Nvidia, Applied Materials, SpaceX and PG&E - 5 Things You Must Know

Here are five things you must know for Friday, Nov. 16:

1. -- Stocks Fall on Chip Sector Weakness

U.S. stock futures traded lower on Friday, Nov. 16, with investors rattled by weakness in the chip sector following disappointing third-quarter earnings from Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) .

Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 147 points, futures for the S&P 500 were down 18.75 points, and Nasdaq futures fell 83.50 points.

Nvidia shares plunged 18% in premarket trading on Friday, and dragged its Asian peers in the sector lower.

Broader investor sentiment, meanwhile, was blunted by conflicting reports over what, if any, progress has been made in the stalled U.S.-China trade talks, with the office of Trade Secretary Robert Lighthizer denying a Financial Times report that said the next round of tariffs on China-made goods was "on hold" ahead of talks between Donald Trump and China's Xi Jinping later this month at the G-20 Summit in Argentina.

The economic calendar in the U.S. Friday includes Industrial Production for October at 9:15 a.m. ET.

Earnings are expected Friday from Rockwell Collins Inc. (COL) . 

2. -- Nvidia Has an Inventory Overhang

Shares of Nvidia tumbled after the chipmaker's third-quarter adjusted earnings and revenue missed estimates and the company issued weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter guidance.

Adjusted earnings were $1.84 a share, below analysts expectations of $1.93, on revenue of $3.18 billion, compared with expectations of $3.24 billion. 

Nvidia said it expects fiscal fourth-quarter revenue of $2.65 billion to $2.75 billion, well below Wall Street's estimate of $3.4 billion. CEO Jensen Huang said Nvidia had too much inventory, hurting quarterly results. "Our near-term results reflect excess channel inventory post the crypto-currency boom, which will be corrected," Huang said.

TheStreet's Eric Jhonsa noted that Nvidia's shipments of its mid-range, Pascal-architecture, gaming graphics processing units were hurt badly by the inventory overhang, as cryptocurrency mining-related demand for the products collapsed and gamer demand didn't grow fast enough to pick up the slack as graphics card prices remained elevated.

3. -- Applied Materials Sinks on Weak Guidance

The semiconductor sector took another hit after Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT) , the chip equipment giant, reported disappointing fiscal fourth-quarter earnings and forward guidance and the stock slumped more than 9% in premarket trading.

For the fiscal fourth quarter ended Oct. 28, the company posted revenue of $4.01 billion and profit of 89 cents a share, vs. analysts' estimates of revenue of $4 billion and earnings of 92 cents. 

For the first quarter of fiscal 2019, Applied Materials said it expects net sales of $3.56 billion to $3.86 billion, and adjusted earnings in the range of 75 cents to 83 cents. Analysts had forecast revenue of #3.94 billion and profit of 92 cents.

 "In fiscal 2018, each of Applied's major businesses delivered double-digit growth despite challenging conditions in the second half of the year," said Gary Dickerson, Applied Materials' president and CEO, in a press release. "While near-term market headwinds remain, overall industry spending remains robust, and we are focused on positioning Applied Materials for the long term, expanding our role in the A.I.-Big Data era and winning the major technology inflections ahead."

4. -- SpaceX Gets FCC OK to Deploy 7,500 Satellites

Elon Musk's SpaceX won permission from the Federal Communications Commission to operate more than 7,500 satellites, boosting the company's plan to offer broadband internet service, the Los Angeles Times reported.

CEO Elon Musk, who also serves as chief of Tesla Inc. (TSLA) , has said the proposed satellite constellation could provide cheaper internet access, especially in more rural areas that are hard to service through land-based networks.

In its proposal, SpaceX said it plans to launch 7,518 satellites that would operate at altitudes ranging from 205 to 215 miles above the Earth. Those satellites would use frequencies in what is known as the V-band to transmit data back to Earth, according to the Los Angeles Times. SpaceX so far has launches just two demonstration satellites.

5. -- PG&E Soars on Report Regulator Doesn't Want Bankruptcy

Shares of PG&E Corp. (PCG) were jumping more than 50% in premarket trading after Bloomberg reported that a California Public Utilities Commission said he couldn't imagine allowing the state's largest utility to go into bankruptcy as it faces billions of dollars in potential liability from deadly wildfires.

"It's not good policy to have utilities unable to finance the services and infrastructure the state of California needs," PUC President Michael Picker said in an interview with Bloomberg. "They have to have stability and economic support to get the dollars they need right now."

PG&E shares had plunged 64% since Nov. 7, amid fears that it would be held liable for a wildfire that has killed 63 people, destroyed thousands of homes and burned more than 140,000 acres.

 

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