Up, up and up: S&P 500 futures are rising slightly in today’s pre-market as the rally continues for its fifth month in a row. S&P 500 futures are up 0.2% with Nasdaq-100 futures up 1%- with Tesla, Apple and Zoom all making gains in early morning trading.
Tesla shares are up 3% in pre-market trading- after surging 13% on Monday following the 5-1 stock split. With shares now up a whopping 495% YTD, Elon Musk takes the title of the world’s third-richest person, overtaking Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg.
According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the electric-vehicle company is now intending to sell up to $5 billion in stock. The additional shares will be sold “from time to time” and “at-the-market” prices.
All eyes are on Zoom Video which is spiking 27% in Tuesday’s pre-market after the popular video-conferencing platform blew past quarterly estimates and raised its annual sales guidance. Total sales exploded 355% to $663.5 million vs consensus of $500.5 million.
“Though we are thoroughly impressed with ZM’s execution to date and recognize that WFH or hybrid models are likely to remain post-COVID, we are left to wonder if the company can build direct enterprise sales fast enough to fully take advantage of its brand and lead market position” commented Rosenblatt Securities analyst Ryan Koontz post-print. With Zoom shares up over 365% YTD, Koontz is sticking to the sidelines for now.
In-flight internet company Gogo Inc is also surging this morning, with shares now up 23% after announcing that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its Commercial Aviation (CA) business to Intelsat S.A. for $400 million in cash. Shares of GOGO are down 20% year-to-date due to the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic on the airline industry.
Turning to the FAANG stocks, Facebook (FB) has announced that it will stop allowing publishers and people in Australia from sharing local and international news on Facebook and Instagram if a new draft code in the country becomes law.
Australia wants news media businesses to be able to bargain individually or collectively with Google (GOOGL) and Facebook over payment for the inclusion of news on their services. But FB says it is left with a choice of either removing news entirely or accepting a system that lets publishers charge it for as much content as they want at a price with no clear limits. “Unfortunately, no business can operate that way” the company says.
Meanwhile Apple has asked suppliers to build at least 75 million 5G iPhones for later this year, indicating that demand for the company’s most important product is holding up in the midst of the global pandemic and economic downturn, according to a Bloomberg report.
Amazon is also in the spotlight- thanks to the launch of rival Walmart’s $98/ year membership service on September 15. However Walmart Chief Customer Officer Janey Whiteside says: “We’re not launching Walmart+ with the intent to compete with anything else.” She argues that the focus is on “doubling down with the customers we have and getting more share of wallet and more share of mind.”
Corona: AstraZeneca has announced that it has started enrolling adults for a Phase 3 clinical trial in the US of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate AZD1222. The trial, which will include 30,000 participants over the age of 18, will assess the safety, efficacy and immunogenicity of AZD1222 for the prevention of Covid-19.
“Should clinical trials demonstrate the vaccine protects against COVID-19 disease and is approved for use, we will work hard to make it globally available in a fair and equitable manner as rapidly as possible” commented AZN’s Mene Pangalos.
At the same time, AZN has also just signed a three-year master supply and development contract with Oxford Biomedica plc for the large-scale commercial manufacture of AZD1222.
Disappointingly, French drugmaker Sanofi’s late-stage study of the rheumatoid arthritis drug Kevzara in severely or critically ill patients hospitalized with COVID-19 did not meet its primary or secondary endpoints. What’s more, the Phase 3 study showed serious adverse reactions were experienced by 26-29% of Kevzara patients vs 24% of placebo patients.