U.S. stock futures were flat Wednesday, the morning after strong earnings from Google-parent Alphabet and Microsoft. Dow stock Boeing (BA), before the market open, issued its sixth consecutive quarterly loss but it expects a turning point in 2021 as more people get vaccinated against Covid. Apple (AAPL) and Facebook (FB) issue their earnings after the bell. (CNBC)
* Today's biggest analyst calls of the day: UPS, Amazon, Microsoft, Tilray (CNBC Pro)
Investors will also hear from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell at the central bank's post-meeting news conference Wednesday afternoon. The Fed is not expected to adjust near-zero interest rates or the pace of asset purchases. But Powell will certainly face questions about his willingness to let inflation run hot. (CNBC)
* 10-year Treasury yield tops 1.65% as investors gear up for Fed decision (CNBC)
* BlackRock's Rick Rieder on Fed's next move and how he's investing around it (CNBC Pro)
* Mortgage rates fall to a two-month low, but weekly demand still drops (CNBC)
President Joe Biden, set to address a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night, will pitch Congress on $1.8 trillion in new spending and tax credits aimed toward children, students and families, senior administration officials said. On the eve of his 100th day in office, Biden will also tell lawmakers about his administration's broader vision for the U.S. and his legislative priorities. (CNBC)
* Tim Scott, only Black GOP senator, set to respond to Biden (AP)
IN THE NEWS TODAY
Shares of Alphabet (GOOGL) jumped 5% in the premarket after the company late Tuesday reported its most profitable quarter ever. In addition to search and cloud, Alphabet has become a force in venture capital. The company disclosed a net gain on equity investments of $4.75 billion — 22% of Alphabet's pretax income. (CNBC)
Alphabet's first-quarter adjusted earnings per share solidly beat estimates, as did revenue. If Google's YouTube continues growing the way it has the last several quarters, it could also match Netflix in revenues by year's end. (CNBC)
* Here's how top Wall Street analysts reacted to Alphabet earnings (CNBC Pro)
Shares of Microsoft (MSFT), up more than 10% in a month, were taking a breather in the premarket. The stock was down 2.5% despite the company reporting better-than-expected per-share adjusted earnings and revenue for its fiscal third quarter. The software, hardware and cloud giant saw its biggest year-over-year revenue growth, 19%, since 2018. (CNBC)
* Here's what top Wall Street analysts said about Microsoft earnings (CNBC Pro)
Tesla (TSLA) is sitting on roughly $2.5 billion worth of bitcoin, according to a securities filing, giving the electric auto maker a significant gain on paper in just a few months. The company announced earlier this year that it had purchased $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin, and planned to accept it as payment for vehicles. Tesla said Monday that it registered a net gain of $101 million from sales of bitcoin during the first quarter. (CNBC)
Starbucks (SBUX) beat estimates by 9 cents a share, with quarterly earnings of 62 cents per share. Revenue came in short of forecasts, however, due to weak international sales. The coffee chain said U.S. sales have recovered to pre-pandemic levels. Starbucks shares slid 1.6% in premarket trading. (CNBC)
* Taco Bell parent Yum Brands tops earnings estimates fueled by U.S. sales growth (CNBC)
Trendy shoe brand Allbirds is in the process of interviewing banks in preparation for an initial public offering, according to The New York Times' DealBook. The direct-to-consumer company was last valued at roughly $1.7 billion. The timing of a possible Allbirds plan to go public is unclear, but an IPO would launch it into an already hot market.
The CDC revised its public health guidance, saying fully vaccinated people can exercise and attend small gatherings outdoors without wearing a face mask. Dining unmasked at an outdoor restaurant with friends from multiple households is also acceptable, according to the CDC. The agency still recommends that fully vaccinated people wear a mask at crowded areas outdoors. (CNBC)
* India reports record new cases, official Covid death toll surpasses 200,000 (CNBC)
* One dose of a Covid vaccine can almost cut in half transmission, study finds (CNBC)
The Senate is expected to vote Wednesday to effectively reinstate an Obama-era regulation that sought to clamp down on the release of methane, a powerful, climate-warming pollutant that will have to be controlled to meet Biden's ambitious climate change promises. Democrats will invoke a once-obscure law to turn back a Trump methane rule enacted late last summer (NY Times)
STOCKS TO WATCH
Spotify (SPOT): The music streaming service logged a smaller-than-expected loss for its latest quarter, as well as beating revenue estimates and reporting a 24% increase in monthly active users. Its projected range for the current quarter's operating loss falls largely below analyst forecasts, however, and the shares skidded 7.8% in the premarket.
Pinterest (PINS): Pinterest shares tanked 11.9% in the premarket, despite beating estimates on both the top and bottom lines for its latest quarter. Investors are focusing on a slowdown in user growth for the image-sharing company.
Shopify (SHOP): The e-commerce platform provider's stock rallied 5.5% in the premarket after reporting better-than-expected earnings and revenue for its latest quarter. Shopify continues to benefit from the boom in online shopping.
Stanley Black & Decker (SWK): The tool company beat estimates on the top and bottom lines for its latest quarter. The company also raised its fiscal year forecast and boosted its stock buyback plans by 20 million shares. Stanley Black & Decker saw particularly strong growth for tools and storage products.
Humana (HUM): The health insurer earned $7.67 per share for its latest quarter, better than the $7.08 a share consensus estimate. Revenue beat forecasts as well, helped by strength in sales of its Medicare Advantage plans.
General Dynamics (GD): The defense contractor's shares added 2.2% in premarket action after it beat top and bottom line estimates for its latest quarter, helped by strength in its aerospace unit.
Garmin (GRMN): Garmin earned $1.18 per share for the first quarter, beating the 89 cents a share consensus estimates. Revenue exceeded estimates by a wide margin amid double-digit growth for its fitness, outdoor, marine and auto segments.
Brinker International (EAT): The parent of Chili's and other restaurant chains missed estimates on the top and bottom lines for its latest quarter, but it gave a better-than-expected outlook. Shares rose 2.7% premarket.
Mondelez (MDLZ): Mondelez came in 8 cents a share above estimates, with quarterly profit of 77 cents per share. The snack maker's revenue also came in above Wall Street projections. Mondelez continues to benefit from consumers stocking up on snacks amid the pandemic, especially in international markets where lockdowns are still prevalent. Mondelez shares added 2.5% in premarket action.
Visa (V): Visa reported quarterly profit of $1.38 per share, 11 cents a share above estimates. The payment network operator also posted better-than-expected revenue, boosted by the ongoing surge in online shopping. Shares gained 1.6% in premarket action.
Sony (SONY): Sony reported better-than-expected profit and revenue for its latest quarter, driven by an ongoing jump in gaming demand as well as the popularity of the PlayStation 5 gaming console. Sony gained 3.6% in premarket trading.
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