BY THE NUMBERS
U.S. stock futures were steady Thursday morning, one day after the S&P 500 closed at another record. The Dow on Wednesday also logged a small gain, putting the 30-stock average less than 1% from its Nov. 24 all-time high close. (CNBC)
The reluctance to commit on Wall Street reflected the uncertainty around a new Covid stimulus bill from a bipartisan group of senators. Investors are also watching the bond market, where the 10-year Treasury yield was approaching 1% in recent days. (CNBC)
The Labor Department on Thursday reported a fewer than expected 712,000 initial jobless claims for the week ending Nov. 28, down from an upwardly revised 787,000 the prior week. The government's November employment report is out tomorrow. (CNBC)
IN THE NEWS TODAY
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are urging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to reconsider and use the $908 billion bipartisan Covid-19 stimulus plan as the basis for relief talks. McConnell quickly shot down the bipartisan plan after it was released Tuesday. (CNBC)
The Johns Hopkins University coronavirus tracker showed yet another increase in reported Covid-19 case and death counts for Wednesday. Both figures have been generally trending higher and higher for weeks. As of Wednesday, a record of more than 100,000 people were hospitalized with Covid. (CNBC)
* Warp Speed official urges patience on Covid vaccine: 'We are not going to turn anybody away' (CNBC)
* Obama, Bush will take coronavirus vaccine and maybe before cameras to build confidence (CNBC)
* 'This is going to be challenging:' How the UK will roll out Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine (CNBC)
The director of the CDC is painting a bleak picture. Dr. Robert Redfield said Wednesday that about 90% of hospitals in the country are in "hot zones and the red zones" on capacity. He also said he feared that deaths from Covid-19 could rise over 60% to 450,000 by February. (CNBC)
Los Angeles is nearing "a devastating tipping point" in the fight against the coronavirus, Democratic Mayor Eric Garcetti said Wednesday. He ordered residents of America's second-largest city to stay in their homes and avoid social gatherings in new lockdown measures. (Reuters)
The U.S. National Labor Relations Board filed a complaint against Google and its parent company Alphabet (GOOGL), accusing them of spying on employees. Google didn't immediately respond to CNBC's requests for comment.
* U.S. states plan to sue Facebook next week, sources say (Reuters)
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a law to kick Chinese companies off U.S. stock exchanges if they do not fully comply with the country's auditing rules, giving President Donald Trump one more tool to threaten Beijing with before leaving office. The Senate passed it in May. (CNBC)
UPS (UPS) reportedly told its drivers on Cyber Monday to stop picking up packages at some of the largest retailers in the U.S., such as Nike (NKE) and Gap (GPS), after they reached capacity allocations set by the delivery company. The shipping company also halted package pickups for Macy's (M), L.L. Bean, Hot Topic and Newegg, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.a) said Thursday that it will hold its annual shareholder meeting, slated for May, virtually again due to spiking coronavirus cases. The Warren Buffett run company said that May's meeting will be similar to its 2020 annual shareholder meeting, which was also held virtually. (CNBC)
STOCKS TO WATCH
Tesla (TSLA) shares gained 4% after Goldman Sachs upgraded the electric carmaker to "buy" from "neutral," seeing more than 30% upside ahead for shares. The bank cited an accelerating shift toward electric vehicle adoption.
Express (EXPR) shares tanked 25% after the retailer reported a wider-than-expected loss. Express said it lost $1.39 per share in the third quarter, versus an estimated loss of 51 cents. Revenue also missed expectations.
Splunk (SPLK) shares plunged 21% after the software company reported disappointing quarterly results. Splunk posted a loss per share of $1.39, compared to a FactSet estimate of a 51 cents a share loss. Its revenue also came in below expectations.
Dollar General (DG) shares dipped 2% even after the discount store reported better-than-expected quarterly results, with same-store sales up about 14% between Oct. 31 and Dec. 1. The company posted earnings per share of $2.31 in the third quarter.
Snowflake (SNOW) shares dropped 2.6% after the software company reported its first quarterly results since its IPO. Snowflake's revenue grew 119% year-over-year in its fiscal third quarter, compared to a 121% growth in the previous quarter. Losses narrowed, while gross margin fell to 58.2%.
CrowdStrike (CRWD) shares surged more than 12% after the cybersecurity company posted quarterly results that topped expectations. CrowdStrike reported 8 cents in earnings per share on $232.5 million in revenue. Analysts surveyed by Refinitiv had expected a slight loss and $212.6 million in revenue.