Abbott, Taiwan Semi, Nike, Retail Sales - 5 Things You Must Know Friday

Stock futures turn lower; retail sales and consumer sentiment data to be released; FDA probes the accuracy of Abbott's rapid covid-19 test.
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Here are five things you must know for Friday, May 15:

1. -- Stock Futures Turn Lower

Stock futures turned lower Friday as investors weighed the reopening of the U.S. economy against a rise in coronavirus cases in states that have moved to end their lockdowns.

A flare-up in tensions between the U.S. and China, the world’s largest economies, also was being monitored by Wall Street. Attention also will be paid later Friday to U.S. retail sales data and consumer sentiment.

Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 75 points, futures for the S&P 500 slipped 9 points and Nasdaq futures were down 11 points.

Texas experienced its deadliest day from the coronavirus on Thursday, two weeks after the state's reopening. The state plans to announce more business reopenings on Monday.

Worries over U.S.-China tensions were renewed after President Donald Trump said he didn't want to talk to his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping "right now." Trump has sought to blame China for the coronavirus pandemic.

Asian shares finished Friday's session mixed after China’s industrial output in April expanded for the first time in 2020, rising 3.9% and beating expectations.

Stocks in the U.S. staged a dramatic rebound Thursday to end higher as bank stocks rose and energy shares rallied after crude oil prices jumped nearly 10%.

The turnaround in equities came despite another 3 million Americans filing for unemployment benefits in the latest week and an increase in tensions between Washington and Beijing.

The Dow rose 377 points, or 1.6%, to close at 23,625; it had been down as much as 460 points during Thursday's session.

2. -- Retail Sales and Consumer Sentiment on Friday's Calendar

The economic calendar Friday includes Retail Sales for April at 8:30 a.m. ET, the Empire State Manufacturing Survey for May at 8:30 a.m., Industrial Production for April at 9:15 a.m. and Consumer Sentiment for May at 10 a.m. 

Earnings reports are expected Friday from VF Corp.  (VFC) - Get Report, DraftKings  (DKNG) - Get Report and JD.com  (JD) - Get Report.

3. -- FDA Investigates Accuracy of Abbott's Covid-19 Test

Shares of Abbott Laboratories ABT declined in premarket trading Friday after the Food and Drug Administration said it was investigating preliminary data that found the company's rapid test could miss covid-19 cases.

The stock fell 2.96% to $89.06.

The analysis found that Abbott’s ID Now missed at least a third of positive cases detected with a rival test and much as 48% when using the currently recommended dry nasal swabs.

The test is used daily at the White House to test President Trump and other members of his staff.

Abbott rejected the findings, saying the researchers used the test “in ways that it was not designed to be used.”

The FDA warning late Thursday came a day after researchers at New York University reported the preliminary test results. The research hasn't been peer-reviewed or published in a medical journal and was based on about 100 patients, according to the Associated Press.

4. -- Taiwan Semiconductor to Build Chip Plant in Arizona

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing  (TSM) - Get Report, the world's biggest chip contract manufacturer, plans to build a major new plant in Arizona.

The company Friday it would spend $12 billion to build the chip factory. Construction will begin next year with production targeted for 2024, Taiwan Semiconductor said.

The project, the company said, has the support of the federal government and the state of Arizona. 

The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news, noted how the Trump administration has grown concerned about the country's heavy reliance on Taiwan, China and South Korea to produce microelectronics and other key technologies.

5. -- Nike Begins Reopening Stores Outside Asia

Nike  (NKE) - Get Report said it has reopened a small number of stores in the U.S., Germany, France, the Netherlands and Brazil, many with reduced hours.

"We are operating in a dynamic environment which will continue to evolve," the athletic apparel maker said in a statement. "Furthermore, the full extent of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Nike's operational and financial performance remains uncertain and will depend on many factors outside of Nike's control. 

Nike said more than 95% of its stores in China and South Korea were open, though physical store traffic "remains below prior year levels, this is largely offset by higher conversion rates and continued strong digital demand."