Here are five things you must know for Friday, Nov. 30:
1. -- Stocks Slip With U.S.-China Trade Talks in Focus
U.S. stock futures were lower on Friday, Nov. 30, as investors kept a nervous eye on the start of the G-20 summit in Argentina and prepped for the scheduled showdown between Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jingping that could end or intensify the ongoing trade war between the world's two biggest economies.
Trump told reporters in Washington Thursday that he was "very close" to doing a deal with China, but doesn't know if he wants to, adding to the broader market concern that the two sides were further apart on major trade issues than many had anticipated.
That concern was amplified by the fact that Peter Navarro, a noted hawk on China trade who has clashed with Trump's team in the past, will attend both the G-20 summit and the Saturday dinner that Trump and Xi had scheduled earlier this week.
The 11th-hour addition of Navarro to the Trump side could change the tone and complexion of the talks, particularly because China has insisted on being treated as an equal to the United States if it's going to cede to any major changes that reduces its annual $375 billion trade deficit.
"Beijing wants a deal, just as Washington does. And it is willing to cooperate with Washington in dealing with concerns about trade if they are fair-minded," the state-run China Daily newspaper said Friday. "Should there be any other aspirations, such as taking advantage of the trade spat to throttle Chinese growth, then an agreement is unlikely to be reached."
Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 148 points, futures for the S&P 500 declined 14 points, and Nasdaq futures fell 37.25 points.
Stocks ended modestly lower on Thursday, Nov. 29, following the prior session's Federal Reserve-fueled rally as investors awaited developments from the Trump/Xi summit.
The economic calendar in the U.S. Friday includes Chicago PMI for November at 9:45 a.m. ET.
2. -- Palo Alto Networks Rises After Profit, Outlook Top Estimates
Cybersecurity company Palo Alto Networks Inc. (PANW - Get Report) rose 0.8% in premarket trading Friday after posting fiscal first-quarter adjusted earnings of $1.17 a share, beating estimates of $1.05, and revenue of $656 million, higher than estimates of $632.1 million.
Palo Alto's closely watched calculated billings totaled $758.5 million, up 27% from a year earlier, and slightly above a $756 million consensus.
The company's "product" sales, which are driven in large part by sales of its next-generation firewall appliances, rose 30% to $240.5 million, topping estimates of $221 million. Software subscription revenue, which covers offerings that handle tasks such as detecting malware, protecting endpoint devices, filtering web URLs and securing the data handled by cloud apps, rose 37% to $231.3 million. Support services revenue rose 24% to $184.2 million.
Palo Alto said it expects adjusted earnings of $1.20 to $1.22 a share in its fiscal second quarter on revenue of $675 million to $685 million. Wall Street expects earnings of $1.20 a share on revenue of $669 million.
"Cybersecurity is a secular need, especially as more information and applications move to the cloud, and this company is the clear-cut best provider in the space'" wrote Jim Cramer and the Action Alerts PLUS team, which holds shares of Palo Alto in the charitable trust portfolio.
3. -- VMware Surges on Cloud Strength
VMware Inc. (VMW - Get Report) surged 7.1% in premarket trading Friday after the software company controlled by Dell Technologies Inc. (DVMT) posted stronger-than-expected third-quarter sales in its cloud computing business.
VMware said sales in its fiscal third quarter rose 14% to $2.2 billion and topped Wall Street forecasts as license revenue jumped 17% to $884 million. Net income for the quarter fell 15.4% to $334 million, partly from a $161 million charge based on its investment in Pivotal Software.
"Q3 was another strong quarter, and we're pleased with our results, which continue to be driven by broad-based strength across our diverse product portfolio and in all three geographies," said CEO Pat Gelsinger. "Our successful annual VMworld events featured many new product, partnership and acquisition announcements-demonstrating continued innovation and investment in our strategy for the future."
VMware also lifted its earnings and revenue guidance for the full year.
4. -- Floyd Mayweather, DJ Khaled Settle SEC Charges Over ICOs
Professional boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. and music producer DJ Khaled settled charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission related to their promotions of so-called initial coin offerings.
Mayweather promoted the offerings, including one from Centra Tech, on his Instagram and Twitter accounts, according to a press release from the SEC.
The actions came after the SEC warned in 2017 that people promoting the cryptocurrency offerings must comply with federal securities laws. The SEC is pursuing a civil action against Centra's founders, alleging the offering, which raised $32 million, was fraudulent.
Mayweather agreed to disgorge $300,000 in payments received to promote three ICOs as well as a $300,000 penalty, and $14,775 in prejudgment interest.
Khaled will pay $50,000 in disgorgement, a $100,000 penalty, and $2,725 in prejudgment interest.