BY THE NUMBERS
Dow futures rose roughly 300 points, or nearly 1%, to start the new month, in a continuation of recent Covid-driven seesaw trading on Wall Street. Omicron fears and concerns about the Federal Reserve accelerating its reduction of monetary stimulus slammed stocks Tuesday. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell goes before a House panel Wednesday, one day after telling senators that central bankers are expected to discuss speeding up tapering. (CNBC)
* Powell's pivot on inflation turns the trader pandemic playbook on its head (CNBC)
The Dow finished a weak November, reversing Monday's rebound, with a 652-point or nearly 1.9% decline. The 30-stock average sank 2.5% in Friday's post-holiday shortened session as the new Covid variant became known. The Dow dropped 3.7% in November. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq on Tuesday fell 1.9% and 1.5%, respectively. The S&P 500 declined 0.8% last month. The Nasdaq rose 0.25% in November. (CNBC)
* Cramer suggests putting some cash to work after Tuesday's decline, 'it's too late to sell' (CNBC)
IN THE NEWS TODAY
Bond yields moved higher Wednesday after falling Tuesday on fears the pandemic would stifle economic growth. ADP's private payroll data showed U.S. companies added a better-than-expected 534,000 jobs in November. During Covid, ADP has not been the best indicator of the government's monthly jobs report, which is out Friday. However, both ADP's and the government's jobs tallies in October came in strong and beat expectations. (CNBC)
U.S. oil prices rebounded more than 4.5% on Wednesday, one day after falling over 5% on worries the omicron variant would curb demand. The American benchmark, West Texas Intermediate crude, dropped nearly 21% in November. OPEC and its international allies meet Thursday. Some analysts expect OPEC+ to pause plans to add 400,000 barrels per day of supply in January. (Reuters)
* Exxon forecasts doubling earnings and cash flow by 2027 while reducing emissions (CNBC)
Alongside bad weather, global supply constraints have had a substantial impact on coffee, pushing prices to 10-year highs. Analysts expect tightness in the market to continue all the way into 2023. Uncertainty is also stemming from exporting countries such as Vietnam, which is seeing a rise in Covid cases that could hit production. (CNBC)
Merck (MRK) shares rose in Wednesday's premarket, the morning after a FDA advisory panel narrowly endorsed the use of the company's Covid pill. The drug needs final authorization from the FDA and the CDC before it would be available to the public on an emergency basis. The FDA doesn't have to take its panel's advice but often does. Pfizer (PFE) is seeking approval for a similar oral Covid treatment. (CNBC)
One day after Moderna's (MRNA) CEO created a stir in financial markets with a downbeat assessment of the current vaccines' efficacy against omicron, the CEO of BioNTech (BNTX), which partnered with Pfizer on a Covid vaccine, told Dow Jones he believes vaccinated people will still have a high level of protection.
The Biden administration is mulling tightening requirements for international travel due to omicron, a White House official told NBC News. The official said the administration is continuing "to evaluate the appropriate measures to protect the American people from Covid-19" and the new variant, including "considering more stringent testing requirements for international travel."
Abortion rights are on the line at the Supreme Court in historic arguments over the landmark ruling nearly 50 years ago that declared a nationwide right to end a pregnancy. The justices on Wednesday will weigh whether to uphold a Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks and overrule the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. (AP)
In her first day facing questions from the prosecution, Elizabeth Holmes admitted she tried to get News Corp.'s Rupert Murdoch to quash a Wall Street Journal report on Theranos. The 2015 article opened the investigative floodgates that eventually led to Theranos' demise about three years later and the indictment of founder Holmes on criminal fraud charges. (CNBC)
Salesforce (CRM) dropped more than 6% in premarket trading despite a better-than-expected third-quarter earnings report. The company's fourth-quarter guidance missed analysts' expectations. Salesforce also announced it promoted Bret Taylor to the role of co-CEO, alongside Marc Benioff. (CNBC)
Shares of Goldman Sachs (GS) and Amazon (AMZN) both moved higher in premarket trading after CNBC reported the bank is unveiling a cloud service for Wall Street trading firms backed by Amazon's cloud division. The new service is called GS Financial Cloud for Data with Amazon Web Services.
STOCKS TO WATCH
Box (BOX) rose more than 9% in early morning trading after the company's quarterly financial results beat on the top and bottom lines. Box posted earnings of 22 cents per share on revenue of $224 million versus the Refinitv consensus estimate of 21 cents per share on revenue of $218.5 million, according to Refinitiv. The company's fourth-quarter and full-year revenue and earnings also topped estimates.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) fell about 2% in the premarket after missing analyst expectations for its quarterly revenue. The company reported revenue of $7.35 billion, below the Refinitiv consensus forecast of $7.38 billion. However, Hewlett Packard Enterprise posted a profit that came in 4 cents per share above consensus.
Ambarella (AMBR) surged more than 16% in early morning trading after a better-than-expected quarterly report. The semiconductor company earned 57 cents per share, beating Refinitiv estimates by 8 cents. Revenue came in at $92.2 million versus the $90.3 million expected.
Krispy Kreme (DNUT) fell more than 3% in early morning trading after Goldman Sachs downgraded the stock to a sell rating. Rising cost pressures should weigh on the stock, according to Goldman.
DoorDash (DASH)gained more than 3% premarket after Gordon Haskett upgraded the stock to buy from hold. The firm said the omicron variant could spark a rebound for the food delivery app as Covid fears flare up.