BY THE NUMBERS
U.S. stock futures pointed to a lower open, with investors watching Thursday’s FDA meeting on Pfizer‘s Covid-19 vaccine and continued talks in Washington around reaching coronavirus stimulus and government funding deals. (CNBC)
The Nasdaq led Wednesday’s losses on Wall Street, with a nearly 2% drop as tech stocks sank. The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average also came under pressure but saw much smaller declines. All three benchmarks, however, did advance earlier in Wednesday’s session, hitting new all-time intraday highs. The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all logged record closes Tuesday. (CNBC)
The Labor Department on Thursday reported a much larger than expected 853,000 new filings for unemployment benefits for the week ended Dec. 5, compared with the upwardly revised 716,000 the prior week, which was the lowest total of the coronavirus era. However, initial jobless claims have been running well above record levels seen before the pandemic. (CNBC)
* CPI for all items rises 0.2% in November as broad set of indexes increase (Labor Department)
The European Central Bank on Thursday expanded its massive monetary stimulus program by $605 billion, as a second wave of Covid-19 lockdown measures weigh on the euro area’s economic recovery. (CNBC)
Airbnb is set to debut as a public stock Thursday on Wall Street, one day after the online marketplace for home rentals priced its initial public offering at $68 per share. That was above the most recent expected per-share range of $56 to $60, valuing the company at about $47.3 billon. (Reuters)
Airbnb’s IPO follows the huge market debut of DoorDash (DASH). Shares of the food delivery service were under some pressure in premarket trading after skyrocketing more than 85% on Wednesday. The closing price values DoorDash at $60.2 billion, about 10 times larger than stock market rival GrubHub. (CNBC)
IN THE NEWS TODAY
The Covid-19 vaccine developed by American drug giant Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech faces a final hurdle to emergency use authorization in the United States on Thursday, when the FDA’s vaccine advisory panel meets. Consideration of Pfizer’s vaccine comes as the U.S. saw a record 3,124 deaths Wednesday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. (CNBC)
* 6 things to know before FDA panel votes on Pfizer’s Covid vaccine today (CNBC)
* Pfizer vaccine documents ‘unlawfully accessed’ in a cyberattack on Europe’s medicines agency (CNBC)
* Trump virus coordinator Dr. Birx seeks role in Biden government (AP)
* Dry ice sales booming as hospitals get ready to store Pfizer’s Covid vaccine at minus 94 degrees (CNBC)
The FDA is scheduled to consider the Covid-19 vaccine candidate from U.S.-based Moderna (MRNA) next week. Meanwhile, the company has begun a study of its vaccine candidateÂ involving adolescents aged 12 to less than 18. The company has dosed the first participant in a study, which is expected to enroll 3,000 healthy people. (Reuters)
Renters started returning to Manhattan in November, lured by a record drop in rental prices, according to a new report. The number of new leases in November jumped 30% compared with a year ago, according to a report from Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman. That marked the strongest November in 12 years, with over 4,000 new leases. (CNBC)
A one-week federal government funding extension that passed the House on Wednesday goes to the Senate, where it could come up for a vote as soon as Thursday. The government will shut down Saturday if Capitol Hill fails to pass the stopgap measure. Lawmakers are trying to buy more time to reach a broad spending deal and a coronavirus relief package. (CNBC)
President-elect Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden revealed that he’s under investigation for his “tax affairs” by federal prosecutors in Delaware. The probe was disclosed five days before Joe Biden, a former senator from Delaware, is expected to be formally selected as the next president by the Electoral College. (CNBC)
* 17 states tell Supreme Court they support Texas bid to reverse Biden win (CNBC)
* Wisconsin courts to consider Trump’s election lawsuits (AP)
* Trump officials blast China as presidential transition looms in the U.S. (CNBC)
Shares of Facebook (FB) fell 1% in premarket trading after closing nearly 2% lower on Wednesday’s announcement from the FTC and a coalition of attorneys general from 48 states and territories of two separate antitrust lawsuits against the social network. (CNBC)
The SEC has fined General Electric (GE) $200 million to settle charges for misleading investors regarding its power and insurance businesses. Shares of GE were under pressure in Thursday’s premarket after several recent days of gains. (CNBC)
SpaceX launched its latest prototype rocket on a flight to about 40,000 feet altitude Wednesday, a test which appeared successful until the very last moment when it exploded while trying to land. The prototype did not have any crew onboard, and SpaceX had cleared the launch facility of people in the hours before the launch. (CNBC)
STOCKS TO WATCH
Walt DisneyÂ (DIS): Walt Disney will unveil a significant amount of planned movie content today, as well as whether each movie will have exclusive theater runs or go directly to streaming service Disney+, according to The New York Times.
StarbucksÂ (SBUX): The coffee giant said it saw a “significant” 2021 rebound, with the company predicting earnings growth of at least 20% for fiscal 2022 and long-term adjusted earnings per share rising by 10% to 12%. The shares gained 3% in premarket trading as of 7:35 a.m. ET.
SonyÂ (SNE): Sony is buyingÂ AT&T’sÂ (T) animation business Crunchyroll for just under $1.18 billion. It will combine Crunchyroll and its 3 million subscribers with its Funimation Global Group, which currently has 1 million subscribers.
RHÂ (RH): The home furnishings company reported quarterly earnings of $6.20 per share, beating the consensus estimate of $5.30 a share. Revenue also beat estimates. RH continued to see strong demand as consumers remained at home due to the pandemic, but supply chain disruptions impacted its ability to keep up with order flow.
Levi StraussÂ (LEVI) andÂ Ralph LaurenÂ (RL): The apparel makers both received a double upgrade from Goldman Sachs, which raised its rating to “buy” from “sell.” It cited strong brand momentum and an effective shift toward direct-to-consumer marketing for Levi Strauss, while pointing to valuation and underappreciated direct-to-consumer profit margin potential for Ralph Lauren.
Best BuyÂ (BBY): The electronics retailer was downgraded to “sell” from “neutral” at Goldman Sachs. Goldman emphasizes the call is based on its predictions for the stock price and not a negative view on the company. It calls Best Buy one of the best run retailers in the U.S.
CienaÂ (CIEN): The networking systems and services company reported adjusted quarterly earnings of 60 cents per share, 3 cents a share short of forecasts. Revenue topped estimates. Ciena said it expected challenging market conditions to remain in the near term, but expressed confidence in the company’s ability to perform over the long term.
Silver Spike Acquisition (SSPK): The special purpose acquisition company announced a deal to merge with cannabis review site Weedmaps and take it public. The combination will list on Nasdaq and have a value of about $1.5 billion.