BY THE NUMBERS
Dow futures pointed to a gain at Wednesday's open after a rip-roaring rally to record highs this week took a pause. The Dow fell 167 points, or 0.6%, on Tuesday, one day after its first closing record high since February. The S&P 500, which also closed at a record the previous session, dropped 0.5%. The Nasdaq fell 0.2%, putting the tech-heavy index about 1.3% from its record high close. (CNBC)
* Bitcoin shoots past $18,000 for the first time since December 2017 (CNBC)
The 7% surge in Dow component Boeing (BA) gave the 30-stock average another leg up in the premarket. The embattled aircraft maker Wednesday morning received approval from the FAA to put its 737 Max fleet back in service. The move comes after congressional hearings on the deadly crashes, criticism of the FAA and Boeing, and ultimately the firing of Boeing's CEO. (CNBC)
Shares of Target (TGT) jumped 2.8% in the premarket after the retailer Wednesday reported adjusted per-share third-quarter earnings of $2.79, more than a dollar better than estimates. Total revenue grew 21% to $22.63 billion and same-store sales rose 20.7%. Both exceeded estimates. (CNBC)
* Target CEO Brian Cornell says retailer is benefiting from its ‘one-stop solution’ advantage (CNBC)
Shares of Lowe's (LOW) sank 6.4% in the premarket after the home improvement chain reported adjusted third-quarter earnings of $1.98 per share, slightly lower than estimates, and a dimmer profit outlook. Revenue rose 28% to $22.31 billion and same-store sales jumped 30.1%. Both topped expectations.
On today's economic calendar, the government reported that housing starts rose nearly 5% to a better-than-expected total of 1.53 million units in October. Building permits were flat last month at nearly 1.55 million. Meanwhile, L Brands (LB) and Nvidia (NVDA) are among the handful of companies scheduled to report earnings after today's closing bell. (CNBC)
* Mortgage demand from homebuyers surges back after pausing around the election (CNBC)
IN THE NEWS TODAY
Shares of Pfizer and BioNTech rose in the premarket after they announced Wednesday that final data analysis showed their Covid-19 vaccine was 95% effective. That's up from the more than 90% efficacy based on interim analysis released Nov. 9. Pfizer plans to submit an application to the FDA for emergency use authorization "within days." (CNBC)
* FDA said to plan early December advisory meetings to discuss Covid-19 vaccines (CNBC)
* Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine maker identifies ‘big challenges’ to mass production (CNBC)
The FDA has approved for emergency use the first Covid test that can be conducted entirely at home. The single-use prescription test from privately held Lucira Health provides results within 30 minutes. Lucira puts the cost per test at around $50, saying it's expected to be available nationally by early spring. (CNBC)
With Thanksgiving coming up next week, public health officials are warning about the risk of a holiday-fueled surge in coronavirus spread. The seven-day average of daily new U.S. cases rose to 157,318, another record high. As of Tuesday, a record 76,823 people were hospitalized with Covid in the U.S. (AP)
Sen. Chuck Grassley, 87, has tested positive for coronavirus. He tweeted he's "feeling good." The Iowa Republican becomes the sixth senator to test positive for Covid-19. At least three House members have tested positive this month. (CNBC)
President Donald Trump announced on Twitter that he has "terminated" top U.S. cybersecurity official Christopher Krebs. Trump said that Krebs gave a "highly inaccurate" statement about the security of the 2020 presidential election. That tweet was labeled as disputed. (CNBC)
* Trump campaign loses Pennsylvania Supreme Court case on Philadelphia vote count observers (CNBC)
* Lawyer blasts Trump attorney Giuliani for seeking to toss Pa. votes to reverse Biden win (CNBC)
Joe Biden received a national security briefing from a dozen experts outside of government, highlighting President Donald Trump's refusal to afford Biden the classified intelligence and threat briefings that are typically given to presidents-elect. (CNBC)
Apple (AAPL) will cut its App Store commission rate to 15% for software developers with less than $1 million in annual net sales. Apple currently takes a 30% commission from the total price of paid apps and in-app purchases from its App Store. (CNBC)
STOCKS TO WATCH
Tesla (TSLA) was upgraded to "overweight" from "equal-weight" at Morgan Stanley, which also raised the price target to $540 per share from $360. Morgan Stanley said Tesla is making a shift toward generating high margin recurring software and services revenue. Tesla closed Tuesday at $441 per share.
China-based electric vehicle maker Nio (NIO) reported its sales more than doubled to $650 million during its latest quarter, beating analyst forecasts.
Unilever (UN, UL) said it expects sales of plant-based meat and dairy products to reach about $1.2 billion annually within the next five to seven years. Achieving that goal would represent a quintupling of current plant-based sales for the European consumer products giant.
Goldman Sachs (GS) is planning a second round of job cuts, according to multiple reports. That would be over and above the roughly 400 jobs it began eliminating in September. Bloomberg reports that Goldman will implement more staff reductions in the coming year, possibly leading to significant job cuts.
Reynolds Consumer Products (REYN) shares rose in the premarket following news that CEO Lance Mitchell bought 16,500 shares worth about $429,000. Reynolds is the company behind Hefty garbage bags, Reynolds Wrap Aluminum foil and other consumer products.
La-Z-Boy (LZB) reported adjusted quarterly earnings of 82 cents per share, well above the 50 cent consensus estimate, with the furniture maker's revenue also above Wall Street forecasts. Profit margins increased, and the company said current order levels are resulting in an unprecedented backlog.
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) announced a secondary stock offering of 40 million shares at $20.80 each. The cruise line operator plans to use the money for general corporate purposes, as it tries to navigate its way through a cruise industry shutdown.
Polaris (PII) Chief Executive Officer Scott Wine resigned to become CEO of CNH Industrial, the company behind Case and New Holland agricultural equipment. The recreational vehicle maker said it would immediately begin a search for Wine's successor.