Here are five things you need to know before Thursday, July 22:
1. — Stock futures rise on earnings optimism
Equity futures rose modestly on Thursday as optimism about earnings and the economic recovery outweighed Wall Street’s concerns about rising inflation and rising coronavirus cases.
Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 84 points, S&P 500 futures were up 8 points and Nasdaq futures gained 26 points.
The return on the benchmark 10-year Treasury rose to 1.287% early Thursday. Yields fell below 1.2% earlier this week as traders softened their bets on short-term moves in Federal Reserve interest rates.
“The delta variant of [COVID-19] remains an ever-present downside risk to markets in the near term,” said Craig Erlam of OandaBut as long as inflation remains only a temporary problem, it will also keep the hawks of the central bank at bay.
President Joe Biden said Wednesday evening at a Cincinnati town hall hosted by CNN:there will be inflation in the short termWhile the economy is recovering, he said he has been advised by his economic team that the current price increases will not last as demand returns to normal levels.
Shares closed higher on Wednesday after investors were encouraged by solid earnings reports. According to Bloomberg, about 86% of companies in the S&P 500 that have already reported profits have exceeded analyst expectations.
Rallies on Wall Street on both Tuesday and Wednesday offset losses from Monday’s strong sell-off.
2. — Thursday’s Calendar: Intel, AT&T, and Twitter Earnings
Earnings reports expected from Intel on Thursday (INTC) – Get Report, Abbott Laboratories (ABBOT) – Get Report, AT&T (t) – Get Report, Union Pacific (UNP) – Get Report, Snap (SNAP) – Get Report, Twitter (TWTR) – Get Report, Biogen (BIIB) – Get Report, Freeport-McMoran (FCX) – Get Report, Dow Inc. (DOW) – Get Report, Southwest Airlines (LUV) – Get Report and American Airlines (AAL) – Get Report.
The US economic calendar on Thursday includes weekly Jobless Claims at 8:30 am ET and Existing Home Sales for June at 10 am
3. — Bitcoin gets a boost from Musk, Wood and Dorsey
Bitcoin rose to nearly $32,000, led by positive comments about the world’s largest cryptocurrency from Elon Musk, Jack Dorsey and Cathie Wood.
Can Elon Musk, Cathie Wood and Jack Dorsey Save Bitcoin?
Musk, CEO of Tesla (TSLA) – Get Report, said the electric vehicle company would soon accept Bitcoin for vehicle purchases again.
“It seems Bitcoin is shifting a lot more towards renewables and some of the heavy coal power plants that have been used… have shut down, especially in China,” Musk said at a Bitcoin conference.
“I want to do a little more due diligence to confirm that the percentage of renewable energy use is most likely at or above 50% and that there is a trend to increase that number. If so, Tesla will most likely resume bitcoin adoption,” he said.
Wood of ARK Invest said companies should consider adding Bitcoin to their balance sheets.
Bitcoin rose 3.11% to $31,834 on Thursday. It is up more than 10.43% so far.
4. — Activision Is Sued For ‘Frat Boy’ Culture, Harassment
Activision Blizzard (ATVIA) – Get Report, the maker of video games such as “Call of Duty” and “World of Warcraft,” was accused in a lawsuit of promoting a “frat boy” culture, including years of harassment and sexual prejudice against female employees.
The lawsuit was filed by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
Female employees make up approximately 20% of Activision’s workforce. They are subjected to “cube crawls” in which male workers “drink profusely”. [amounts] of alcohol as they make their way through various cubicles in the office and often engage in inappropriate behavior towards female employees,” the indictment said.
The lawsuit also alleged that female employees were paid and promoted less than their male colleagues.
“We value diversity and strive for a workplace that offers inclusiveness for everyone. There is no place in our company or industry, or any industry, for sexual misconduct or harassment of any kind,” said an Activision Blizzard statement. “We take every allegation seriously and investigate all claims. linked to misconduct, action was taken to address the issue.”
“The DFEH contains distorted, and in many cases false,
descriptions of Blizzard’s past,” the company added.
The share fell slightly in premarket trading.
5. — Chembio Diagnostics Expands Sharp Profits
Chembio Diagnostics (CEMI) – Get Report extended sharp gains in premarket trading Thursday after the medical diagnostics company received a $28.3 million purchase order from Bio-Manguinhos for SARS-CoV-2 antigen testing in Brazil.
The test is designed to detect the COVID-19 pathogen in just 20 minutes using a “minimally invasive” nasal swab.
Chembio shares rose 7.3% to $5.73 in premarket trading. The stock rose more than 159% on Wednesday, closing at $5.34.
Investors on StockTwits applauded the rise in Chembio shares. “With that much volume I think we’ll hit a high 7 before we dip!!!!! LETS GO!” said one commenter.