U.S. stock futures were looking for a bounce today following Friday’s sell-off that saw all three major U.S. indices fall around 2%. Dow futures were trading 0.7% higher, S&P futures were 0.9% firmer and Nasdaq futures were 1.1% stronger at the time of writing.
All eyes will be on heavily shorted stocks this week as some users of the social discussion group Reddit plan to continue with the assault on Wall Street.
TMO will report earnings before the market opens, while VRTX, NXPI and ARE are expected to release their results after the bell.
Sundial Growers (SNDL) and AMC Entertainment (AMC) were the most actively traded stocks before the open, with AMC looking to resume its rally from last week and trading 25% higher at the time of writing.
Pre-market top gainers were Moleculin Biotech (+484%), Alithya Group (+309%) and Phunware Inc. (+53%).
Biggest losers in pre-market trading were 17 Education Group (-13%), Yield10 Bioscience (-14%) and Iconix Brand Group (-13%).
In corona-related news, AstraZeneca (AZN) was trading 2% higher in the pre-market session after announcing that it will supply the EU with an additional nine million COVID-19 vaccines. The company has received regulatory approval from the U.K. Two doses of the AstraZeneca jab will be deployed at a four- to 12-week interval in individuals aged 18 and older. The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) confirmed that no severe cases or hospitalizations more than 14 days after the second dose occurred. Pending regulatory approvals, AstraZeneca is expected to supply up to three billion doses of the vaccine in 2021.
Amgen (AMGN) announced over the weekend that its experimental lung cancer drug, sotorasib, has been granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation (BTD) by the Center for Drug Evaluation in China, which means that sotorasib could become the first targeted treatment for non-small cell lung cancer (NSLC) in the region. Amgen’s Phase 2 study for sotorasib showed positive results and the drug was found to be effective for the treatment of metastatic non-small cell lung cancer.
In earnings news, Colgate-Palmolive (CL) released better-than-expected Q4 results. Earnings increased 5% year-on-year to $0.77, beating analysts’ estimates by a penny, while sales of $4.32 billion beat analysts’ forecasts of $4.14 billion for a 7.5% year-on-year increase. The company said that it has maintained its leading market share position in toothpaste and manual toothbrush sales but warned of uncertainty going forward as consumers hoard products amid the coronavirus pandemic.
FB Financial (FBK) raised its dividend by 22% from $0.09 to $0.11 after reporting better-than-expected Q4 results last week. Earnings grew 63% to $1.14 per share compared to a year ago, beating analysts’ estimates of $0.81 per share. Revenues came in at $165.9 million, rising 78.5% year-on-year and beating analysts’ forecasts of $162 million.
Roper Technologies (ROP) fell 7% on Friday after providing Q1 guidance that missed analysts’ expectations. The company expects Q1 earnings to be in the range of $3.26-$3.32 per share, compared to analysts’ forecasts of $3.48 per share. For fiscal 2021, Roper anticipates earnings to be in the range of $14.35-$14.75 per share, compared to the consensus estimate of $14.63 per share.
Meanwhile, Q4 2020 adjusted earnings beat analysts’ expectations of $3.48 and grew 5% year-on-year to $3.56, while revenues of $1.51 billion grew 8% compared to last year but fell short of analysts’ expectations of $1.53 billion.