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Moderna, NIO, Disney and eBay - 5 Things You Must Know Thursday

Stock futures edge higher Thursday; Walt Disney reports earnings; NIO's loss narrows; Moderna rises as FDA set to clear third COVID shot.

Here are five things you must know for Thursday, Aug. 12:

1. -- Stock Futures Edge Higher

Stock futures rose slightly Thursday as investors contended with increased risks from the spread of the delta virus variant, uncertainty over the Federal Reserve's stimulus tapering plans and recent regulatory crackdowns in China.

Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 37 points, S&P 500 futures gained 2 points and Nasdaq futures were up 6 points. 

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury dipped Thursday to 1.357%.

The Dow and the S&P 500 set record closing highs Wednesday after data showed U.S. inflation moderated slightly in July, suggesting to investors the Fed likely will refrain from pulling back on economic support anytime soon.

However, Kansas City Fed President Esther George said it was time for the central bank to end its bond-buying program. The Fed has been buying $120 billion a month in Treasury, agency and mortgage bonds to keep interest rates low and support the economy during the pandemic.

“Today’s tight economy ... certainly does not call for a tight monetary policy, but it does signal that the time has come to dial back the settings,” George said Wednesday during a virtual seminar organized by the National Association for Business Economics.

George noted the spread of the highly contagious COVID-19 delta variant poses a threat the recovery of the U.S. economy, saying the virus could lead to renewed restrictions and make consumers more cautious.

Meanwhile, stocks in Asia fell Thursday as China widened its regulatory crackdown on businesses. Reports said the next target appeared to be insurance technology platforms. China also is struggling with containing fresh COVID outbreaks.

2. -- Thursday's Calendar: Walt Disney Earnings and Jobless Claims

The economic calendar in the U.S. Thursday includes weekly Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m. ET and the Producer Price Index (Final Demand) for July at 8:30 a.m.

Earnings reports are expected Thursday from Walt Disney  (DIS) - Get Walt Disney Company Report, Airbnb  (ABNB) - Get Airbnb Report, DoorDash  (DASH) - Get DoorDash Report, Baidu  (BIDU) - Get Baidu, Inc. Sponsored ADR Class A Report, Palantir Technologies  (PLTR) - Get Palantir Technologies Report, SoFi Technologies  (SOFI) - Get SOFI TECHNOLOGIES INC Report, ContextLogic  (WISH) - Get ContextLogic Inc. Report and Dillard's  (DDS) - Get Dillard's, Inc. Class A Report.

3. -- NIO Rises After Narrower Loss and Revenue Surge

U.S.-listed shares of NIO  (NIO) - Get NIO Inc. Sponsored ADR Class A Report were rising early Thursday after the Chinese electric vehicle startup reported a narrower second-quarter loss and revenue surged 127% to $1.31 billion.

American depositary receipts of NIO rose 1.64% to $44.69.

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NIO delivered 21,896 vehicles during the second quarter, a record-high for quarterly deliveries. The company said it expects to deliver between 23,000 and 25,000 vehicles in the third quarter, up 88.4% to 104.8% from a year earlier.

Revenue in the third quarter was forecast at between $1.38 billion to $1.49 billion.

“While the global supply chain still faces uncertainties, we have been working closely with our partners to improve the overall supply-chain production capacity,” said founder and CEO William Bin Li.

“Encouraged by the growing user demand, we remain committed to further expanding our power network, increasing our service and sales coverage, and more importantly, accelerating our product and technology development,” he said.

The CEO also said NIO would enter the mass market through a new, lower-priced brand.

4. -- Moderna Rises as FDA Set to Clear Third COVID Shot for People With Weak Immune Systems

Moderna  (MRNA) - Get Moderna, Inc. Report shares were rising almost 2% in premarket trading following reports that said the Food and Drug Administration would authorize a third shot of coronavirus vaccine as soon as Thursday for certain people with weakened immune systems.

The decision to expand the emergency use of the vaccines from Moderna and the Pfizer  (PFE) - Get Pfizer Inc. Report and BioNTech  (BNTX) - Get BioNTech SE Sponsored ADR Report partnership is meant to help those patients with immune deficiencies who are considered most likely to benefit from an additional shot, The New York Times reported. 

Moderna was recovering from a tumble that sent the stock lower by nearly 16% on Wednesday as investors and analysts questioned its meteoric rise this year. The stock has gained almost 269%. Moderna joined the S&P 500 in July.

Last week, Moderna posted stronger-than-expected second-quarter earnings and boosted its forecast for 2021 vaccine sales to around $20 billion.

Jim Cramer Explains How Moderna Stock Trades

5. -- EBay Falls as Forecast Misses Estimates

EBay  (EBAY) - Get eBay Inc. Report shares were nearly 2% in premarket trading Thursday after the e-commerce and auction company forecast revenue for the third quarter below analysts' estimates.

EBay said it expects revenue of between $2.42 billion to $2.47 billion in the third quarter and adjusted earnings of 86 cents to 90 cents a share.

Analysts expect sales of $2.9 billion and earnings of 92 cents a share.

For the second quarter, eBay posted adjusted profit of 99 cents on net revenue of $2.67 billion. The results topped analysts' estimates.