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What to Watch Today: S&P 500 Looks to Add to Record; J&J Touts Booster; Meme Stocks Pop

Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images

BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures were flat Wednesday, one day after the S&P 500 closed at a record high. The Nasdaq closed above 15,000 for the first time ever. The Dow also saw modest gains but remained about 0.7% away its latest record close on Aug. 16. Investors continued to buy last week's dip, driving the S&P 500 and Nasdaq higher for their fourth straight sessions Tuesday. The Dow logged a three-session winning streak.

The 10-year Treasury yield ticked higher Wednesday to around 1.3% ahead of this week's Federal Reserve's annual economic symposium, held virtually this year due to rising nationwide Covid cases. (CNBC)

* Mortgage rates fall for the first time in 3 weeks, but demand is still light (CNBC)

Shares of meme stocks AMC Entertainment and GameStop rose in the premarket after they closed up more than 20% and 27.5%, respectively, on Tuesday.

* For CNBC Pro subscribers: Tesla, Moderna among hedge funds’ favorite stocks to short
* Cramer says Best Buy turnaround proves Amazon's 'death star days' are over (CNBC)

Cassava Biosciences (SAVA) said claims posted online late yesterday challenging its scientific integrity are false and misleading. The issue revolved around study data for an Alzheimer's disease treatment. Cassava released a statement refuting each of 15 claims that the company calls "fiction." Cassava tumbled 23% in the premarket.

IN THE NEWS TODAY

Dow stock Johnson & Johnson was modestly higher in Wednesday's premarket after the U.S. drugmaker said a booster shot of its Covid vaccine generated virus-fighting antibodies "nine-fold higher" than those seen four weeks after the single dose. J&J's vaccine, cleared for emergency use in the U.S., only requires one dose. Recipients are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the shot. (CNBC)

Goldman Sachs (GS) said Tuesday only Covid vaccinated people, both employees and clients, can enter its buildings, starting Sept. 7. The banking powerhouse also said, according to a company memo sent to U.S. workers, that everybody must wear masks in all common areas. Goldman Sachs is also implementing a mandatory weekly testing program for vaccinated workers on Sept. 7. (CNBC)

The unclassified version of a U.S. intelligence investigation into the origin in China of the novel coronavirus, which has swept the globe since late 2019 and killed nearly 4.5 million people worldwide, is expected in the next few days. The review, ordered by President Joe Biden in May, is not expected to yield firm answers on whether it started as a lab accident or occurred naturally in animal-to-human contact. (AP)

Biden is set to meet Wednesday with top executives from several of the largest companies in tech, financial services, insurance, energy and education to talk about how to combat cybersecurity threats. The event features CEOs from Amazon, Apple and JPMorgan Chase, among others. It comes after the U.S. experienced several large cyberattacks. (CNBC)

House Democrats forged ahead with Biden's economic plans Tuesday after they broke a stalemate that had threatened to unravel the party's sprawling agenda. In a 220-212 party-line vote, the House passed a $3.5 trillion budget resolution to proceed without Republicans and advanced a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill. (CNBC)

The U.S. military has evacuated approximately 4,000 American passport holders along with their families from Afghanistan, a figure the Pentagon expects to increase as the U.S. wraps up its military operation in the country. There are still several thousand Americans believed to be awaiting evacuation, according to the State Department. (CNBC)

* World Bank halts aid to Afghanistan, 'deeply concerned' on prospects for women (CNBC)

The Supreme Court said the Biden administration likely violated federal law in trying to end a Trump-era program that forces people to wait in Mexico while seeking asylum in the U.S. The high court refused to block a lower court ruling, which ordered the White House to reinstate the "Remain in Mexico" program. (AP)

STOCKS TO WATCH

Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS) shares jumped roughly 11% in the premarket, as its quarterly earnings beat estimates. The company also announced a $5.50 per share special dividend and a 21% increase in its quarterly dividend. Dick's earned an adjusted $5.08 per share for its latest quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.80.

Express (EXPR) rallied 4% in the premarket after the company reported an unexpected profit for its latest quarter. Express earned 2 cents per share, compared with forecasts of a 30 cents per share loss, and revenue also came in above analyst forecasts.

Nordstrom (JWN) tumbled over 11.3% in premarket trading after its quarterly report showed revenue for its latest quarter was still below pre-pandemic levels. The department store operator did beat the 27 cents estimate for its latest quarter with earnings of 49 cents per share, and revenue above forecasts. Nordstrom raised its full-year outlook as well.

Urban Outfitters (URBN) earned $1.28 per share for its latest quarter, beating the 77 cents consensus estimate. The apparel retailer's revenue was also above forecasts. Urban Outfitters benefited from a sizeable increase in digital sales compared with pre-pandemic levels. However, the company also mentioned that it is dealing with supply chain issues, and its shares lost more than 4% in premarket trading.

Shoe Carnival (SCVL) reported a quarterly profit of $1.54 per share, more than double the 75 cent consensus estimate, with revenue also exceeding Wall Street forecasts and comparable sales rising 11.4%. Shoe Carnival gained 1.2% in the premarket.

Toll Brothers (TOL) reported quarterly earnings of $1.87 per share, 32 cents above the consensus estimate, with the luxury home builder's revenue essentially in line with Wall Street forecasts. Low overall inventories in the housing market and low mortgage rates helped boost the company's results. Toll Brothers gained 2% in the premarket.

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