U.S. stock futures traded higher on Thursday as projections show that a win for the Democrats in the U.S. Senate looks likely. This follows yesterday’s scenes of pro-Trump supporters “storming the capital” in an attempt to overturn his election defeat.
Dow futures were up 0.3%, S&P futures were 0.5% stronger and Nasdaq futures were 0.7% higher at the time of writing.
In corona-related news, shares in Moderna (MRNA) surged 3.5% in pre-market trading on Thursday after receiving authorization from the EU to administer its COVID-19 vaccine to individuals over the age of 18. The EU has secured 160 million doses of the vaccine and is the fourth jurisdiction to authorize Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, following the US, Canada, and Israel. MRNA shares rose 6.5% on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Carnival Corporation’s (CCL) cruise lines, including Holland America Line and Princess Cruises, have announced additional cancellations due to pandemic-related uncertainties, including travel restrictions.
Christine Duffy, President of Carnival Cruise Line, apologized to guests for the continuing inconvenience. She acknowledged the obvious pent-up demand for cruising with Carnival and thanked customers for their patience and support as the company plans to resume operations with a gradual, phased in approach in 2021.
In corporate news, Ford (F) announced a 9.8% drop in vehicle sales in the fourth quarter, with a 3.4% drop in U.S. Retail Sales. Lower F-150 inventories due to the stoppage in production amid the coronavirus pandemic took a toll on Ford brand sales, which decreased by 10% year-over-year.
Additionally, Tesla (TSLA) shares were trading almost 3% higher after receiving approval from the Israeli Ministry of Transport to import, maintain and service its own vehicles as part of Israel’s plan to expand vehicle importation and increase competition in the vehicle industry. Tesla will import its Model 3, Model S and Model X cars as the Ministry of Transport introduces autonomous cars into the Israeli market.
In earnings news, Simply Good Foods’ (SMPL) revenue spiked 51.9% year-over-year in its fiscal first quarter to $231.2 million, with sales of $208.9 million also surpassing analysts’ expectations. As a result, the company raised its first-half fiscal 2021 revenue and adjusted EBITDA outlook and now projects net sales to generate between $455 million and $465 million, up from the previous guidance range of $425-$435 million.
Costco (COST) also reported positive results, with a 10.7% rise in its December comparable sales, while overall sales grew 12.3% year-over-year to $19.1 billion. Costco has seen strong increases in sales of groceries and household items as people are spending more time at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Costco reported better-than-expected first quarter (ended Nov. 22) results last month, with revenue rising about 17% to $43.2 billion and EPS increasing 38% to $2.62