U.S. stock futures traded mixed in early pre-market trade after the Nasdaq dipped more than 500 points in the previous session. Investors are awaiting earnings results from Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (NASDAQ: WBA), Conagra Brands, Inc. (NYSE: CAG) and Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE: STZ).
The Challenger job-cut report for December is scheduled for release at 7:30 a.m. ET, while data on international trade in goods and services for the latest week will be released at 8:30 a.m. Data on initial jobless claims for the latest week will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET, while data on factory orders for November and the ISM’s services index for December will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 41 points to 36,332.00 while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index futures rose 1.75 points to 4,694.25. Futures for the Nasdaq index declined 12.75 points to 15,753.75.
The U.S. has the highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the world, with total infections in the country exceeding 58,805,180 with around 853,610 deaths. India reported a total of at least 35,109,280 confirmed cases, while Brazil confirmed over 22,351,100 cases.
Oil prices traded higher as Brent crude futures rose 0.4% to trade at $81.13 per barrel, while US WTI crude futures gained 0.6% to trade at $81.13 a barrel. US crude-oil inventories dropped 2.1 million barrels last week, the Energy Information Administration said Wednesday. The EIA’s weekly report on natural gas stocks in underground storage is scheduled for release at 10:30 a.m. ET.
A Peek Into Global Markets
European markets were lower today. The STOXX Europe 600 Index dipped 1.1%, while Spain’s IBEX 35 Index fell 0.8% and London’s FTSE 100 fell 0.6%. The French CAC 40 Index dropped 1.1%, while German DAX fell 1%. Producer prices in the Eurozone increased 1.8% in November, while construction PMI fell to 52.9 in December from 53.3 a month ago. The IHS Markit/CIPS UK services PMI was revised higher to 53.6 in December from a preliminary estimate of 53.2, while composite PMI was revised higher to 53.6 in December from a preliminary level of 53.2. New car registrations in the UK fell 18.2% year-over-year to 108,596 units in December. The IHS Markit Italy construction PMI declined to 64.4 in December from November’s record high of 65.5, while French construction PMI fell to 50.9 in December from 51.6 in the prior month. German construction PMI rose to 48.2 in December from 47.9, while factory orders rose 3.7% in November.
Asian markets traded mostly lower today. Japan’s Nikkei fell 2.88%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 0.72%. China’s Shanghai Composite fell 0.25%, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 2.74% and India’s BSE Sensex fell 1%. The Caixin China general services PMI rose to 53.1 in December from 52.1 in November, while composite PMI climbed to 53.0 from 51.2. The au Jibun Bank Japan composite PMI fell to 52.5 in December from a final level of 53.3 in November, while services PMI slipped to 52.1 in December from 53.0 in November. The IHS Markit services PMI for Australia was confirmed at 55.1 in December.
Piper Sandler downgraded Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM) from Overweight to Neutral and lowered the price target from $133 to $127.
Akamai shares fell 3% to $111.98 in pre-market trading.
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- Volkswagen Group (OTC: VWAGY)-owned Porsche saw a sharp rise in North America sales last year despite ongoing global supply headwinds and as customers lapped up the premium electric Taycan, Electrek reported.
- Berkeley Lights, Inc. (NASDAQ: BLI) issued weak sales forecast for FY21. The company said it sees FY21 sales of $84 million to $84.5 million, versus analysts’ estimates of $90.9 million and also projects FY22 sales growth of 30% year over year. The company’s CEO Eric D. Hobbs will transition to president of Antibody Therapeutics Line.
- Nano Dimension Ltd (NASDAQ: NNDM) acquired Global Inkjet Systems Ltd for $18.1 million in cash and involves an earnout of $1.3 million – $10.7 million within the next 27 months.
- Landec Corporation (NASDAQ: LNDC) reported a net loss of $38.4 million for the fiscal 2022 second quarter ended November 28, 2021, versus a year-ago loss of $13.3 million. The company’s pro forma revenues, meanwhile, increased to $43.5 million from $39.9 million.
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