Updated with information on earnings from Campbell Soup
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Here are five things you must know for Friday, May 19:
1. -- U.S. stock futures and global shares rose were higher as investors looked to recoup losses from a week that saw volatility rise amid turmoil in the Trump White House.
Global oil prices on Friday were testing one-month highs ahead of next week's OPEC meeting in Vienna. West Texas Intermediate crude futures for June delivery rose 1.26% to $49.97 a barrel while contracts for Brent crude, the global benchmark, traded 1.16% higher to $53.12.
Wall Street snapped back to gains on Thursday, rebounding from its worst losses in eight months a day earlier, as positive earnings from Walmart (WMT) - Get Report helped distract from the brewing trouble in Washington after more details came to light in the investigation over the Trump campaign's ties to Russia.
The S&P 500 rose 0.37% on Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 0.27%, and the Nasdaq added 0.73%. The S&P 500 was less than 50 points from its all-time record close set at the beginning of the week.
The economic calendar in the U.S. on Friday includes the weekly Baker Hughes Rig Count at 1 p.m. EDT.
St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard is scheduled to make a presentation on U.S. economic and monetary policy at Washington University in St. Louis at 9:15 a.m., while San Francisco Fed President John Williams will speak about the view from a policy maker at El Camino High School in San Francisco at 1:40 p.m.
Campbell Soup (CPB) - Get Report earned 59 cents a share on an adjusted basis in the first quarter, below estimates of 64 cents. Revenue of $1.85 billion also came in below forecasts. The company raised its 2017 per-share earnings guidance but trimmed its sales forecast.
2. -- Gap (GPS) - Get Report shares rose more than 4% in after-hours trading on Thursday after the apparel retailer's first-quarter earnings and sales topped Wall Street forecasts.
Gap earned 36 cents a share in the first quarter on revenue of $3.44 billion, topping expectations for earnings of 29 cents a share and revenue of $3.39 billion.
Same-store sales across all the company's brands, including Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic, rose 2%. At Old Navy, comparable store sales climbed 8%, while at Banana Republic and Gap they fell 4%.
The company also reaffirmed its full-year guidance, estimating earnings of $1.95 to $2.05 a share and for same-store sales to be flat or increase 2%.
3. -- Salesforce.com (CRM) - Get Report saw its shares rise 1.9% in premarket trading on Friday after posting better-than-expected adjusted earnings in the first quarter and after it lifted full-year revenue guidance.
The cloud-software company reported adjusted profit of 28 cents a share, 2 cents above forecasts. Deferred revenue rose 26% to $5.04 billion. Salesforce had warned of a steep drop in first-quarter deferred revenue.
First-quarter revenue from sales cloud rose 14.5% $829.6 million.
Salesforce boosted revenue guidance for the fiscal year ending in 2018 to a range of $10.25 billion to $10.3 billion, ahead of previous forecasts of $10.15 billion to $10.2 billion. Salesforce also raised its forecast for full-year profit to between 6 cents and 8 cents a share.
A merger of the two companies would create one of the largest independent power producers in the U.S. Each company has a so-called enterprise value, including debt, of about $10 billion, according to S&P Capital IQ, the Journal noted.
The Texas power companies are in preliminary talks, some of the people told the Journal, and it's far from certain the talks will lead to a deal. If a merger occurs it would be sizable, but if they do, it would be sizable: Each company has a so-called enterprise value, including debt, of about $10 billion, according to S&P Capital IQ.
Dynegy is a wholesale power producer with 50 plants in 12 states around the country. Vistra operates Luminant, which produces and sells power on the open market, and retail-electricity provider TXU Energy. Adding Dynegy's power stations would broaden Vistra's footprint to the Midwest, Northeast and other parts of the country, the Journal noted.
5. -- Activist investor Bill Ackman on Thursday told hedge fund managers that his single biggest mistake with a particularly troubling large investment in Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) was to rely on management at the drug company.
"We don't need to rely on management with the vast majority of our investments to get a good outcome," Ackman told hedge fund managers at the SALT conference at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. "Our biggest mistake at Valeant was that [our investment] was incredibly dependent on management judgment. We made a big mistake."
Ackman said the Valeant investment represented a disproportionately large amount of time and resources and he decided to sell it and realize a large tax loss. The activist accumulated a stake over time and accumulated even more as the drug company's shares dropped significantly. The stake was a big reason why Ackman's fund, Pershing Square Capital Management, reported a loss of 20.5% net of fees for 2015 and a loss of 12.1% after fees for 2016, even as the post-Trump stock market rally helped bolster other Pershing Square investments.
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