BY THE NUMBERS
U.S. stock futures rose Wednesday after the Dow broke a three-day winning streak. The 30-stock average on Tuesday closed down 81 points, or 0.2%, as the market struggled for direction ahead of the long Memorial Day weekend. It was up more than 100 points at session highs. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq, both higher intraday, also ended modestly lower. (CNBC)
* Cramer says keep buying dips in the stock market due to ‘stampede’ of bullish catalysts (CNBC)
The Dow and S&P 500 as of Tuesday were more than 1% away from their May 7 record closes. The Nasdaq was 3.4% away from its April 26 closing record high. The 10-year Treasury yield was steady Wednesday and remained below 1.6% as Federal Reserve officials try to calm inflation fears. (CNBC)
Amazon (AMZN) is buying MGM Studios for $8.45 billion, the companies announced Wednesday, marking Amazon's most ambitious move yet into the entertainment business. Amazon has also made an aggressive push into sports content, inking a deal with the NFL in May to broadcast Thursday Night Football starting in 2022. (CNBC)
Bitcoin rose on Wednesday, hovering around $40,000 — one week after the world's biggest cryptocurrency crashed 30% to around $30,000. Last week's sell-off came after authorities in China and the U.S. moved to tighten regulation and tax compliance on cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin hit an all-time high near $65,000 in April. (CNBC)
* Major bitcoin mining region in China sets tough penalties for cryptocurrency activities (CNBC)
* Bitcoin crash last week opens door to a tax loophole for investors (CNBC)
Crypto bulls see bitcoin as a store of value like gold. With its declines, many investors are turning back to the precious metal as an inflation hedge, a historically traditional strategy. Gold on Wednesday neared a 4½-month high, edging ever closer to $2,000 per ounce. It touched an all-time high of $2,063 in August 2020. (CNBC)
A slight increase in mortgage rates was enough to tank refinances and bring down overall demand. Total mortgage application volume fell 4.2% last week from the previous week. While the rate increase was small, refinance demand fell 7% for the week. So many borrowers have already refinanced at rates below 3% that there is just not a lot of opportunity left. (CNBC)
* For CNBC Pro subscribers: Canaccord Genuity says Virgin Galactic is a buy after successful test flight
IN THE NEWS TODAY
Major bank CEOs are set to testify before the Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday and the House Financial Services Committee on Thursday. JPMorgan Chase's Jamie Dimon, Goldman Sachs' David Solomon, Citigroup's Jane Fraser, Morgan Stanley's James Gorman, Bank of America's Brian Moynihan and Wells Fargo's Charles Scharf face questions from lawmakers over two days.
A group of GOP senators plans to send President Joe Biden an infrastructure counteroffer as soon as Thursday morning as both sides consider whether they can bridge their ideological gulfs to craft a bipartisan bill. The proposal could cost nearly $1 trillion. Republicans aim to offset the spending without increasing taxes. (CNBC)
* Manhattan DA convenes grand jury in Trump investigation (Washington Post)
As the trade deal between the U.S. and China runs into its second year, Chinese purchases are still running short of the agreed amount, according to the U.S.-based Peterson Institute for International Economics. Both countries signed a phase one trade agreement in January 2020, just weeks before Covid began to spread rapidly. (CNBC)
* Not everyone thinks the Biden-Putin meeting is a good idea (CNBC)
Royal Caribbean (RCL) received approval from the CDC to begin test voyages from the Port of Miami, becoming the first cruise line to receive such approval. The CDC has said cruise lines can resume full passenger sailings if 98% of crew members and 95% of passengers are fully Covid vaccinated. (USA Today)
Tesla (TSLA) said it's ditching radar in favor of a camera-based system to enable Autopilot features in its Model 3 and Model Y vehicles in North America. In a March 12 tweet, CEO Elon Musk said Tesla would move to a so-called pure vision approach. Other automakers, including GM's Cruise and Alphabet's Waymo, are using radar and lidar sensors alongside cameras in their automated driving systems. (CNBC)
* Ford boosts electric vehicle spending to more than $30 billion (Reuters)
