BY THE NUMBERS
Dow futures gained nearly 300 points Thursday as investors consider a flood of strong bank and health-care-related earnings as well as upcoming data on wholesale inflation and jobless claims. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq on Wednesday broke three-session losing streaks. However, the Dow fell for a fourth straight session.(CNBC)
The 10-year Treasury yield dipped to around 1.53%, one day after minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest meeting revealed a "gradual tapering process" of bond purchases could begin by mid-November. U.S. oil prices continued to power higher, jumping to more than $81 per barrel. Bitcoin was up around $58,000. (CNBC)
The government was out with two key economics reports before Thursday's Wall Street open: the September producer price index and initial jobless claims. First-time filings for unemployment benefits dropped to a Covid-era low of 293,000 for the week ended Oct. 9, fewer claims than expected. (CNBC)
Headline PPI and core PPI, which excludes food, energy and trade, rose 8.6% and 5.9% from a year ago, respectively, similar to August's year-over-year increases. With price pressures mounting, the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment next year will be 5.9%, the biggest boost in about 40 years. (CNBC)
Foreclosures are starting to jump as government and private sector programs designed to help homeowners deal with the economic fallout of the Covid pandemic have begun to expire. Mortgage lenders began the foreclosure process on 25,209 properties in the third quarter, a 32% increase from the second quarter. On a year-over-year basis, it's a 67% rise. (CNBC)
IN THE NEWS TODAY
The pace of earnings season accelerated Thursday, with slew of banks reporting quarterly results before the bell and their shares moving higher in premarket trading. (CNBC)
Bank of America (BAC) was first up, saying third-quarter earnings and revenue beat estimates on strong advisory and asset management results.
Morgan Stanley (MS) beat estimates with quarterly earnings and revenue on record investment banking and asset management results.
Wells Fargo (WFC) posted a jump in profit in the third quarter, boosted by a release of credit loss reserves. Revenue beat estimates.
Citigroup's (C) quarterly profit and revenue beat expectations on strong trading results.
Dow stocks UnitedHealth and Walgreens Boots Alliance also reported better-than-expected earnings and revenue. Those stocks jumped in the premarket. Walgreens administered twice as many Covid vaccines as expected. UnitedHealth raised its full-year outlook. (CNBC)
The FDA's vaccine advisory group meets Thursday to consider a booster for Moderna's two-shot Covid regimen. FDA scientists on Tuesday declined to take a stance it. The agency's panel then meets Friday to consider a booster for Johnson & Johnson's one-dose vaccine and mix-and-match vaccine data. (CNBC)
* U.S. Covid vaccine rates up thanks to mandates; cases and deaths (Reuters)
A highly anticipated NIH study, released Wednesday, suggests J&J recipients are better off getting a booster from Pfizer or Moderna. Also on Wednesday, the FDA said data provided by J&J suggests recipients may benefit from an additional dose. A booster of Pfizer's two-shot vaccine was approved for certain groups of people last month. (CNBC)
Facebook (FB) has told employees it's tightening controls over some internal discussion groups, a move that comes after Frances Haugen, a former employee, gathered documents that formed the foundation of The Wall Street Journal's Facebook Files series showing the company's platforms are riddled with flaws that can cause harm.
Some 10,000 unionized workers at the agriculture equipment maker Deere & Company (DE) went on strike early Thursday after overwhelmingly rejecting a contract proposal worked out with the company by negotiators for the United Automobile Workers union. (NY Times)
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is asking Tesla (TSLA) to explain why it didn't initiate a recall when it pushed a safety-related software update to customers in September. The software update enabled Tesla cars to better detect flashing, emergency vehicle lights in low-light conditions. NHTSA had already initiated a probe into Tesla Autopilot over possible safety defects. (CNBC)
The National Football League's Super Bowl halftime show is sponsored by Pepsi, though the deal is set to expire after the 2022 game that marks the end of the current season. The NFL is now planning to take future sponsorship rights to the open market, according to sources. (CNBC)
NFL great Joe Montana's Liquid 2 Ventures invested in GitLab at about a $12 million valuation, after the software company came out of the Y Combinator accelerator program. GitLab is poised to hit the Nasdaq on Thursday at a valuation that could top $10 billion, which would mark about a 420-fold return on Montana's investment. (CNBC)
STOCKS TO WATCH
Caterpillar (CAT) was up 1.2% in premarket action after Cowen began coverage with an "outperform" rating, saying it sees the first "megacycle" for Caterpillar in 14 years.
Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) reported a better-than-expected 13.8% jump in third-quarter profit, thanks to the surge in global chip demand and a shortage that's pushed prices higher. Shares jumped 3.8% in the premarket.
Shopify (SHOP) is partnering with Microsoft (MSFT), Oracle (ORCL) and other cloud providers to help businesses streamline their operations. Various tools from those providers will now be integrated into the Canadian e-commerce company's platform for its customers.
Avis Budget (CAR) was downgraded to "underweight" from "equal-weight" at Morgan Stanley, citing a number of factors including valuation. The car rental company's shares have increased five-fold over the past 12 months, and Morgan Stanley feels Avis Budget is at peak cyclical earnings. The stock tumbled 4.3% in the premarket.
UPS (UPS) was upgraded to "buy" from "hold" at Stifel Financial, citing valuation, secular volume growth from e-commerce and continued focus on yield management. Stifel also increased its price target for the stock to $224 per share, representing a potential increase of 22% from current levels. UPS added 2.6% in premarket trading.