting some employees to permanently work from home. The company will now allow employees to work from other locations for a longer period each year. (CNBC)
STOCKS TO WATCH
Papa John's (PZZA) reported better-than-expected earnings and revenue for the first quarter. Menu innovations like Epic Stuffed Crust helped to boost sales. CEO Rob Lynch said there is "sustained demand" for delivery and pizza post-pandemic. However, shares were down 1% in the premarket.
Etsy (ETSY) shares plunged 11.1% in premarket trading after the online crafts marketplace warned of slowing user growth. Etsy beat estimates by 12 cents a share, with quarterly profit of $1.00 per share. Revenue also beat forecasts. Etsy declined to provide full-year financial guidance.
Uber (UBER) lost 6 cents per share for its latest quarter, compared to expectations of a 54 cents a share loss. Revenue was below forecasts, however, and Uber indicated it would pay drivers more to get cars back in service as the economy rebounds. Uber fell 3.7% in premarket trading.
PayPal (PYPL) jumped 4.5% in the premarket after it came in 21 cents a share ahead of estimates, with quarterly earnings of $1.22 per share. Revenue for the online payment service also came in above Wall Street forecasts. The pandemic-induced increase in online payment volume continues to benefit PayPal's bottom line.
Zynga (ZNGA) earned 8 cents per share for the first quarter, a penny a share shy of estimates. The mobile game producer's revenue exceeded estimates and Zynga raised its full-year guidance on expectations of strong demand for its live gaming services. Its shares surged 5% in premarket action.
Rocket Companies (RKT) reported quarterly earnings of 89 cents per share, in line with forecasts. Loan volume for the lender jumped during the quarter, but current-quarter guidance for the key metric of "gain-on-sale" margins is well below first-quarter levels. Its shares plummeted 13.6% in premarket trading.
Becton Dickinson (BDX) beat estimates by 15 cents a share, with quarterly earnings of $3.19 per share. Revenue also topped expectations on strong contributions from C-19 testing. Becton Dickinson announced it would spin off its diabetes care business into a separate publicly traded company. Its shares rallied 4% in the premarket.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN) earned $9.89 per share for the first quarter, beating the $9 a share consensus estimate. Revenue also topped analysts' forecasts, boosted by a strong rebound in sales of Regeneron's Eylea eye disease drug and the contribution from its Covid-19 antibody cocktail treatment. Regeneron rose 1% in premarket trading.
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH) reported a slightly smaller-than-expected quarterly loss, while first-quarter revenue was well below analysts' forecasts. It also said a mid-summer restart for cruises could be in jeopardy, given the time needed to strike an agreement with authorities and to get ships ready to sail. The stock lost 1.8% in premarket trading.
Tapestry (TPR), the maker of Coach and other luxury products, beat estimates by 20 cents a share, with quarterly earnings of 51 cents per share. Revenue also came in above estimates. Tapestry gave an upbeat full-year forecast on a rebound in demand for luxury goods.
ViacomCBS (VIAC) shares added 2.4% in the premarket, after it exceeded estimates by 30 cents a share, reporting quarterly profit of $1.52 per share. Revenue was also above estimates, thanks to higher affiliate fees and improved ad sales.
Sunrun (RUN), a solar equipment company, surged 8.4% in premarket trading after its first-quarter earnings matched estimates and revenue exceeded forecasts. Sunrun also increased its growth rate projections, based on growing demand in the solar industry.
Fastly (FSLY) shares plunged 18.5% in the premarket after the internet content platform provider gave lighter-than-expected guidance and also announced that Chief Financial Officer Andriel Lares would step down.
Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) announced that CEO Carlos Brito would step down in July after 15 years of leading the beer brewer. He'll be replaced by North American chief Michel Doukeris. Shares rallied 5.1% in the premarket.
Matthew J. Belvedere