U.S. stock futures were pointing to a higher open on Wednesday, with Dow futures up 0.2%, S&P futures rising 0.4% and Nasdaq futures leading the way, gaining 0.7% at the time of writing.
Notable earnings to keep an eye out for today are RCL, BIIB, and ABBV before the bell and PYPL, QCOM and MET after the market closes.
Sundial Growers (SNDL) and AMC Entertainment (AMC) were the most heavily traded stocks before the open for the third straight day and were both around 8% stronger at the time of writing.
Top gainers in pre-market trading were Stellas Life Sciences (+55%), Koss Corp (+35%) and Selecta Bio (+25%).
Biggest losers in the pre-market session were Monopar Therapeutics (-15%), Ocugen (-14%) and Moleculin Biotech (-13%).
In corporate news, Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL) jumped 8% in pre-market trading after reporting better-than-expected Q4 results yesterday after the bell. Earnings surged 45.3% year-on-year to $22.30 per share and beat analysts’ estimates of $15.90. Total revenue also exceeded forecasts of $53.1 billion, rising 23% to $56.9 billion. Higher advertising revenue and strong demand for its cloud services were the main drivers as advertising sales soared 21.8% to $46.2 billion year-on-year while Google Cloud sales increased 46.6% to $3.8 billion.
Alibaba (BABA) was looking to recover all of yesterday’s 3.9% loss, climbing over 4% higher in pre-market trading on Wednesday. Together with the release of its better-than-expected Q3 earnings results, Alibaba offered an update on its regulatory challenges, with the Chinese government yesterday saying that the prospects of Ant Group’s IPO remain uncertain. However, Bloomberg has just reported a restructuring plan agreement that will see the fintech giant turned into a financial holding company.
Shares of fast food restaurant chain Chipotle (CMG) were almost 3% lower in pre-market trading as the company’s Q4 earnings results disappointed the market. Adjusted earnings per share and revenues both saw year-on-year growth, but the ongoing effects of the coronavirus caused these figures to fall short of analysts’ expectations. Comparable-store sales grew 5.7% but a 177.2% spike in digital sales accounted for almost half of the total sales growth in the quarter. Chipotle expects to open around 200 new restaurants in 2021.
Albemarle (ALB) fell 2.5% before the bell after closing 1.7% higher on Tuesday as the global lithium producer announced the launch of a $1.3 billion capital raise to fund its expansion plans and pay down debt. Albemarle has rallied 81% over the past three months as global demand for electric vehicles, mobile devices and grid storage drives the need for lithium-ion batteries. Albemarle also reported its preliminary fourth quarter results, with both sales and earnings expected to come in ahead of analysts’ expectations.
In M&A news, Uber (UBER) closed 7% higher on Tuesday after announcing the acquisition of alcohol delivery startup Drizly for $1.1 billion. Once the deal closes in the first half of 2021, Drizly will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Uber, with its marketplace integrated with the Uber Eats app.