The release of quarterly earnings will slow down significantly from tomorrow, but today will still be intense. Yesterday, Wall Street took a nosedive due to traditional sectors, but the Nasdaq gained some ground. The ADP survey of U.S. job creation in July showed that the private sector produced half as many new jobs as expected. A discrepancy that is mainly explained by the difficulty of companies to recruit, apparently.
Today, additional job data gave investors another indicator on the strength of the American economy. The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits declined further last week, while layoffs dropped to their lowest level in just more than 21 years in July.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 14,000 to a seasonally adjusted 385,000 for the week ended July 31, the Labor Department said, which was in line with forecasts.
US employment remains at the center of the macroeconomic game this week with tomorrow's official July non-farm payroll figures. These data are interesting because the Fed is placing a lot of importance on the labor market in its monetary strategy.
Today, the Bank of England said it would keep its key rate at 0.1%. It also decided to maintain its government bond-buying program at £875 billion, or a total of £895 billion including non-financial corporate bonds with an investment grade credit rating. It gave new details about when it may start tapering. "The Committee judges that, should the economy evolve broadly in line with the central projections in the August Monetary Policy Report, some modest tightening of monetary policy over the forecast period is likely to be necessary to be consistent with meeting the inflation target sustainably in the medium term."
The bank's next meeting is not until September 23, which is a bit late but will give it more perspective on summer health and economic developments.
Economic highlights of the day:
German factory orders for June, French industrial production for June, the Bank of England's decision on its monetary policy, the Challenger survey and weekly U.S. jobless claims are the main indicators of the day.
The dollar/euro pair is trading at EUR 0.8449. The ounce of gold is stable at USD 1809. Oil is up slightly at USD 68.41 USD for WTI and USD 70.53 for Brent. The US government bond is yielding 1.19% over 10 years. Bitcoin is trading around USD 38,000
* Moderna said Thursday that its COVID-19 vaccine remains 93% effective six months after a second dose, nearly identical to the 94% reported in clinical trials. Its stock is down 4.8% in premarket trading.
* Qualcomm announced Thursday that it has submitted a $4.6 billion takeover offer to VEONEER after the Swedish automotive safety products supplier received a $3.3 billion proposal from Canada's Magna two weeks ago.
* Regeneron reported better-than-expected second-quarter results, buoyed by the sale of its COVID-19 treatment to the U.S. government.
* ViacomCBS, announced Thursday that it gained 6.5 million global subscribers to its streaming service in the second quarter and reached a multi-year agreement with COMCAST Group's Sky to launch its Paramount+ service in Europe.
* Uber widened its losses in the second quarter as the VTC group increased financial incentives to attract drivers, in short supply, to its platform. The stock is losing 3.7 percent in pre-market trading.
* Thomson Reuters reported quarterly results above market expectations and raised its 2021 revenue forecast on the back of sales growth in its major divisions.
* Electronics Arts expects to post better-than-expected adjusted revenues for the current quarter, the video game publisher said Wednesday, banking on a strong performance from its flagship titles such as "FIFA 21" and "Apex Legends." In pre-trade, the stock was up nearly 5%.
* Cigna revised upwards the impact of the pandemic on its annual profit, while announcing a quarterly profit above. The health insurer is down 4% in pre-market trading.
* MetLife reported a second-quarter profit above market expectations thanks to gains on investments, helping the insurer gain 2% in after-hours trading Wednesday.
* Booking Holdings reported stronger-than-expected quarterly revenue growth Wednesday, buoyed by strong demand in Europe and the U.S.
* Wynn Resorts gained 2.4 percent in premarket trading after reporting revenue growth and a smaller quarterly loss on Wednesday night.
* Albemarle reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, largely due to higher sales of lithium, of which it is the world's largest producer, for electric vehicle batteries. The stock is up 3.2% in pre-market trading and could be headed for an all-time high.
- Avis Budget: J.P. Morgan upgrades to overweight from neutral. PT raised 33% to $100
- BAE Systems: J.P. Morgan upgraded from Overweight to Neutral.
- Barclays : Goldman Sachs keeps its Buy rating
- Bunzl: Exane BNP Paribas cut the recommendation to neutral from outperform. PT up 1.2% to 2,700 pence
- Domino's Pizza: Peel Hunt downgrades to add from buy.
- Eli Lilly: DZ Bank AG raised the recommendation to buy from hold. PT up 9.7% to $288
- Experian: Exane BNP Paribas downgrades to neutral from outperform. PT down 0.5% to 3,250 pence
- Halma: Goldman Sachs upgrades its Buy rating to Neutral with a target of GBP 2,900.
- Lloyds Banking Group: Goldman Sachs upgrades from neutral to sell with a target of GBP 45.
- Marriott International : Morgan Stanley adjusts PT to $143 From $138, maintains Equal-Weight rating
- Skyline Champion : Wedbush adjusts price target to $64 from $47; neutral rating kept
- Unite: J.P. Morgan upgraded to Overweight from Neutral with a target of GBP 1,350.
- Walmart: Wells Fargo Securities raised the recommendation. to overweight from equal-weight. PT up 16% to $165
- Wizz Air: Raiffeisen upgrades from light to hold with a target of GBP 5150.