BY THE NUMBERS
U.S. stock futures fell Tuesday, taking a pause after the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 rose for their sixth straight sessions and the Nasdaq did so for its third session in a row. All three benchmarks logged record-high closes. February’s blistering gains ahead of Tuesday’s trading on Wall Street sent the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq up nearly 4.7%, 5.4% and 7%, respectively. (CNBC)
Bitcoin early Tuesday soared to an all-time high over $48,000 before pairing some of those gains. Bitcoin knocked on the door of $50,000 as buying continued one day after Elon Musk‘s Tesla (TSLA) revealed a $1.5 billion investment in the world’s largest cryptocurrency, the latest evidence of institutional interest in the digital coin. (Reuters)
Reddit, ground zero for the recent online-driven individual investor trading mania, raised more than $250 million in a new round of funding, doubling its valuation to $6 billion. Activity in Reddit’s WallStreetBets forum sparked a frenzy of buying in heavily shorted stocks, sending names like GameStop skyrocketing last month, only to shed much of those gains. (Reuters)
* Pot stock Tilray surges on distribution deal with Grow Pharma in U.K. (Seeking Alpha)
IN THE NEWS TODAY
Former President Donald Trump faces the start of his second impeachment trial, an uphill battle for Democrats determined to prove him guilty for inciting last month’s deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol. Despite the unprecedented circumstances, experts see acquittal as the likely outcome. (CNBC)
Raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 per hour in annual increments to $15 per hour, as President Joe Biden has proposed, would cost 1.4 million jobs over the next four years while lifting 900,000 people out of poverty, according to a report released Monday by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. (CNBC)
An international team of scientists led by the World Health Organization said Tuesday the search for how the coronavirus was introduced remains a “work in progress,” but the “most likely” pathway was indeed from animals to humans. The team dismissed a leak from a lab, saying that such theories should be regarded as “extremely unlikely.” (CNBC)
* Boeing says requiring Covid tests before U.S. domestic flights could pose economic risks (Reuters)
* New York aims to reopen Broadway, large venues, with extensive Covid testing (CNBC)
* Google warns pandemic could hinder its ability to ‘maintain corporate culture’ in 2021 (CNBC)
Robinhood was sued Monday for wrongful death by the family of Alex Kearns, a 20-year-old customer who took his life last summer after believing he had racked up big losses on the millennial-favored stock trading app. A Robinhood spokesperson told CNBC, “We were devastated by Alex Kearns’ death. Since June, we’ve made improvements to our options offering.”
Eli Lilly (LLY) announced that Chief Financial Officer Josh Smiley has resigned and will be replaced by senior vice president Anat Ashkenazi. Lilly said Smiley engaged in a consensual but inappropriate personal relationship with a Lilly employee and exhibited poor judgment. (Reuters)
STOCKS TO WATCH
Canopy Growth (CGC): The Canada-based cannabis producer posted a smaller loss for its fiscal third quarter, as it cut costs and as demand for its products increased. Canopy Growth also said it expects to achieve profitability during the second half of the 2022 fiscal year, which begins April 1.
Coty (COTY) – The cosmetics company reported quarterly profit of 17 cents per share, 10 cents a share above estimates. Revenue essentially was in line with forecasts. Coty said its profit got a boost from increased cost savings even as demand was dented by the pandemic, with sales falling 16%.
Electronic Arts (EA): The video game publisher announced a deal to buy mobile game developer Glu Mobile (GLUU) for $12.50 per share in cash or $2.4 billion. Reuters reports that Glu Mobile had received takeover offers from several parties during 2020 before accepting the overture from Electronic Arts.
Take-Two Interactive (TTWO) – Take-Two beat Street forecasts with its quarterly sales, and raised its annual sales targets on continued strong demand for video game franchises like “NBA 2K” and “Grand Theft Auto.” Its shares are under pressure, however, after the video game publisher failed to announce any new game releases. The shares fell 4% in premarket trading as of 7:37 a.m. ET.
DuPont (DD): DuPont reported quarterly earnings of 95 cents per share, 6 cents a share above estimates. The maker of industrial materials also saw its revenue top Wall Street forecasts. Demand was particularly strong in smartphone materials and the company also benefited from a rebound in auto sales.
Edgewell Personal Care (EPC): The maker of consumer brands like Schick, Edge, Wikinson and Playtex earned 43 cents per share for its latest quarter, compared to a 25 cents a share consensus estimate. Revenue also topped estimates. Organic sales were flat, but Edgewell expanded its profit margins and saw digital sales grow as well.
Carrier Global (CARR): The maker of HVAC systems missed estimates by 5 cents a share, with quarterly profit of 31 cents per share. Revenue beat Wall Street forecasts. The bottom line was impacted by spending on growth initiatives and legal costs, among other factors.
HanesBrands (HBI): The apparel maker topped estimates by 9 cents a share, with quarterly earnings of 38 cents per share. Revenue beat estimates as well. HanesBrands said it saw continued momentum for its Champion brand globally and its Innerwear business in the U.S. The company is exploring strategic alternatives for the European Innerwear business.
Hain Celestial (HAIN): The maker of Celestial Seasonings tea and Terra chips beat estimates by 4 cents a share, with quarterly earnings of 34 cents per share. Revenue beat estimates as well. Hain continues to benefit from pandemic-induced demand by consumers remaining at home.
Centene (CNC): The health insurer missed estimates by a penny a share, with quarterly earnings of 46 cents per share. Revenue missed estimates as well. Centene’s bottom line was impacted by higher costs as the company spent more on initiatives related to its Medicare and Health Insurance Marketplace businesses.
Chegg (CHGG): chegg beat estimates by 6 cents a share, with quarterly earnings of 55 cents per share. The education technology company’s revenue also topped Wall Street forecasts. It also raised its earnings guidance for 2021, as it continues to benefit from a pandemic-induced boost in demand for education materials.
Simon Property Group (SPG): The nation’s largest mall operator forecast improved 2021 profit, with Simon seeing a recovery by its retail tenants and an improvement in rent collection rates.
Burger King, owned by Restaurant Brands International (QSR), is testing a loyalty program in five U.S. markets. Loyalty programs from such names as Starbucks (SBUX) and Chipotle (CMG) have helped those companies grow their customer base and encourage more frequent visits. (CNBC)