Stock futures fall as stimulus talks, earnings roll on

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Stock futures pointed to a lower open Tuesday morning, with stimulus talks in Washington, updates on the Covid-19 vaccine front and corporate earnings results front and center. After market close Monday, Senate Republicans led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the HEALS Act, or proposal for a new stimulus bill […]

Stock futures pointed to a lower open Tuesday morning, with stimulus talks in Washington, updates on the Covid-19 vaccine front and corporate earnings results front and center.

After market close Monday, Senate Republicans led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the HEALS Act, or proposal for a new stimulus bill to help individuals impacted by the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. The Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection, and Schools Act includes a second stimulus check worth up to $1,200 for the same group of Americans as the last round, and will extend enhanced unemployment assistance at a lowered rate of $200 per week, down from $600 per week previously, until states could deliver a replacement worth about 70% of lost wages.

The Senate’s $1 trillion stimulus plan diverges considerably from that floated by the House Democrats earlier, which calls for more than $3 trillion in relief and includes an extension of the flat $600 per week in unemployment benefits until January next year.

“We don’t know for sure how things will now play out. Either side could blink, though we think substantial movement is much more likely to come from Republicans,” Ian Shepherdson, chief economist for Pantheon Macroeconomics said in a note Monday evening. “The most likely outcome probably is that the idea of a narrow bill is abandoned and a long slog of negotiations then follows, with the Congressional recess delayed.”

“In the meantime, we’d expect to see the near-real-time economic indicators deteriorate further as household incomes drop after the expiration of the initial enhanced unemployment benefits,” he added.

Meanwhile, developments in the race to create a Covid-19 vaccine picked up again at the start of the week. Shares of Pfizer (PFE) and BioNTech (BNTX) rose in late trading, after the two companies announced they would be beginning a Phase 2/3 study of their Covid-19 vaccine candidate. The announcement after market close came following Moderna’s (MRNA) Monday morning announcement that it had begun a late-stage clinical trial for its own Covid-19 vaccine candidate, sending shares 9% higher during the regular session.

In addition to monitoring stimulus discussions, market participants on Tuesday also eyed a flood of corporate earnings results before and after the bell. McDonalds (MCD), JetBlue (JBLU) and Pfizer (PFE) reported early Monday, and Visa (V), Starbucks (SBUX), eBay (EBAY) and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) are set to report after market close.

7:41 a.m. ET: 3M results miss expectations, but says it is seeking ‘broad-based sales improvements’ to start Q3

3M (MMM) delivered second-quarter adjusted earnings of $1.78 per share on net sales of $7.2 billion, missing consensus estimates for $1.79 per share on net sales of $7.3 billion, according to Bloomberg-compiled data.

Sales dropped in each of 3M’s major business categories, including safety and industrial, transportation and electronics, health-care and consumer products. Safety and industrial – the business unit housing N-95 masks – posted an overall sales drop of 9.2% over last year, though 3M said personal safety sales increased during the quarter. The company also produced nearly 800 million respirators in the first half of 2020 globally, with about 50% distributed in the US, and remains on track to deliver about 2 billion globally for the full year.

In the current quarter, 3M said, “The company is seeing broad-based sales improvements across businesses and geographies to start the third quarter. With one week left in July, total company sales are currently up low-single digits year-on-year.”

“3M will maintain its monthly reporting of sales information during the third-quarter to provide transparency on its ongoing business performance,” it added.

7:35 a.m. ET: Pfizer Q2 results top expectations, company raises FY sales guidance

Pfizer (PFE), fresh off the heels of announcing the next stage in its clinical trial for its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, announced second-quarter results that topped consensus estimates and raised its revenue guidance for the full year.

Second-quarter adjusted earnings of revenue of $11.8 billion were each better than the 69 cents expected on sales of $11.73 billion. Still, that actual revenue result represented an 11% drop year over year.

“As a result of the lower number of in-person meetings with prescribers and restrictions on patient movements due to government-mandated work-from-home or shelter-in-place policies, the rate of new prescriptions for certain products and of vaccination rates for most vaccines slowed in certain markets, including the U.S., which negatively impacted second-quarter 2020 financial results,” Pfizer said in a statement Tuesday.

However, Pfizer added that these declines were partially offset by some medicines and vaccines that saw increased demand over last year, including “certain sterile injectable products utilized in the intubation and ongoing treatment of mechanically-ventilated COVID-19 patients.”

Pfizer now sees full-year revenue between $48.6 billion to $50.6 billion, up from the $48.5 billion to $50.5 billion range provided previously.

7:30 a.m. ET: McDonald’s reports Q2 profit miss as store closures hit sales

McDonald’s (MCD) reported second-quarter profit that missed consensus estimates and posted a bigger than expected decline in comparable same-store sales, as store closures during the period dented results at the company.

Adjusted earnings per share of 66 cents were 8 cents below expectations. Overall comparable sales dropped 23.9%, versus a 22.3% decline expected, and closely watched domestic sales were down a worse than expected 8.7%. Overall revenue of $3.76 billion represented a decline of 30% over last year.

McDonald’s said global comparable sales results improved throughout the second quarter as markets reopened restaurants and government restrictions eased. In the US, comparable sales also improved sequentially, but both comps and guest counts remained negative “particularly at the breakfast daypart,” with many Americans now working from home and skipping morning commutes.

7:26 a.m. ET Tuesday: Stock futures point to a lower open

Here were the main moves in markets, as of 7:26 a.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,222.00, down 10.25 points or 0.32%

  • Dow futures (YM=F): 26,370.00, down 114 points, or 0.43%

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 10,637.00, down 38.25 points, or 0.36%

  • Crude (CL=F): -$0.10 (-0.24%) to $41.50 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): -$8.90 (-0.46%) to $1,922.10 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): +0.1 bps to yield 0.61%

6:10 p.m. ET Monday: Stock futures open higher

Here were the main moves at the start of the overnight session for U.S. equity futures, as of 6:10 p.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,236.25, up 4 points or 0.12%

  • Dow futures (YM=F): 26,524.00, up 40 points, or 0.15%

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 10,691.5, up 16.25 points, or 0.15%

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JULY 23: People walk along Wall Street near the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on July 23, 2020 in New York City. On Wednesday July 22, the market had its best day in 6 weeks. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

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