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Nvidia, Cisco, Deere, Oil In Focus; Stock Futures Higher - 5 Things You Must Know

Stocks edge higher on consumer growth bets; Nvidia surges on robust chip outlook; Cisco slumps on supply-chain hit to current quarter sales, oil extends declines amid reports of coordinated crude release and Deere reaches contract agreement to end six-week strike.

Here are five things you must know for Wednesday, November 17:

1. -- Stocks Futures Higher As Growth Bets Offset Inflation Worries

U.S. equity futures moved higher Thursday, while oil prices slumped and Treasury bond yields eased, as markets looked away from inflation pressures and into the underlying strength of the American consumer heading into the fast-approaching holiday season.

Stronger-than-expected October retail sales, solid January-quarter outlooks from giants such as Walmart  (WMT) - Get Walmart Inc. Report, Target  (TGT) - Get Target Corporation Report and Home Depot  (HD) - Get Home Depot, Inc. (HD) Report and consistently improving labor market data suggest robust holiday spending should drive economic growth over the fourth quarter, lending credence to both the strength of the quarterly earnings season and the near record-high levels for U.S. stocks.

Reports suggesting a coordinated release of petroleum reserves by the U.S. and China also eased some near-term inflation worries, as did a pullback in benchmark Treasury note yields and an easing of the dollar on global foreign exchange markets. 

Futures contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average are indicating a 77 point opening gain while those linked to the S&P 500 are priced for a 16 point move to the upside.

Futures tied to the tech-focused Nasdaq Composite are indicating a 95 point gain as benchmark 10-year Treasury note yields edged lower, to 1.601%, in overnight trading.

2. -- Nvidia Surges After Q3 Earnings Beat, Robust Guidance

Nvidia  (NVDA) - Get NVIDIA Corporation Report shares surged higher in pre-market trading after the chipmaker posted stronger-than-expected third quarter earnings and gave an upbeat near-term outlook. 

Nvidia beat the Street by 6 cents with a third quarter bottom line of $1.17 per share, powered by $7.1 billion in overall revenues, with stronger-than-expected tallies for both its gaming and data center divisions. Looking into the final months of the year, Nvidia forecast revenues in the range of $7.2 billion, while adding that its new Omniverse set of augmented reality software tools -- which support designers in the burgeoning 'metaverse' -- will eventually draw $1,000 a year from 40 million creators. 

"But don't forget that intelligent use or intelligent users that have been connected through Omniverse will likely be much larger as digital buyers than humans," said CEO Jensen Huang. "So I mentioned 40 million, but there are 100 million cars. And these 100 million cars will have the capability to have something like in Omniverse Avatar and so those 100 million cars could be $1,000 per car per year."

Nvidia shares were marked 6.17% higher in pre-market trading to indicate an opening bell price of $310.65 each.

3. -- Cisco Slumps After Q1 Revenue Miss, Muted Forecast 

Cisco Systems  (CSCO) - Get Cisco Systems, Inc. Report shares slumped lower in pre-market trading after posting weaker-than-expected first quarter sales and cautioning on supply chain hits to its hardware business in the months ahead.

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Cisco said revenues for the three months ending in October, its fiscal first quarter, came in at $12.9 billion, just shy of Street forecasts, while adding that current quarter sales will likely only grow between 4.5% and 6.5% as a result of supply chain shortages and delivery delays. 

While our revenue growth was solid, it was impacted by the supply constraints which are affecting our technology peers and nearly every other industry," said CEO Chuck Robbins. "We have been taking multiple steps to mitigate the supply shortages and deliver products to our customers ... (and) constantly optimizing our build and delivery plans."

Cisco shares were marked 6.6% lower in pre-market trading to indicate an opening bell price of $53.00 each.

4. -- Oil Prices Ease Amid Reports of Coordinated Crude Reserve Release 

Global oil prices extended declines following reports that U.S. President Joe Biden has asked other major world leaders to authorize the release of petroleum reserves to boost global supplies and offset the impact of OPEC production cuts.

The request comes amid near-record gas prices in the United States and an ongoing energy crunch in China that has hit factory output and added new pressures to global supply chains. OPEC, in the meantime, has stuck to its plans for only a modest paring of production cuts, which have been in place for much of the past five years. 

The U.S. lead a coordinated release of petroleum reserves in 2011, but the  addition of China in the current effort -- which follows a virtual summit between Biden and President Xi Jinping earlier this week -- would be unprecedented.

WTI futures for December delivery were marked 45 cents lower on the session at $77.91 each while Brent crude contracts for January, the global benchmark, fell 17 cents to $80.11 per barrel. 

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5. -- Deere Reaches Agreement With Striking UAW Members 

Deer & Co.  (DE) - Get Deere & Company Report shares were little-changed in pre-market trading following an agreement with United Auto Workers members to end a six-week strike linked to pay and benefit demands.

UAW members at facilities in Illinois, Iowa and Kansas voted 61% to 39% in favor of the new agreement, with Deere saying operations were expected to resume immediately 

Deere said it made "modest modifications" to its early November proposal -- rejected by the UAW -- which called for wage increases, improved healthcare benefits, pension boosts and a ratification bonus of $8,500.

Deere shares were marked 0.05% higher in pre-market trading to indicate an opening bell price of $353.60 each.