Stock Market Today – 8/3: Stocks Rise as Investors Await Key Economic Data

Stocks were set for a moderately positive open on Wednesday following two consecutive trading days of losses as investors looked past House Speaker Nanci Pelosi’s contentious visit to Taiwan and awaited key economic data.

Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average were 0.4%, or 104 points higher, while S&P 500 futures were up 0.35% and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.21%. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note moved higher to 2.781% as investors assessed Pelosi’s controversial Asia trip and looked ahead to Friday’s jobs report.

Oil prices fell about 1% in early trade on Wednesday, reversing gains from the previous session ahead of a meeting OPEC+ producers that will determine how much global supply will be released going into the fall.

Pelosi met Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on Wednesday in Taipei, where Tsai thanked Pelosi for her support of democratic values and said she was committed to working with the U.S. over security in the Taiwan straits.

Beijing, which claims Taiwan as part of its territory, had warned Pelosi and the U.S. administration not to set foot there, with Chinese officials threatening unspecified military countermeasures in response to her visit.

Taiwan is a democratic self-ruled island that China sees as a runaway province, and Beijing has been vocal about its opposition to Pelosi’s trip.

On the economic data front, investors this week are awaiting the July nonfarm payrolls report slated for release Friday for further clues into the state of the economy and the job market. Analysts polled by FactSet are expecting 250,000 new jobs were added to the economy last month following June’s 372,000 gain.

Before then, Services PMIs data will be released at 9:45 a.m. ET Wednesday, and factory orders will be revealed at 10 a.m. ET. Both data points will be important for investors as they track the slowdown of the U.S. economy.

Among specific stocks, Robinhood  (HOOD) – Get Robinhood Markets Inc. Report shares were higher in premarket trading after the company said it is slashing nearly a quarter of its full-time staff, the second round of layoffs this year.

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The online brokerage once synonymous with meme stock trading and other high-risk retail bets on stocks said it will cut some 23% of its workforce as it continues to reel from a sharp slowdown in trading activity.

The layoffs come alongside a broader company reorganization, Vlad Tenev, Robinhood’s chief executive, said in a message posted to the company’s blog. In the statement, Tenev said the previous round of layoffs in April “did not go far enough” in helping the company cut costs.

Starbucks  (SBUX) – Get Starbucks Corporation Report shares were also higher in premarket trading Wednesday after the coffee-chain giant said U.S. customer demand remains strong, despite higher spending on labor and inflationary pressures weighing on costs.

The Seattle-based company said global same-store sales for the three months ended July 3 were up 3% from the same period last year. U.S. same-store sales increased 9%, while those in the chain’s China market plunged 44% amid the country’s renewed Covid-19 related shutdowns and other restrictions during the period.

However, the gains were offset by increased employee wages and training as well as costs for ingredients, which hurt store-level profit for the period – even as higher prices partially offset the costs. Starbucks said prices are around 5% higher compared with a year ago.

Airbnb  (ABNB) – Get Airbnb Inc. Report shares, meanwhile, were down more than 6% as a weaker-than-expected outlook overshadowed otherwise strong quarterly results.

The San Francisco-based company posted $2.1 billion in revenue in the three months through June, up 58% from the same period last year as people continued to book suburban rentals despite hosts raising prices.

Airbnb reported a profit of $379 million in the period, topping analysts’ projections for a profit of $295 million and compared with a loss in the year-earlier quarter.

More earnings data is due out Wednesday with reports from CVS Health  (CVS) – Get CVS Health Corporation Report, Yum! Brands  (YUM) – Get Yum! Brands Inc. Report, MGM Resorts  (MGM) – Get MGM Resorts International Report and eBay  (EBAY) – Get eBay Inc. Report.

Alibaba  (BABAF) , Eli Lilly  (LLY) – Get Eli Lilly and Company Report, Warner Bros. Discovery  (WBD) – Get Warner Bros. Discovery Inc. Report, Amgen  (AMGN) – Get Amgen Inc. Report and Block  (SQ) – Get Block Inc. Class A Report will release their second-quarter numbers on Thursday.

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