Hong Kong, Alibaba and Nvidia - 5 Things You Must Know Friday

Dow futures rebound as China announces plans to impose new national security laws on Hong Kong. Alibaba reports earnings.
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Here are five things you must know for Friday, May 22:

1. -- Stock Futures Mixed as China Seeks to Tighten Grip on Hong Kong

Stock futures were mixed Friday as tensions heated up between Washington and Beijing after China announced plans to impose new national security laws on Hong Kong.

Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 48 points, futures for the S&P 500 were down 5 points and Nasdaq futures slipped 3 points.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong declined 5% Friday and fears of unrest were heightened after Beijing introduced measures that would give China more control over security in the semi-autonomous region. Worries also rose over Hong Kong's status as a global financial center.

“Traders around the world are playing the waiting game to see details of the new Hong Kong law to gauge how severe the terms are,” said Stephen Innes of AxiCorp.

President Donald Trump said the details of China's plan aren't yet known but "if it happens we’ll address that issue very strongly.” 

Stocks finished lower Thursday after Trump toughened his stance on China and criticized Chinese President Xi Jinping in a series of tweets, saying a "disinformation and propaganda attack on the United States and Europe” by China "all comes from the top."

Trump's tweets followed passage of a bill by the U.S. Senate Wednesday that could bar some Chinese companies from listing on U.S. stock exchanges.

2. -- Alibaba, Deere and Foot Locker Report Earnings

Online e-commerce giant Alibaba  (BABA) - Get Report reported better-than-expected fiscal fourth-quarter earnings before the bell. 

Alibaba reported adjusted earnings of $1.30 a share, up from $1.28 a year earlier. Revenue grew 22% to $16.14 billion. Wall Street expected earnings of 85 cents on revenue of $15.1 billion. 

Deere  (DE) - Get Report and Foot Locker  (FL) - Get Report also reported earnings on Friday.

The economic calendar Friday includes the Baker-Hughes Rig Count at 1 p.m. ET.

3. -- Nvidia's Beat Driven by 80% Surge in Data Center Revenue

Nvidia  (NVDA) - Get Report shares were up slightly in premarket trading Friday after the chipmaker posted fiscal first-quarter earnings and sales that topped analysts' estimates.

Earnings in the quarter were $1.80 a share on revenue of $3.08 billion, an increase of 39% from a year earlier. Analysts were expecting Nvidia to report earnings of $1.68 a share on revenue of $2.98 billion.

The top-line beat was driven by record revenue from Nvidia's data center segment, which saw sales rise 80% year over year to $1.14 billion. Gaming revenue jumped 27% and professional visualization revenue rose 15%.

Nvidia said it expects fiscal second-quarter revenue of $3.65 billion, which includes the the company's acquisition in April of Mellanox.

"This was a solid quarter that supports our view that Nvidia is exposed to all the right end markets," said Jim Cramer and the Action Alerts PLUS team, which holds Nvidia in its portfolio. "While the data center and gaming segments may be front and center, we agree with management that ultimately every machine that moves someday will have autonomous capabilities and as a result maintain the view that the nascent automotive segment has tremendous potential that members must be cognizant of, even if it does yet move the needle."

4. -- Abbott: Study Data Points to High Accuracy for Rapid Covid-19 Test

Abbott Laboratories  (ABT) - Get Report said an ongoing multi-site clinical study indicated its ID NOW Covid-19 rapid test was accurate in detecting the virus nearly 95% of the time and negative results were correctly given 98.6% of the time.

Data from the study, as well as two other Abbott-sponsored studies, suggests "ID NOW performs best in patients tested earlier post symptom onset, when they are most likely to go for care," Abbott said in a statement.

Shares of Abbott declined last week 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 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, including the coronavirus task force.

5. -- Palo Alto Networks Beats Earnings Estimates

Shares of Palo Alto Networks  (PANW) - Get Report were rising sharply Friday after the cybersecurity company posted fiscal third-quarter earnings and revenue that beat Wall Street forecasts.

Adjusted earnings in the period were $1.17 a share on revenue of $869.4 million. Palo Alto Networks had been expected by analysts to report profit of 94 cents a share,on sales of $831.1 million.

"The world will likely be in a state of transition over the next 12 to 18 months due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Nikesh Arora, chairman and CEO of Palo Alto Networks. “We believe this will prompt key trends to accelerate, including remote working models, shift to the cloud, and focus on AI/ML and automation to drive effective cybersecurity outcomes," he added.

For its fiscal fourth quarter, the company forecast revenue in the range of $915 million to $925 million and non-GAAP earnings of between $1.37 to $1.40.

The stock rose 6.7% to $244.80.

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