Biden, Trump, Qualcomm, Alibaba, Apple - 5 Things You Must Know Thursday

Joe Biden is closer to securing the U.S. presidency; stock futures rise and the tech sector leads on the potential for a divided U.S. government; Qualcomm soars after an earnings beat; the Fed issues a decision on interest rates.

Here are five things you must know for Thursday, Nov. 5:

1. -- Stock Futures Rise as Tech Leads

Stock futures traded higher Thursday and tech shares led the gains as the results in Tuesday's elections suggested the potential for corporate tax hikes and tighter regulation on the sector had diminished.

Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 384 points, S&P 500 futures were up 62 points and futures on the tech-heavy Nasdaq jumped 303 points, or 2.58%, on reduced regulatory risks.

Stocks ended higher Wednesday as investors bet that a divided government would be good for business, especially for tech giants such as Apple  (AAPL) - Get Report,  (AMZN) - Get Report, Facebook  (FB) - Get Report and Alphabet  (GOOGL) - Get Report, which each posted strong gains during the session.

As for Tuesday's presidential election, Democrat Joe Biden won Michigan and Wisconsin, according to projections from both CNN and NBC, putting him closer to winning the presidency over Donald Trump. Biden has secured 264 Electoral College votes out of the 270 necessary to claim victory. Trump has 214.

Meanwhile, it appeared the Republicans would retain control of the Senate, despite a strong push by Democrats to take control of the upper house.

Global stocks rose Wednesday on the possibility of a divided U.S. government. Stocks in Tokyo jumped 1.73% and Shanghai saw gains of 1.3%. 

For more on Asia read:

China’s Industrial 5G Ecosystem Remains Immature as Companies Struggle to Find Applications

2. -- Federal Reserve Rates Decision Expected Thursday

The economic calendar in the U.S. Thursday includes an announcement from the Federal Reserve on interest rates at 2 p.m. ET., followed by a press conference from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

The central bank is expected to hold rates near zero. It said as much in September when it signaled it would keep rates low for at least three more years. The Fed also is expected to repeat its pledge that it will do all it can to support the U.S. economy through the coronavirus pandemic.

The calendar also includes weekly Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m. and third-quarter Productivity and Costs at 8:30 a.m.

3. -- Qualcomm Soars on Earnings Beat, Strong Guidance

Qualcomm  (QCOM) - Get Report was rising sharply in premarket trading Thursday  after the semiconductor company reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings and guidance that topped analysts' estimates.

The San Diego-based chip company reported adjusted earnings of $1.45 a share on revenue of $6.5 billion for the quarter ended Sept. 27. Analysts were expecting earnings of $1.17 a share on revenue of $5.94 billion.

Earnings jumped 86% from a year earlier, while revenue soared 35%.

Qualcomm said it expects fiscal first-quarter adjusted earnings of between $1.95 and $2.15 a share on revenue of $7.8 billion to $8.6 billion. Analysts expect earnings of $1.68 a share on revenue of $7.13 billion.

The move to 5G telecom equipment and products by the industry is expected to continue driving gains for Qualcomm in the upcoming fiscal year.

“We concluded the year with exceptional fourth-quarter results and are well positioned for growth in 2021 and beyond," said CEO Steve Mollenkopf. "As the pace of disruption in wireless technology accelerates, we will continue to drive growth and scale across our RF front-end, Automotive and IoT adjacencies." 

The stock rose 14.46% to $147.62 in premarket trading Thursday.

Qualcomm Soars After Strong Earnings and Chip Disclosures: 6 Key Takeaways

4. -- Alibaba, GM, Bristol-Myers and Roku Report Earnings

Alibaba  (BABA) - Get Report posted stronger-than-expected second-quarter earnings as core e-commerce revenue jumped by nearly a third following China's easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

Bristol-Myers Squibb  (BMY) - Get Report posted third-quarter adjusted earnings of $1.63 a share, higher than estimates of $1.49.

General Motors  (GM) - Get Report reported third-quarter adjusted profit of $2.83 a share, well above Wall Street forecasts of $1.38.

Earnings are also expected Thursday from Roku  (ROKU) - Get Report, Uber Technologies  (UBER) - Get Report, Peloton Interactive  (PTON) - Get Report, Virgin Galactic, Electronic Arts  (EA) - Get Report, Square  (SQ) - Get Report, T-Mobile  (TMUS) - Get Report, Monster Beverage  (MNST) - Get Report, Booking Holdings  (BKNG) - Get Report, Dropbox  (DBX) - Get Report, Zillow Group  (ZG) - Get Report, NortonLifeLock  (NLOK) - Get Report and New York Times  (NYT) - Get Report.

How to Trade Alibaba After Its Hard Selloff and Earnings

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5. -- Apple Reportedly Could Face Shortage of Chips for iPhone 12

Apple could face a shortage of chips that manage power consumption in iPhones and other devices, complicating its ability to meet holiday demand, Bloomberg reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

To what extent the bottleneck may limit iPhone availability during the holiday quarter, Apple's busiest, isn't clear. But Bloomberg noted suppliers likely will prioritize Apple and its iPhone 12 over other customers.

Increasing demand for silicon across a range of products and supply-chain disruptions from Covid-19 are the main causes of the shortage, the people told Bloomberg, as is stockpiling of inventory by chipmakers.

Disruptions could persist over the next two quarters, the people said.

Apple was rising 3.13% to $118.55 in premarket trading. The stock gained more than 4% on Wednesday.

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