Lyft, Cisco, Stimulus Talks, Jobless Claims - 5 Things You Must Know Thursday

Stock futures are mixed as talks on a fresh stimulus package hit an impasse; Lyft, like Uber, says it could be forced to shut down its operations in California; Cisco issues a weak sales outlook.
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Here are five things you must know for Thursday, Aug. 13:

1. -- Stock Futures Mixed on Impasse in Stimulus Talks 

Stock futures were mixed Thursday and the rally that saw the S&P 500 close just below its all-time high faltered as negotiations on a fresh stimulus package hit an impasse.

Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 7 points, S&P 500 futures slipped 2 points and Nasdaq futures were rising 6 points.

Stocks finished broadly higher Wednesday with the S&P 500 gaining 1.4% to 3,380, just 0.2% off its all-time high. The index has risen eight of the last nine trading days.

Big technology stocks such as Apple  (AAPL) - Get Report, Microsoft  (MSFT) - Get Report and Amazon.com  (AMZN) - Get Report were the leaders Wednesday and they pushed the Nasdaq up by 2.13%.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she received an “overture” from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to meet but turned down the offer since the White House hadn't budged from its stimulus demands.

“We have made clear to the administration that we are willing to come down $1 trillion if they will come up $1 trillion,” Pelosi said Wednesday in a joint statement with Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer. “We are willing to resume negotiations once they start to take this process seriously.”

Mnuchin, however, said it was Pelosi who was "unwilling to meet to continue negotiations unless we agreed in advance to her proposal, costing at least $2 trillion."

"The Democrats have no interest in negotiating," he added.

San Francisco Federal Reserve President Mary Daly told reporters Wednesday that "Congress will have to build a bigger bridge … now that we know the coronavirus is not behind us and now that we’re in this for a longer period of time than we hoped.”

2. -- Jobless Claims, Applied Materials Earnings on Thursday's Calendar

The economic calendar Thursday includes weekly Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists expect 1.15 million Americans to have filed for first-time unemployment benefits in the week ended Aug. 8, down from 1.186 million in the prior week.

The calendar also includes Import and Export Prices for July at 8:30 a.m.

Earnings reports are expected Thursday from Applied Materials  (AMAT) - Get Report, Baidu  (BIDU) - Get Report, Tapestry  (TPR) - Get Report and MSG Networks  (MSGN) - Get Report.

3. -- Lyft, Like Uber, Says It Could Be Forced to Shut Down California Operations

Like its larger ride-hailing rival Uber Technologies  (UBER) - Get Report, Lyft  (LYFT) - Get Report said it too could be forced to shut down its operations in California if forced to recognize drivers as employees.

A California judge issued a preliminary injunction earlier this week requiring Uber and Lyft to stop classifying their drivers as independent contractors, and potentially setting the stage for a major shift in their business models.

Judge Ethan Schulman of San Francisco Superior Court granted a 10-day stay before the preliminary order takes effect. If the order is upheld, Uber and Lyft could be required to reclassify drivers as employees eligible for certain benefits and protections, rather than as contractors who work for themselves. 

Uber May Suspend Rides in California After Unfavorable Court Ruling

Following the release of earnings Wednesday afternoon, Lyft President John Zimmer said losing an appeal would “force us to suspend operations in California.”

Lyft shares fall 1.7% to $30 in premarket trading Thursday after the company reported a 61% drop in revenue during the second quarter amid prolonged shutdowns from the coronavirus pandemic. Lyft said active riders plunged 60% year over year.

“While ride-share rides in the quarter were down significantly year over year, we are encouraged by the recovery trends we are beginning to see, with monthly ride-share rides in July up 78% compared to April,” said Lyft CEO Logan Green in a statement. 

4. -- Cisco Systems Issues Weak Sales Outlook

Cisco Systems  (CSCO) - Get Report declined 6.8% to $44.83 in premarket trading Thursday after the networking giant topped revenue forecasts in the fiscal fourth quarter but issued a weaker-than-expected sales outlook.

For its fiscal fourth quarter, Cisco reported GAAP earnings of 62 cents a share on revenue of $12.2 billion, down 9% from a year earlier. Analysts were expecting earnings of 65 cents a share on sales of $12.09 billion.

Cisco guided for a 9% to 11% drop in its fiscal first quarter, and for GAAP earnings of between 41 cents and 47 cents a share. A year earlier, Cisco earned 51 cents a share.

Cisco, which sells networking-focused hardware, software and services, reported drops in revenue across several segments and all regions. Product revenue was down 13%, and service revenue was flat. Infrastructure platforms revenue was down 16%, and applications revenue declined 9%. Security revenue rose 10%.

5. -- AT&T Looks to Sell Crunchyroll to Sony for $1.5 Billion

AT&T  (T) - Get Report is looking to sell the Crunchyroll Japanese anime-streaming service to Sony  (SNE) - Get Report for $1.5 billion, according to a report from The Information, which cited three people familiar with the situation.

Sony already has balked at the price tag, sources told The Information, which added the price was "well above recent values for other niche streaming services."

Sony already owns rival anime service Funimation.