Thursday’s Pre-Market: Here’s What You Need to Know Before the Market Opens


U.S. stock futures were trending higher on Thursday as investors await data related to the pace of recovery in the labor market. The weekly unemployment claims report and the Kansas City Fed manufacturing index for June will be released today. There has been bullish momentum in pre-market activity. The S&P 500, NASDAQ, and Dow Jones futures were up 0.5%, 0.6%, and 0.5% respectively, at the time of writing, pointing to a stronger start to trading activity. The rally in the futures market comes just a day after tech-heavy NASDAQ powered to record highs on Wednesday, as investors reacted to impressive U.S Factory data. The rally came after a turbulent last week, where indices edged lower on a Hawkish Federal reserve report that hinted of potential rate hikes. Ahead of market open, focus will be on Blackberry (BB), FedEx Corp (FDX), and Nike Inc. (NKE), all poised to report their quarterly earnings today. Sundial Grower (SNDL) was the most actively traded stock in pre-market trading, with more than 2.61 million shares having changed hands at the time of writing. Increased trading activity on the stock comes on the situation around cannabis stocks improving. The stock has also been propped by bullish messages on social media platforms, including Reddit. Marin Software (MRIN) was the biggest gainer in pre-market trading as the stock jumped 49.1% at the time of writing. The rally came a day after the company confirmed that people can now use its MarineOnePlatform to manage Instacart Ads. Consequently, brands will now be able to connect with customers more directly. Portage Biotech (PRTG) was the biggest loser in pre-market trading, going down 29.6%. The sell-off comes a day after the clinical-stage immune-oncology company announced an underwritten public offering of ordinary shares. The company intends to use net proceeds from the offering to accelerate its PORT-2 and PORT-3 clinical programs. In M&A news, Electronic Arts (EA) has inked a deal to acquire mobile game studio Playdemic in a $1.4 billion transaction. The acquisition is expected to strengthen the company’s mobile growth strategy in the race to deliver exciting experiences to half a billion gamers worldwide. “This is the next step building on our strategy to expand our sports portfolio and accelerate our growth in mobile to reach more players around the world with more great games and content,” said Andrew Wilson, CEO of Electronic Arts. Meanwhile, Farmers National (FMNB) has reached an agreement to acquire Cortland Bancorp for $124 million. Under the terms of the agreement, shareholders can opt to receive $28 a share in cash for each Cortland share held or 1.75 share of Framers National’s common share. CEO of Farmers National Bank Kevin J. Helmick said, “We have known and competed with Cortland for a long time, and this acquisition will further solidify our market share in Trumbull and Mahoning Counties as well as expand our presence in the greater Cleveland area furthering our strategy of building local scale throughout Northeast Ohio.” Aspen Group (ASPU) reported solid fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 results. Revenues in the quarter were up 35% to $19.1 million, in line with Street estimates. “We finished fiscal 2021 fourth quarter on a high note with 35% revenue growth. As COVID-19 infection rates rapidly declined in the fourth quarter, new course starts for our post-licensure nursing degree programs returned to pre-pandemic rates, delivering stronger than anticipated revenue,” said CEO Michael Mathews.”

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