BY THE NUMBERS
U.S. stock futures dropped modestly Wednesday, one day after Wall Street broke a three-session losing streak. After two hot inflation reports, January retail sales rose much stronger than expected. Signs of tensions easing between Russia and Ukraine ignited a rally Tuesday that propelled the Dow and the S&P 500 up more than 1% each and the Nasdaq to rise over 2%. (CNBC)
* Investing Club: We're encouraged by Devon's solid earnings; investor return and cash flow goals (CNBC)
* Investing Club: Wynn Resorts takes expected Covid hit, rebound hinges on China travel policy (CNBC)
* Investing Club: Cramer says this is the 'best thing I've read on crypto' and I'm 'very worried' (CNBC)
The government's data on January retail sales, out before the bell, showed a 3.8% increase compared to the expected 2.1% gain. These numbers do not account for inflation. So bigger sales increases don't necessarily mean more actual sales. After the report, the 10-year Treasury yield stayed lower Wednesday but remained above 2%. (CNBC)
* Average size of a new mortgage set a record, as home prices continue to climb (CNBC)
The investment community also hopes to learn more about what the Fed plans to do to fight inflation when minutes from the central bank's January meeting are released at 2 p.m. ET. The markets expect the central bank to hike interest rates seven times this year, starting next month. (CNBC)
IN THE NEWS TODAY
Despite NATO claiming to see no signs of drawdowns at Ukraine's border, Russia said Wednesday it's returning more troops and weapons to their bases. Moscow's Tuesday announcement of a pullback was met with skepticism around the world. President Joe Biden warned "an invasion remains distinctly possible," while urging Russia to choose a diplomatic path to resolving the conflict. (CNBC)
Moderna (MRNA) CEO Stephane Bancel told CNBC on Wednesday that it's "reasonable" to assume that the final stages of the Covid pandemic may be approaching. Bancel said there's an 80% chance that as the omicron variant evolves it would become "less and less virulent." But he also sees a "20% scenario where we see a next mutation, which is more virulent than omicron."
New daily U.S. Covid cases continued to plummet, with the latest seven-day average dropping 44% to 136,190, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. While new daily U.S. deaths from Covid dropped 8% from a week ago, fatalities remained elevated, averaging 2,264 over the past seven days.
Biden has rejected former President Donald Trump's effort to stop the House probe of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot from obtaining White House visitor logs from the day of the attack. Trump had claimed that the records are protected by executive privilege. (CNBC)
Allison Gollust, the CNN executive in a relationship that triggered the resignation this month of network President Jeff Zucker, has also resigned from the network, according to an email sent to staff members. In her own statement, Gollust called the announcement by CNN's parent WarnerMedia "retaliation." (NBC News)
On the same day it reported lower-than-expected quarterly earnings and better-than-expected revenue and streaming video subscriber additions, ViacomCBS announced after the bell Tuesday a corporate name change to Paramount Global (VIACA). The move, effective Wednesday, ties the company closer to its Paramount+ streaming service and takes advantage of Paramount's brand recognition. (Press Release)
STOCKS TO WATCH
Roblox (RBLX) plummeted 15% in premarket action after reporting a loss of 25 cents per share for its latest quarter, nearly double the 13-cent loss analysts had anticipated. The social gaming platform operator also saw lower-than-expected revenue.
Airbnb (ABNB) reported record revenue for 2021, better-than-expected fourth-quarter results, and issued an upbeat current-quarter forecast. The home rental company said current-quarter bookings are likely to exceed pre-pandemic levels for the first time. Airbnb shares rallied 3.5% in the premarket.
Hilton (HLT) missed estimates by 2 cents with adjusted quarterly earnings of 74 cents per share. Revenue was slightly above estimates as it more than doubled from a year earlier amid a travel recovery. Shares fell modestly in the premarket.
Wynn Resorts (WYNN) reported a quarterly loss of $1.37 per share, wider than the $1.25 per share loss expected by Wall Street analysts, although the casino operator's revenue beat estimates. A nearly 28% drop in Wynn's Macau revenue weighed on overall results. Wynn fell more than 2% in the premarket.
Generac (GNRC) saw its stock rise 2.6% in the premarket after beating top and bottom-line estimates for the fourth quarter. The maker of generators and power equipment earned an adjusted $2.51 per share, 11 cents above estimates, as both commercial and residential sales increased more than 40%.
Shopify (SHOP) fell 4% in premarket action despite reporting better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue. The e-commerce platform operator said revenue growth for 2022 would be slower than the 57% it achieved in 2021.
Kraft Heinz (KHC) rose 1.3% in the premarket after reporting its adjusted quarterly profit of 79 cents per share beat estimates by 16 cents. Revenue was also above Wall Street forecasts.
La-Z-Boy (LZB) tumbled 12.5% in premarket trading after the furniture company reported a quarterly profit of 65 cents per share, well below the 89-cent consensus estimate. The company best known for its signature recliners noted multiple production issues related to Covid-19, leaving it unable to fully satisfy demand.
Trade Desk (TTD) surged 10.5% in the premarket after the programmatic ad company reported adjusted quarterly earnings of 42 cents per share, 14 cents above estimates, with revenue also topping Wall Street forecasts.
Cedar Fair (FUN) rejected a takeover bid from rival theme park operator SeaWorld Entertainment (SEAS). Cedar Fair stock slid 12.3% in the premarket, while SeaWorld fell 4.2%. Separately, Cedar Fair reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue.