Wednesday’s Pre-Market: Here’s What You Need To Know Before The Market Opens

U.S. stock futures look set to open higher on Wednesday, with the inauguration of incoming President Joe Biden expected to take place in just a few hours.

Dow and S&P futures were up by 0.25% and 0.4%, respectively, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq futures were 0.8% stronger.

The most active stock (the stock that has the most shares traded before the market opens) at the time of writing was Gevo Inc., with over 1.3 million shares having already changed hands. The stock looked set to open 18% lower in response to its $350 million offering after gaining 72% yesterday.

Top pre-market gainers were Caldrius Biosciences Inc. (+124%), Endra Life Sciences Inc. (+62%), and Steel Connect Inc. (+56%), while the biggest pre-market losers were BioLineRx Ltd (-19%), Gevo Inc. (-18%), and Histogen Inc. (-14%).

In company news, Netflix (NFLX) reported better-than-expected fourth quarter results, driven by strong growth in paid subscriptions. 8.5 million new subscribers signed up to the platform in the quarter, far exceeding the 2.5 million originally projected, taking the total number of paying subscribers to almost 204 million at the end of 2020.

Fourth quarter revenue of $6.64 billion beat analysts’ expectations of $6.62 billion, while EPS of $1.19 missed the Street consensus estimate of $1.38 and dropped 8.5% year-on-year.

Shares of Aclaris (ACRS) were 2% higher in pre-market trading after gaining a massive 220% yesterday. Shares skyrocketed after the company announced positive results from the investigational trial of its potential treatment for moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. In a separate statement, Aclaris announced that it plans to offer a share sale to the public.

AMC Entertainment (AMC) was trading 11% higher in the pre-market session on Wednesday after ending Tuesday up 32%. The company reported that it had raised $100 million from a debt sale, with the 15%, interest-bearing notes maturing in April, 2026. The company can redeem some or all of the notes at any time on or after January 15, 2023. AMC shares have gained 44% year-to-date, but are still down 58% from a year ago, as the theater operator tries to recover from the pandemic-led closures of its businesses.

Goldman Sachs (GS) reported better-than-expected fourth quarter results yesterday, with earnings per share of $12.08 more than doubling from a year earlier and beating analysts’ expectations of $7.47. Total revenue of $11.74 billion also beat forecasts compared to analysts’ estimates of $9.99 billion. Despite the good news, GS shares ended Tuesday 2.3% lower.

Discover Financial Services (DFS) announced that it would reinstate its repurchase program of up to $1.1 billion. The share buyback program was suspended in March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic but will again be valid until December 31, 2021. The DFS board also announced a quarterly cash dividend of $0.44 per share, which will be paid on March 4, and implies an annual dividend yield of around 1.8%

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