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Intel, Gilead, American Express, Wells Fargo - 5 Things You Must Know Friday

Wall Street's focus remains on the stimulus stalemate in Washington; Intel sinks after a surprise drop in data center sales; Gilead Sciences' remdesivir gets FDA approval as a Covid-19 treatment.

Here are five things you must know for Friday, Oct. 23:

1. -- Dow Futures Edge Higher as Focus Remains on Aid Package

Stock futures suggested Wall Street would open higher Friday as investors' focus remains on the diminishing chances that U.S. lawmakers will reach an aid package before Election Day.

Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 104 points, S&P 500 futures gained 9 points but Nasdaq futures rose 12 points.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have been trying to finalize an agreement on details of a nearly $2 trillion stimulus package, though sticking points remain. The Senate is opposed to a package of that size and now some House Democrats, Bloomberg reported, also oppose the idea of a pre-election vote on any bill.

“We continue to be engaged in negotiations, and I am hopeful we will be able to reach an agreement,” Pelosi said at a news conference Thursday. She told MSNBC that it was her "hope" to get a relief package done by Election Day.

President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden clashed Thursday evening in their final debate before the election on Nov. 3. 

Final 2020 Presidential Debate: Biggest Moments From Trump, Biden

 “The final U.S. presidential debate was less chaotic than the first but offered little new information to inform the result for markets,” said Stephen Innes of Axi. “Meanwhile, discussion relevant to the post-election economic outlook was limited, particularly from President Trump.”

Stocks finished higher Thursday, getting a boost from Pelosi's positive comments about the stimulus package and a number of solid earnings reports.

2. -- Intel Sinks After Data Center Sales Drop

Intel  (INTC) - Get Intel Corporation Report was sinking in premarket trading Friday after the giant chipmaker posted a surprise drop in data center sales and issued a weak sales forecast for the fourth quarter.

Intel's third-quarter earnings and sales met Wall Street expectations but its Data Center Group reported a revenue drop of 7% to $5.91 billion, missing forecasts of $6.21 billion.

DCG’s enterprise and government-related sales fell 47% from a year earlier.

"A weaker economy due to Covid-19 impacted DCG's enterprise and government market segment, which was down 47% year over year following two quarters of more than 30% growth," the company said.

"The pandemic also weighed on third-quarter data-centric results in the internet of things group and the memory business," Intel added.

Intel said it expects fourth-quarter revenue of about $17.4 billion, in line with analysts' estimates, but a drop of 14% from a year earlier.

Intel shares declined 9.54% to $48.76 in premarket trading Friday.

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3. -- American Express Reports Earnings

American Express  (AXP) - Get American Express Company Report reported third-quarter earnings of $1.30 a share, below Wall Street estimates of $1.34, but revenue of $8.75 billion topped forecasts.

The credit card and travel services giant noted, however, a steady recovery in current spending volumes as businesses reopen from pandemic lockdowns in key markets around the world.

Earnings also are expected Friday from Bloomin' Brands  (BLMN) - Get Bloomin' Brands Inc. Report, Cleveland-Cliffs  (CLF) - Get Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. Report and Goodyear Tire & Rubber  (GT) - Get The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company Report.

The economic calendar in the U.S. Friday includes the PMI Composite Flash for October at 9:45 a.m. ET.

4. -- Gilead Sciences' Remdesivir Gets FDA Approval as Covid-19 Treatment

Gilead Sciences  (GILD) - Get Gilead Sciences Inc. Report was rising nearly 6% in premarket trading after the Food and Drug Administration cleared the drugmaker's antiviral remdesivir to treat coronavirus patients who require hospitalization.

The drug, which Gilead markets as Velkury, "is now the first and only approved Covid-19 treatment in the U.S.," the company said.

"The drug is now widely available in hospitals across the country, following early investments to rapidly expand manufacturing capacity to increase supply."

The FDA granted the drug emergency-use authorization in May,  allowing hospitals and doctors to use it for patients hospitalized with Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

The drug was administered to President Donald Trump earlier in October when he was diagnosed with Covid-19.

Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg expect remdesivir to record sales of $2.17 billion in 2020.

Gilead shares were up 5.74% to $64.15 in premarket trading.

5. -- Wells Fargo Reportedly Exploring Sale of Asset Management Business

Wells Fargo  (WFC) - Get Wells Fargo & Company Report is exploring a sale of its asset management business, Reuters reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Wells Fargo’s asset management arm, which managed $578 billion as of the end of June, could fetch more than $3 billion in a sale, two of the sources told Reuters.

The San Francisco-based bank has discussed a potential deal with asset management companies and private-equity firms.

CEO Charles Scharf, who joined Wells Fargo last year, said he is targeting $10 billion in savings annually over the long term.

Wells Fargo earlier this month reported a 57% decline in third-quarter earnings.

The stock was up 0.9% to $23.46 in premarket trading Friday.