BY THE NUMBERS
U.S. stock futures were flat after two days of strong gains, making Monday's major sell-off seem like a distant memory. The Dow rose another 286 points, or 0.8%, on Wednesday. Coupled with Tuesday's 549 point gain, the 30-stock average turned positive for the week. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also gained nearly 1% on Wednesday. All three stock benchmarks, ahead of Wall Street's open Thursday, were less than 1% from their latest record closes on July 12. Investors seem to have shaken off their immediate concerns about the spread of the delta variant and the increase in Covid cases. (CNBC)
The Labor Department reported Thursday an unexpected jump in initial jobless claims to 419,000 for last week, the highest weekly count since May 15. New filings for unemployment benefits for the prior week were upwardly revised to 368,000. After the jobless claims report, the 10-year Treasury yield turned lower to roughly 1.27% after hitting a 5½-month low of nearly 1.13% earlier this week. Bond yields move in the opposite direction of bond prices. Stocks also took a premarket knock on the claims data. (CNBC)
Coming up later Thursday, at 10 a.m. ET, The National Association of Realtors issues its June report on existing home sales. Snap (SNAP) and Twitter (TWTR) will be the first of the major ad-supported internet companies to report earnings after-the-bell Thursday, while Alphabet's (GOOGL) Google, Facebook (FB), Pinterest (PINS), and Amazon (AMZN) will follow next week. Apple's recent privacy changes won't likely affect Q2 tech earnings. (CNBC)
IN THE NEWS TODAY
American Airlines (AAL) on Thursday posted a profit for the second quarter, getting a lift from federal aid and a surge in travel demand. The Fort Worth-based carrier reported net income of $19 million, snapping five consecutive quarters of losses. However, adjusting for one-time items, American lost $1.69 per share, less than expected. Revenue rose 360% year over year to $7.48 billion after last year's Covid collapse. Sales still dropped 35% compared with Q2 2019. (CNBC)
Southwest (LUV) reported a jump in revenue in the quarter. The Dallas-based airline's sales rose nearly 300% from a year earlier to $4 billion. That was still down 32% from the period in 2019. Net income for the second quarter totaled $348 million, compared with a $915 million loss a year earlier. On an adjusted basis, Southwest lost 35 cents per share, more than expected. Shares of Southwest and American were lower in the premarket. (CNBC)
White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said fully vaccinated people might want to consider wearing masks indoors as a precaution against the rapidly spreading delta variant. Some areas of the country are reimplementing mask mandates due to spikes in cases. Variants are more transmissible than the original strain and some are reducing the effectiveness of vaccines. (CNBC)
* Biden says getting Covid vaccine ‘gigantically important’ (AP)
* Biden predicts FDA will give final vaccine approval by the fall (NY Times)
Tokyo hit another six-month high in new Covid cases Thursday, a day before the Olympics begin, as worries grow of a worsening of infections during the Games. Thursday's 1,979 new cases are the highest since 2,044 were recorded on Jan. 15. (AP)
* Olympic opening ceremony director fired for Holocaust joke (AP)
Biogen's (BIIB) Alzheimer's drug, Adhulem, generated $2 million in revenue in the first few weeks of its approval, the company said Thursday in releasing its second-quarter earnings along with an open letter about the controversial drug. (CNBC)
Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi (DIDI) came under pressure again Thursday after a report that Beijing is considering harsh penalties from a massive fine to even a forced delisting after its IPO last month. Shares of Didi fell nearly 3% in premarket trading Thursday after shedding 18% this month. (CNBC)
Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked the start of formal debate on bipartisan infrastructure legislation, a core part of President Joe Biden's economic plan, because the bill text and cost weren't available as negotiations continued. (USA Today)
STOCKS TO WATCH
AT&T (T) on Thursday beat analyst estimates for monthly phone bill paying subscriber additions in the second quarter, fueled by more Americans converting to 5G. WarnerMedia, the company's media unit, added 2.8 million U.S. subscribers for its premium channel HBO and streaming platform HBO Max during the quarter. Shares rose about 1.5% in the premarket.
Shares of Dow Inc. (DOW), a materials science company, rose 1.7% in the premarket, after Dow beat earnings estimates by 27 cents with quarterly a profit of $2.72 per share. Revenue beat forecasts as well, as sales benefited from higher prices and tight supplies. Dow also sees an upbeat second half as global economies improve.
DR Horton (DHI) shares fell 4.4% in premarket action despite the company reporting stronger-than-expected earnings. The homebuilder earned $3.06 per share for the second quarter, compared with a $2.81 consensus estimate. The company also raised its fiscal 2021 revenue guidance.
Blackstone Group (BX) reported earnings per share of 82 cents for the second quarter, 4 cents above estimates. The private equity giant benefited from a record surge in the value of its investments compared to a year ago. Shares of Blackstone climbed 1.6%.
Crocs (CROX) shares rallied 8% after the company posted adjusted quarterly earnings of $2.23 per share, compared to a consensus estimate of $1.60. Revenue also beat forecasts with Crocs saying it was seeing strong demand for the brand around the globe.
Domino's Pizza (DPZ) on Thursday reported that its U.S. same-store sales climbed 3.5% in its latest quarter, despite tough comparisons to its skyrocketing sales during lockdowns last year. Shares rose roughly 2% in premarket trading.
Texas Instruments (TXN) beat earnings estimates by 22 cents with a quarterly profit of $2.05 per share. Revenue also beat analyst forecasts. However, the chipmaker issued weaker-than-expected revenue guidance for the current quarter, raising concerns about low inventories and manufacturing capacity. The stock shed 4.6%.
Netgear (NTGR) shares plummeted 14.2% after the computer equipment maker reported lower-than-expected sales and revenue for its latest quarter. The company also gave guidance that fell short of analyst forecasts. Netgear said supply chain constraints and factory closures due to Covid-19 held back its performance.
Unilever (UL) reported better-than-expected sales and earnings for the second quarter, but the consumer products giant also said that a significant increase in commodity costs would hurt its full-year profit margins. Its shares dropped 4.6%.
Whirlpool (WHR) reported adjusted quarterly earnings of $6.64 per share, beating the consensus estimate of $5.90, with the appliance maker's revenue also topping Wall Street forecasts. Whirlpool also raised its full-year guidance, as consumer demand remains strong even in the face of higher prices.
Las Vegas Sands (LVS) lost 26 cents per share, 10 cents more than Wall Street was anticipating for the casino operator, and revenue also fell short of estimates. However, the company said it remained confident about a rebound in travel and tourism. Las Vegas Sands fell 2.2%.