U.S. stock futures were trading mixed on Wednesday, with Dow and S&P futures down 0.5% and 0.4%, respectively, while Nasdaq futures were around 0.2% higher.
Investors are eagerly awaiting the earnings results from some of the markets’ heavyweights later today, with the likes of T, ABT and BA reporting before the bell, while TSLA, FB and AAPL will release their results after the market closes.
AMC Entertainment (AMC) was the most actively traded stock before the open, with almost 17 million shares already changing hands, and was up around 130% at the time of writing. This comes on the back of AMC’s almost $1 billion capital raise to avoid a pandemic-threatened bankruptcy.
GameStop (GME) was the top gainer in pre-market trading and looked set to open 140% higher in a short squeeze that has seen the stock rally 700% over the past two weeks. Following close behind were AMC Entertainment (+130%) and Koss Corp (+94%).
Meanwhile, pre-market top losers were Edesa Biotech (-17%), OLB Group (-16%) and US Well Services (-15%).
In earnings news, F5 Networks (FFIV) was trading almost 8% lower in pre-market trading after reporting better-than-expected first quarter results, together with a lower-than-expected second quarter revenue outlook. First quarter earnings and revenue topped analysts’ expectations with year-on-year growth of 1.6% and 10%, respectively. However, F5 expects second quarter earnings of between $2.32 and $2.44 per share compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.41.
Microsoft (MSFT) on the other hand, was trading around 3.5% higher before the opening bell, after reporting second quarter results, ending December 31, 2020, that beat analysts’ forecasts. Earnings of $2.03 increased 34.4% year-on-year, crushing analysts’ expectations of $1.64, while second quarter revenues came in at $43.1 billion, compared to analysts’ expectations of $40.2 billion. Microsoft’s cloud computing services during the coronavirus pandemic were the main drivers behind the stellar results.
Starbucks (SBUX) reported mixed first quarter results for the period ended December 27, 2021, with profits beating expectations but sales falling short. In addition, the company offered second quarter guidance that also missed analysts’ forecasts. The global coffee chain attributes year-over-year declines to the closure of stores and the reduction of traffic and operations capacity due to the coronavirus pandemic. Comparable year-on-year store sales declined 5% in the U.S. but increased 5% in China.
Beyond Meat (BYND) closed 18% higher yesterday after announcing a joint venture with PepsiCo (PEP) to develop and sell products made from plant-based protein. Beyond Meat believes that the partnership will lead to fresh opportunities to leverage PepsiCo’s well-established distribution channels and network. The new joint venture will be called The PLANeT Partnership, LLC (TPP). Beyond Meat’s recent deals have helped its share price surge 48% over the past month.
In other news, AT&T (T) is being sued by Network Apps LLC for allegedly stealing its patented “twinning” technology that allows smart devices and wearables to receive and respond to calls and texts using a single telephone number. AT&T abandoned a joint development and licensing agreement with Network Apps in 2014, but then proceeded to use the same technology in its own product, NumberSync. Network Apps is seeking $450 million in damages but would like this figure to be tripled to reflect AT&T’s “willful and egregious infringement.”