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What to Watch Today: Stock Futures Rise as Weekly Jobless Claims Beat Wall Street Estimates

BY THE NUMBERS

Stock futures were slightly higher Thursday as Wall Street eyed labor market reports that shed insight into the U.S. economic recovery. Dow futures were up by more than 100 points, while futures for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq were also in the green. (CNBC)

* Treasury yields move lower ahead of initial jobless claims (CNBC)

In Wednesday's session, the 30-stock Dow closed lower by 48.20 points, or 0.1%, and the broad S&P 500 advanced just 0.03%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq, however, rose 0.3% to another record-high closing. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq have posted gains in three of their past four sessions, while the Dow has declined the past three days. 

Initial jobless claims for the week ended Saturday came in at 340,000, the lowest level since March 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic was in its early days, according to the Labor Department. Economists expected first-time unemployment insurance claims of 345,000, according to Dow Jones estimates. The key August nonfarm payrolls report is due out Friday. (CNBC)

* U.S. trade deficit narrows slightly to $70.1 billion in July (Associated Press)

Signet Jewelers (SIG), Hormel Foods (HRL), American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) and Lands' End (LE) are among the companies that reported earnings before the bell Thursday. After the close, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Broadcom (AVGO), MongoDB (MDB), DocuSign (DOCU) and PagerDuty (PD) are set to post quarterly results.

* Here are Thursday's biggest analyst calls of the day: Okta, Five Below, Costco and more (CNBC PRO)

IN THE NEWS

In a 5-4 decision late Wednesday, the Supreme Court declined to block the implementation of a Texas law that bans most abortions in the nation's second-most populous state. Chief Justice John Roberts joined the high court's three liberals — Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan — in dissent. (CNBC)

Apple is allowing some apps to provide a link to their websites, where users could then directly register for a paid subscription. The change, which the iPhone maker announced Wednesday, comes as Apple faces intense criticism and regulatory scrutiny for its App Store payment policies. (CNBC)

* Apple announces first states that will let you keep a digital version of your driver's license on your iPhone (CNBC)

States of emergency were issued for New York and New Jersey after they were battered by the remnants of Hurricane Ida, leaving at least eight people dead. Torrential rain flooded streets and homes in the region Wednesday night, and service on many of New York City's subway lines were suspended as water overwhelmed the transportation system. (NBC News)

* Wildfires are putting water supplies at risk, and corporate America is scared (CNBC)

Chinese regulators interviewed 11 ride-hailing companies in the country, including Didi Global (DIDI), over what they claim is "illegal behavior" involving the recruitment of unapproved drivers and vehicles. The development is the latest in a series of regulatory crackdowns from Beijing in recent weeks that has rattled investors. (CNBC)

Burger King is launching its rewards program more broadly across the country, and it's on track to have the loyalty program available in restaurants in two-thirds of its U.S. locations by October. It's part of a push from Restaurant Brands International (QSR) to jolt its U.S. business. Burger King's loyalty program has been available nationwide for mobile orders, as well as those placed through its website. (CNBC)

STOCKS TO WATCH

Hormel (HRL) reported adjusted quarterly earnings of 39 cents per share, matching forecasts, with revenue coming in above estimates. However, the food producer gave a weaker-than-expected full-year outlook, noting the impact of higher costs, although it said price hikes and cost cuts should help its margins moving forward. Hormel fell 3.5% in premarket trading.

Lands' End (LE) beat estimates by 6 cents with quarterly earnings of 48 cents per share and revenue above estimates as well. However, the apparel retailer also said its profit margins would moderate in the back half of its fiscal year due to supply chain challenges, and the stock fell 3% in premarket action.

Hill-Rom Holdings (HRC) agreed to be bought by medical products maker Baxter International (BAX) for $156 per share in cash or about $10.5 billion. It had been reported earlier this week that the two sides were in talks about a potential $10 billion deal. Hill-Rom, a medical equipment maker, gained 3.1% in premarket trading, while Baxter edged higher by 0.7%.

Signet Jewelers (SIG) reported adjusted quarterly earnings of $3.57 per share, well above the consensus estimate of $1.69, with revenue exceeding forecasts as well. Comparable store sales surged 97%, more than the 79.2% increase that analysts were anticipating. The jewelry retailer also raised its full-year outlook, and its stock rallied 5.4% in the premarket.

Chewy (CHWY) tumbled 10.2% in the premarket, following a wider-than-expected quarterly loss and revenue that fell slightly short of estimates. The pet products retailer's adjusted loss of 4 cents per share was twice as wide as analysts had anticipated, with Chewy noting a higher-than-usual level of out-of-stock products. The company also issued a weaker-than-expected outlook.

ChargePoint (CHPT) saw its shares soar 12.3% in the premarket after quarterly sales beat estimates and the electric vehicle charging company raised its full-year revenue guidance. For its most recent quarter, ChargePoint matched Street forecasts with an adjusted loss of 13 cents per share.

Okta (OKTA) posted an adjusted quarterly loss of 11 cents per share, smaller than the 35 cent loss that analysts were anticipating. Revenue came in above estimates, and the identity management software company issued a better-than-expected outlook, but its shares fell 1.5% in the premarket.

C3.ai (AI) tumbled 7.7% in premarket trading after it reported a surprise quarterly loss. The artificial intelligence software provider lost an adjusted 37 cents per share for its latest quarter, compared with analyst forecasts of a 28 cents per share profit, and it also issued a weaker-than-expected current-quarter revenue outlook.

Five Below (FIVE) saw its stock slide 8.6% in the premarket, despite a 4 cent beat with quarterly earnings of $1.15 per share. Five Below's revenue was shy of Street forecasts, and the discount retailer is not giving sales or earnings guidance for the full year due to uncertainties surrounding Covid.

Ciena (CIEN) earned an adjusted 92 cents per share for its latest quarter, beating estimates by 13 cents, while revenue beat estimates as well amid what the company calls "robust demand." Separately, the networking equipment maker announced the acquisition of AT&T's (T) Vyatta virtual routing and switching technology unit. Ciena jumped 6.3% in premarket trading.

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