Here are five things you must know for Friday, November 19:
1. -- Stocks Futures Ease From Record Highs
U.S. equity futures traded mixed Friday, following on from record highs for the S&P 500 and the Dow last night, amid a delay in voting on President Joe Biden's $1.75 trillion social spending bill in the House and renewed concerns for a fourth wave of coronavirus infections in Europe.
An eight hour filibuster from Republican lawmaker Kevin McCarthy delayed a House vote on the bill, which the Congressional Budget Office said would add around $367 billion to the deficit over the next ten years, putting the spending bill in at least some doubt given the Democrats narrow majority in the lower chamber.
Alongside that fiscal doubt, investors were also looking at headlines from Europe, where Austria imposed a national lockdown, set to begin on Monday, after recording more than 14,000 new infections yesterday. That move followed a dire warning from outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who called the Covid situation "dramatic" as infections surge and fatalities rise.
On Wall Street, futures contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average are indicating a 130 point opening slide while those linked to the S&P 500 are priced for a 9 point move to the downside.
Futures tied to the tech-focused Nasdaq Composite are indicating a 55 point gain as benchmark 10-year Treasury note yields edged lower, to 1.558%, in overnight trading.
2. -- Applied Materials Slumps After Supply Chain Hit to Q4 Earnings
Applied Materials (AMAT) - Get Applied Materials, Inc. Report shares slumped lower in pre-market trading after the tech group focused on chipmaking machines posted weaker-than-expected fourth quarter earnings and cautioned that supply chain snarls would hit near-term profits.
Applied Materials, which supplies chipmaking tools to companies such as Intel (INTC) - Get Intel Corporation (INTC) Report, said current quarter sales would likely hit $6.16 billion, shy of analysts' forecasts, with earnings in the range of $1.78 and $1.92 per share.
"We hit the midpoint of our earnings guidance despite larger-than-expected supply chain constraints," CEO Gary Dickerson told investors on a conference call last night. "We expect supply chain headwinds to persist into fiscal 2022 and mitigating them remains our top priority."
Applied Materials shares were marked 5.6% lower in pre-market trading to indicate an opening bell price of $149.80 each.
3. -- Bitcoin Extends Declines As Mt. Gox Payouts Weigh
Bitcoin prices extended declines in overnight trading, taking the weekly slump to around 15%, as investors backed away from the world's biggest cryptocurrency following a court ruling on the collapse of an online exchange in Japan.
Mt. Gox, one of the first crypto exchanges, collapsed in 2014 following a high-profile hack that ultimately affected 24,000 customers and lead to the loss of 850,000 bitcoin - now worth around $51 billion.
Earlier this week, a Tokyo court approved plan that will see Mt. Gox trustee Nobuaki Kobayashi reimburse creditors with around 150,000 bitcoin, which some investors assume will be liquidate into cash.
Bitcoin prices were marked 2.1% lower at $56,884.21 each in overnight trading, the lowest since mid-October and some 18% south of the all-time high it reached earlier this month.
4. -- Palo Alto Networks Tops Q1 Earnings on Cloud Firewall Demand
Palo Alto Networks (PANW) - Get Palo Alto Networks, Inc. Report shares jumped higher in pre-market trading after the cloud security firm posted stronger-than-expected first quarter earnings and boosted its near-term profit outlook.
Palo Alto said adjusted earnings for the three months ending in October were pegged at $1.64 per share, with revenues rising 32% to $1.2 billion, a figure the group expects to rise to 1.285 billion this quarter as demand for its next generation firewall continues to grow as companies move faster towards cloud computing adoption.
"We believe that PANW’s hardware appliances launched late last year are performing well, and that momentum in enterprise refresh activity is continuing," said BMO Capital Markets analyst Keith Bachman. "Further, we think that PANW is winning incremental competitive displacements, helped by the power of PANW’s platform."
Palo Alto shares were marked 2.7% higher in pre-market trading to indicate an opening bell price of $534.11 each.
5. -- Moderna Seeks Full Booster Shot Approval
Moderna (MRNA) - Get Moderna, Inc. Report shares edged higher in pre-market trading ahead of a decision from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on expanding eligibility for booster shots of its Covid vaccine.
Moderna applied to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration earlier this week to allow booster shots of its vaccine for all American adults over the age of 18. At present, only those with high-risk profiles, or those who are immunocompromised, are eligible for the booster shot.
Moderna shares were marked 0.55% higher in pre-market trading to indicate an opening bell price of $252.80 each.