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Stock futures edged higher on Wednesday, Sept. 6, after a steep decline a day earlier, though escalating tensions with North Korea kept a cap on any big rebound.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 0.19%, S&P 500 futures gained 0.14%, and Nasdaq futures added 0.25%.
Investors returned from the long Labor Day weekend in a bearish mood on Tuesday, Sept. 5. New developments in the North Korea-U.S. conflict and a string of big-industry deals sent the Dow tumbling more than 200 points. The Volatility Index, otherwise known as the fear index, spiked more than 38% to 14 by Tuesday afternoon. That was its largest daily increase since Aug. 10.
The threat of military action from North Korea spiked over the weekend break after the ready-to-strike authoritarian nation successfully conducted its sixth nuclear test on Sunday, Sept. 3. South Korea's defense ministry said that North Korea is preparing the launch of another intercontinental ballistic missile, one that could be fitted with a nuclear warhead. North Korea launched its first two ICBM tests in July.
The threat of conflict with North Korea dominated market action at the beginning of August after President Donald Trump warned of severe retribution should the authoritarian state proceed with any more missile tests or threats. Trump said that further threats would be met with "fire and fury like the world has never seen."
Hurricane Irma also kept a heavy cloud over Wall Street. The category 5 storm made landfall in the Caribbean earlier Wednesday and has the potential to reach Florida by the weekend. A state of emergency has been declared in Florida and Puerto Rico.
Irma could be only the fourth category 5 hurricane to hit the U.S. mainland since the early 1930s. The last category 5 storm -- Hurricane Andrew in 1992 -- caused about $50 billion in damage in 2017 dollar terms. The latest weather threat has forced cruiseliners such as Carnival Corp. (CCL) - Get Report and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NCLH) - Get Report to cancel or alter a number of their trips. Insurers such as Travelers Cos. (TRV) - Get Report , Allstate Corp. (ALL) - Get Report , and Progressive Corp. (PGR) - Get Report were also on watch.
Newell Brands Inc. (NWL) - Get Report declined by 5.5% in premarket trading after cutting profit forecasts as it accounts for the effects of Hurricane Harvey on its resin supplier facilities in Texas and Louisiana. Many of its facilities in the region have declared force majeure and a number are still not operational more than a week after the worst of the storm. Newell anticipates profit of $2.95 to $3.05 a share, down from previous guidance of $3 to $3.20.
Shares of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Inc. (HPE) - Get Report moved higher by 2.2% on Wednesday following fiscal third-quarter earnings and sales that were stronger than expected. The technology solutions company posted adjusted earnings in the quarter of 30 cents a share on revenue of $8.21 billion. Wall Street was expecting profit of 26 cents a share on revenue of $7.5 billion.
Sales of HPE's enterprise group, which contains servers and storage and accounts for the bulk of revenue, rose 3% to $6.8 billion. Server revenue dropped 1%, but storage gained 11%. Revenue from HPE's networking products gained 16% and the technology services business rose 1%.
- Hewlett Packard Enterprise Jumps After-Hours on Q3 Earnings Beat
- HP Enterprise's Earnings Were Encouraging, but It Still Has Much to Prove
Trivago NV (TRVG) - Get Report shares staggered 25% lower on Wednesday after the hotel search engine slashed its third-quarter and full-year guidance. The company now anticipates full-year sales growth of roughly 40%. Trivago said in a statement that it has "algorithmically pulled back our performance marketing activities more than previously anticipated, which has resulted in a further slowdown in traffic and revenue growth from those channels."
United Continental Holdings Inc. (UAL) - Get Report declined 3% on Wednesday after reducing a key revenue metric for its third quarter as it realizes the fallout from Hurricane Harvey and higher fuel expenses. For the third quarter, the airline anticipates passenger revenue per available seat mile to drop between 3% and 5%, worse than a previous range of down 1% to up 1%. Forecasts for fuel prices were raised to $1.72 to $1.77 per gallon, up from a previous $1.56 to $1.61.
Kohl's Corp. (KSS) - Get Report added 1.5% in premarket trading after announcing that it will fit a number of its stores with a dedicated Amazon display. The Amazon smart home experience will be fitted into 10 stores in L.A. and Chicago beginning in October. Customers will be able to purchase Amazon products and smart home tech.
The U.S. trade deficit widened in July, though not at the pace anticipated. The deficit as of July came in at $43.7 billion from $43.5 billion in June. Economists expected the deficit to widen to $44.6 billion. Exports fell by 0.3%, while imports declined 0.2%.
The economic calendar in the U.S. on Wednesday also includes the ISM Non-Manufacturing Index for August at 10 a.m. ET, and the Federal Reserve's "Beige Book" of economic conditions at 2 p.m.
Updated from 7:44 a.m. ET, Sept. 6.
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