Here are five things you must know for Wednesday, Sept. 23:
1. — Stock Futures Build on Tuesday’s Gains
Stock futures were rising Wednesday after the S&P 500 snapped a four-session losing streak though Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned that without more government aid a “healing” U.S. economy will continue struggling.
Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 230 points, S&P 500 futures gained 18 points and Nasdaq futures were up 53 points.
Stocks ended higher Tuesday as tech-sector gains offset Powell’s warning that a U.S. recovery from the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 200,000 Americans “continues to be highly uncertain.”
The Dow gained 140 points, or 0.52%, to close at 27,288, the S&P 500 rose 1.05% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 1.71%.
Global stocks remain on course for their first monthly drop since March. The S&P 500 has declined 5.3% so far in September, while the Nasdaq has fallen nearly 7%.
Stock markets have declined the first three weeks of September on fears that rising coronavirus infections worldwide could lead to further lockdowns and a lack of another U.S. fiscal stimulus package.
2. — Tesla Falls Following ‘Battery Day’
Tesla was falling 6.56% to $396.40 in premarket trading Wednesday after CEO Elon Musk outlined his company’s ambitious battery manufacturing and cost-reduction goals but detailed how long it might take for those goals to be reached.
Musk unveiled a larger car battery cell, called the 4680, that will generate six times more power, five times more energy and 16% more driving range, all at about 14% lower cost.
The company plans to produce the new battery cells initially at a pilot site in its main factory in Fremont, Calif., with planned output reaching 10 gigawatt hours (GWh) by the end of 2021.
Musk said the cheaper and more efficient batteries ultimately will let Tesla “make a compelling $25,000 car that is also fully autonomous.”
The new batteries, however, will take a while to ramp up. Tesla said the 4680 batteries won’t reach mass production until 2022. Tesla set goals of having 100 gigawatt-hours (GWh) worth of annual production capacity by 2022, and a whopping 3 terawatt-hours (TWh) of capacity by 2030.
Just before the battery presentation, Musk also hinted at Tesla’s delivery guidance, saying he expects vehicle deliveries this year to grow by 30% to 40%.
Musk also said Tesla “hopefully” will release a private beta for the full self-driving version of Autopilot, which features a full rewrite of the codebase, in a month or so.
3. — Nike Surges After Big Earnings Beat
Nike earned 95 cents a share in the quarter on revenue of $10.59 billion, down 0.6% from a year earlier. Analysts were expecting Nike to post earnings of 46 cents a share on revenue of $9.15 billion.
The company’s pace of innovation, the brand’s “deep connection to consumers,” and its acceleration of digital sales efforts “are unlocking Nike’s long-term market potential,” CEO John Donahoe said in a statement.
Nike brand digital sales rose 82% overall in the quarter with double-digit increases across North America and greater China and a triple-digit rise in Europe-Mideast-Africa.
Inventories rose 15% to $6.7 billion in the quarter from a year earlier, but were down 9% from the previous quarter as the company worked through the backlog caused by the coronavirus.
Nike said most of its stores were open during the first quarter but traffic remained lower from a year earlier because of Covid-19 “safety related measures.”
The stock jumped 13.33% to $132.45 in premarket trading.
4. — Calendar Highlights: Powell to Testify, General Mills Reports Earnings
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will testify Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET before a House panel overseeing the U.S. response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The economic calendar Wednesday also includes the PMI Composite Flash for September at 9:45 a.m. and Oil Inventories for the week ended Sept. 18 at 10:30 a.m.
5. — Aurora Cannabis Slumps on C$3.3 Billion Fiscal 2020 Loss
Aurora Cannabis ACB slumped 15.44% to $6.19 in premarket trading after the Canadian pot company posted losses of more than C$3.3 billion ($2.5 billion) in its 2020 fiscal year.
The company posted a fourth-quarter loss of $1.86 billion that included large impairment charges.
Sales in the fourth quarter fell to C$72.1 million from C$98.9 million a year earlier.
Miguel Martin, the company’s new CEO, told analysts he plans a company overhaul even after cutting thousands of jobs last year.
“The company really was distracted in a lot of ways by the reset both on the people side and on the production side,” Martin said.