BlackRock (BLK), the second largest shareholder of Exxon Mobil (XOM), is backing several of upstart hedge fund Engine No. 1's candidates to join the energy company's board. With the annual shareholder meeting Wednesday, Exxon has been scrambling to win the backing of major investors for its directors. (Reuters)
D.C. attorney general Karl Racine announced that he's suing Amazon (AMZN) on antitrust grounds, alleging the e-commerce giant's practices have unfairly raised prices for consumers and suppressed innovation. Racine is seeking to end what he alleges is Amazon's illegal use of price agreements to edge out competition. (CNBC)
* Uber CEO is ‘not happy’ with about longer rail-hailing wait times and higher prices (CNBC)
San Jose city officials last night approved a plan for Google to build a massive campus in the heart of California's third-largest city. The approval comes as Alphabet's (GOOGL) Google aims to model a shift away from closed-off tech campuses to stem the growing alienation toward tech companies. (CNBC)
* Fanatics opens first LA store exclusive to Paris Saint-Germain soccer club (CNBC)
STOCKS TO WATCH
Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS) earned $3.41 per share for the first quarter, more than tripling the $1.12 consensus estimate. Revenue also beat forecasts amid comparable sales that more than doubled. Dick's also gave a full-year outlook that exceeds current Wall Street consensus. Shares surged 7% in premarket action.
Urban Outfitters (URBN) stock soared 10% in premarket trading after the company more than tripled a 17 cents a share consensus estimate, with quarterly profit of 54 cents per share. The apparel retailer's revenue beat forecasts as well, and comparable-store sales were up 51% as more shoppers returned to stores after being vaccinated.
Nordstrom (JWN) lost $1.05 per share for the first quarter, wider than the 57 cents a share loss that analysts were expecting. The department store operator's revenue beat consensus estimates. Overall results were impacted by price markdowns necessary to reduce excess holiday season inventory. Nordstrom shares tumbled 7.2% in the premarket.
Capri Holdings (CPRI), The company behind brands like Michael Kors, Jimmy Choo and Versace, reported quarterly earnings of 38 cents per share, well above the 2 cents a share consensus estimate. Revenue topped forecasts as well. Capri also issued a better-than-expected full-year revenue outlook, as well as a projected earnings range largely above Street projections. Capri shares rose 2.9% in premarket trading.
Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) earned 67 cents per share for the first quarter, compared to analysts' forecasts of a 38 cents per share loss. Revenue also beat estimates, helped by a jump in digital sales and higher profit margins. Abercrombie shares rallied 3.8% in the premarket.
Toll Brothers (TOL) beat estimates by 21 cents a share, with quarterly earnings of $1.01 per share. The luxury home builder's revenue also exceeded Wall Street projections. Relatively low mortgage rates and a limited supply of homes for sale helped boost the company's results. Shares gained 1% in premarket trading.
Zscaler (ZS) surged 10.6% in the premarket after it more than doubled the 7 cents a share consensus estimate, with quarterly earnings of 15 cents per share. The cybersecurity company's revenue beat estimates as well. Zscaler also issued an upbeat full-year outlook amid increased demand for cybersecurity products and services.
Intuit (INTU) reported quarterly profit of $6.07 per share, missing the consensus estimate of $6.47 a share. The financial management software company's revenue came in short of estimates as well. The maker of TurboTax and QuickBooks raised its full-year forecast, however, amid continued improved demand for its products and services. Its shares rose 1.4% in premarket trading.
Agilent Technologies (A) reported better-than-expected profit and revenue for its latest quarter, and the life sciences company also raised its full-year forecast on what it said was broad-based growth across its business units. Agilent gained 2.8% in the premarket.
It's the sky spectacle of the year. On Wednesday, a so-called super blood moon will brighten the night sky over the United States. At the same time, a total lunar eclipse will be visible across western states during the predawn hours. (USA Today)