Here are five things you must know for Friday, Aug. 16:
1. -- Stock Futures Point to a Wall Street Rally
U.S. stock futures were rising solidly on Friday and shares in Asian and Europe gained amid hopes the U.S. and China could strike a trade deal.
Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 234 points, futures for the S&P 500 were up 27.15 points, and Nasdaq futures rose 95.75 points.
Stocks ended mixed on Thursday, a wild day of trading after strong U.S. retail sales and an earnings beat from Walmart (WMT) overshadowed trade uncertainty and falling bond rates. The Dow rose 100 points, or 0.39%, to 25,579 and the S&P 500 advanced 0.25%. The Nasdaq dropped 0.09%, pulled down by Cisco Systems (CSCO) , which was the leading laggard on all three stock indexes.
Separately, the London Stock Exchange resumed trading Friday after a "services issue" delayed trading in blue-chip companies for an hour and 40 minutes, the longest outage at the LSE in eight years.
The economic calendar in the U.S. on Friday includes Housing Starts for July at 8:30 a.m. ET, and Consumer Sentiment for August at 10 a.m.
Deere (DE) posted weaker-than-expected fiscal third-quarter earnings and lowered its full-year sales forecast as trade uncertainty surrounding the agricultural sector continues to hurt the farm equipment maker's bottom line.
Shares of Deere fell 3.28% to $139 in premarket trading Friday.
2. -- Nvidia Rises on Second-Quarter Earnings Beat
Nvidia (NVDA) rose 5.63% to $157.15 in premarket trading Friday after the maker of graphics chips posted adjusted second-quarter earnings and revenuethat were higher than estimates.
Adjusted earnings in the quarter were $1.24 a share, beating forecasts of $1.14. Revenue fell to $2.58 billion from $3.12 billion but was above Wall Street views of $2.54 billion.
Gaming revenue fell 27% from the same period a year earlier to $1.31 billion vs. analysts' expectations of $1.3 billion. Data-center revenue fell 14% to $655 million vs. expectations of $668.5 million. Nvidia's automotive revenue, which covers both infotainment processor sales and the company's autonomous driving efforts, rose 30% to $209 million, easily beating consensus of $177 million.
Nvidia said it expects third-quarter revenue of $2.84 billion to $2.96 billion compared with estimates of $2.97 billion.
"All in, despite some segments (data center and pro visualization) coming up short vs. expectations we believe this to be a solid report from Nvidia as all divisions are once again headed in the right direction (when considering the sequential improvement seen across all segments) with the backdrop across Nvidia's end markets - think a resumption of data center spending, an increase in ray-tracing compatible games, visualization awards and significant autonomous driving progress - beginning to once again strengthen," said Jim Cramer and the Action Alerts PLUS team, which holds Nvidia in its portfolio.
3. -- Applied Materials Up Slightly After Earnings Top Forecasts
Applied Materials (AMAT) rose slightly in premarket trading Friday after the chip equipment company posted fiscal third-quarter earnings and revenue that beat Wall Street forecasts.
The company earned 74 cents a share in the period on an adjusted basis, 4 cents higher than estimates.
Revenue declined to $3.56 billion from $4.16 billion a year earlier but still topped expectations on $3.53 billion.
Gross margin in the period was 43.7%, down from 44.8% a year earlier, while operating margins slipped to 22.5% from 26.3%.
Apple Materials said it expects fiscal fourth-quarter revenue of about $3.685 billion, plus or minus $150 million, with adjusted earnings of between 72 cents and 80 cents a share. Analysts were calling for sales of $3.66 billion and profit of 76 cents a share.
"Applied Materials is delivering solid financial performance in a market environment that remains challenging for the time being," said Applied Materials CEO Gary Dickerson. "We are excited about the company's future opportunities and are fully funding our R&D programs to develop new products and capabilities that will accelerate customers' roadmaps and underpin our growth in the years ahead."
The stock rose 0.17% to $47.24 in premarket trading.
4. -- General Electric CEO Buys $2 Million of GE Stock
General Electric (GE) CEO Lawrence Culp bought about $2 million of the company's stock after an accounting expert who flagged issues surrounding Bernie Madoff's investment fraud accused the industrial giant of inaccurate and fraudulent financial filings with regulators.
According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing from GE after Thursday's closing bell, Culp bought 252,000 shares at $7.93 each.
General Electric shares rose 2.12% to $8.18 in premarket trading Friday following a decline Thursday of more than 11%. The tumble followed an article from The Wall Street Journal that cited a research report from Harry Markopolos that found GE's insurance unit would need a boost of $18.5 billion to its reserves. He also told the Journal that other accounting issues, including in GE's oil and gas business, would amount to around $38 billion. Markopolos later told CNBC that he considered GE a "bankruptcy waiting to happen."
"GE will always take any allegation of financial misconduct seriously. But this is market manipulation - pure and simple," Culp said in a statement on Thursday. "Mr. Markopolos's report contains false statements of fact and these claims could have been corrected if he had checked them with GE before publishing the report."
5. -- Donald Trump Wants to Buy Greenland. Really?
Former real estate developer and now president, Donald Trump wants to buy Greenland - or so says a report in The Wall Street Journal.
The idea of the U.S. purchasing Greenland has captured Trump's imagination, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the discussions. Trump has, with varying degrees of seriousness, repeatedly expressed interest in buying the Danish territory between the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans, the people said.
A Trump ally told the Associated Press that the president had discussed the purchase but wasn't serious about it. A Republican congressional aide said Trump brought up the notion of purchasing Greenland in conversations with lawmakers enough times to make them wonder, but they have not taken his comments seriously.
It wouldn't be the first time an American leader tried to buy Greenland, the world's largest island, an autonomous territory of Denmark. In 1946, the U.S. proposed to pay Denmark $100 million to buy Greenland after flirting with the idea of swapping land in Alaska for strategic parts of the Arctic island, according to the Associated Press.