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

S&P 500 futures are currently trading up 0.5% ahead of the Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision later today. Similarly Dow Jones futures are up 0.47% with Nasdaq futures rising 0.3%. Look out for August retail sales data this morning, with analysts anticipating a 1.1% increase compared to 1.2% in July.  

Brace yourselves: Cloud-based data-warehousing startup Snowflake begins trading today on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker SNOW at an expected $120/ share. That’s above the upper limit of an already-revised range filed with the SEC earlier this week. According to the Financial Times, which cites people briefed on the offering, investors have already snapped up 28M shares raising $3.4B in proceeds. This gives the company a whopping $33B valuation vs the $12.4B valuation Snowflake received in its February funding round.

In other news New York Giants and DraftKings have just announced an exclusive, multi-year arrangement, making DraftKings the Official Sports Betting, iGaming and Daily Fantasy operator of the team. DraftKings will gain access to official Giants marks and logos, as well as a kind of virtual SportsLounge on Giants’ game days.

Also in the headlines this morning is Amazon, which has announced plans to open 1,000 delivery hubs in smaller neighborhoods across the US. The move comes after Walmart recently started its own Prime-style subscription service. And according to a just-released report by the Chaddick Institute, Amazon Air also expanded rapidly during summer 2020, a period otherwise marked by sharp year-over-year declines in air-cargo traffic. The e-commerce giant added nine planes from May to July, the most it has added over a three-month span in its history, the report revealed.

Turning to the cloud: Alibaba has disclosed the opening of a new ‘made-in-cloud’ digital manufacturing factory, which the Chinese tech giant hopes will help small and medium-sized enterprises stay competitive in the fast-moving fashion market. The Hangzhou-based factory will deploy Alibaba’s cloud computing infrastructure and IoT, to offer SMEs a digitalized end-to-end manufacturing supply chain for a fully-customized, demand-driven production. BABA is up 1% right now.

Facebook, however, is feeling the heat after the Wall Street Journal reports that the Federal Trade Commission is gearing up to file a possible antitrust lawsuit against the social media giant by the end of the year, according to people familiar with the matter. Shares are currently trading down 2%.

Still in the red, Nikola is continuing yesterday’s 8% sell-off with a further 6% fall in early morning trading due to reports that the US Securities and Exchange Commission is examining the merits of short-seller Hindenburg’s allegations that the electric truck maker misled investors about its business prospects.

Meanwhile, FedEx is soaring 9% in Wednesday’s pre-market, after the delivery company crushed 1Q profit and revenue expectations aided by strong shipping volumes during the Covid-19 pandemic. The delivery and logistics company reported 1Q adjusted earnings of $4.87 per share, surpassing analysts’ estimates of $2.70. Revenues of $19.3B also beat consensus of $17.6B.

Adobe also delivered stronger-than-expected 3Q results, thanks to the robust demand for cloud-based creative software amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Photography giant Kodak is surging an impressive 41% in early morning trading, after a special committee confirmed that Kodak did not break the law in its disclosure of a planned $765 million loan from the US government, although the committee did air several governance concerns.

Corona updates: Eli Lilly has announced positive proof of concept data from an interim analysis of the BLAZE-1 clinical trial, showing a reduced rate of hospitalization for mild-to-moderate recently diagnosed COVID-19 patients. LLY’s SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody, LY-CoV555, is designed to treat symptomatic COVID-19 in the outpatient setting.

Rate of hospitalizations and ER visits was 1.7% for LY-CoV555 versus 6% for placebo–a 72% risk reduction in this limited population. LY-CoV555 was well-tolerated across all doses with no drug-related serious adverse events reported. Shares are rising 2% in pre-market trading.

Also on the Covid front, the US FDA has granted Emergency Use Authorization to Abbott’s BinaxNow COVID-19 Ag Card rapid test. The 15-minute test will greatly expand access to rapid testing and help ease pressure on labs, says Abbott. It does not require any equipment to process samples or read results. Abbott intends to ship tens of millions of BinaxNow tests this month, ramping to 50 million tests a month in October.

Harriet Lefton
Harriet Lefton, originally from the UK, began her career as a journalist specialising in the niche world of metal markets. She graduated from the University of Cambridge before becoming a qualified UK lawyer. Now she has turned her attention to the world of financial blogging, covering US stocks, analysts and all manner of things finance-related.

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