Oil Prices, Walmart Earnings, Cisco and Ford - 5 Things You Must Know

Here are five things you must know for Thursday, May 17:  

1. -- Stocks Lower as Brent Crude Nears $80 

U.S. stock futures declined on Thursday, May 17, amid a sustained rise in crude oil prices.

Brent crude, the global benchmark, topped $80 a barrel for the first time since November 2014 following a surprise report Wednesday, May 16, of a 1.4 million barrel reduction in domestic U.S. oil supplies. At last check Thursday, Brent crude traded at $79.85 a barrel, up 0.72%, while West Texas Intermediate crude, the U.S. benchmark, rose 0.84% to $72.09 a barrel.

Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average  fell 17 points, those linked to the broader S&P 500  slipped 4.25 points, and Nasdaq futures declined 25.25 points.

Investors were also focused on Thursday's trade summit in Washington, led by China Vice Premier Liu He and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, with the two sides aiming to come to an agreement that would prevent the imposition of U.S. tariffs on around $150 billion in China-made goods.

The U.S. economic calendar on Thursday includes weekly Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m. ET, and the Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey for May at 8:30 a.m.

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2. -- Walmart, J.C. Penney Report Earnings

Walmart Inc. (WMT)  posted first-quarter adjusted earnings of $1.14 a share, 2 cents higher than estimates. Revenue of $122.69 billion also topped Wall Street forecasts. U.S. same-store sales rose 2.1%, below estimates of 2.5%.

The stock rose 0.6% in premarket trading.

Earnings are also expected Thursday from Nordstrom Inc. (JWN) , J.C. Penney Co. (JCP) and Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT) .

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3. -- Tepid Outlook Hits Cisco Shares

Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) was down 4% in premarket trading after the networking giant reported a good but not great quarter.

Fiscal third-quarter adjusted profit was 66 cents a share, 1 cent ahead of Wall Street estimates. Revenue rose to $12.46 billion from $11.94 billion a year earlier and topped expectations of $12.43 billion from Cisco.

Services revenue at Cisco rose 3% in the quarter to $3.16 billion but came in below forecasts of $3.22 billion.

For the current quarter, Cisco said it expects 4% to 6% revenue growth and adjusted earnings of 68 cents to 70 cents a share, in-line with forecasts that called for 5% growth and profit of 69 cents a share.

4. -- Ford to Restart F-150 Production

Ford Motor Co. (F)  will resume production of its F-150 and Super Duty pickups after a fire at a parts supplier forced the automaker to suspend production, which will hit second-quarter earnings. 

Production of the F-150 will restart at the Dearborn truck plant on Friday, May 18, while production of the F-150 and the Super Duty at Ford's Kentucky truck plant and a Kansas City assembly plant will resume on Monday, May 21.  

Ford said it didn't expect the fire to have any effect on sales to customers or change its full-year earnings guidance of $1.45 to $1.70 share. The company did say, however, it expects the incident will cut second-quarter earnings by between 12 and 14 cents a share.

5. -- Britain's Ocado Lands Deal With Kroger

Ocado PLC  (OCDDY)  , the British online grocery retailer, reached a partnership with Kroger Co. (KR) that will pave its entry into the U.S. market.

The deal will see Ocado roll out its online grocery shopping and delivery platform for Kroger's existing business, which generated more than $120 billion in sales last year, in exchange for a 5% stake in the London-based company worth around £183 million ($247 million). 

The companies will set up three automated warehouse sites in the U.S. this year, with the aim of establishing a further 20 over the life of the multi-year agreement.

"We see Ocado as an innovative, exciting and transformative partnership in pursuit of our Restock Kroger vision, to serve America through food inspiration and uplift. We are actively creating a seamless digital experience for our customers," said Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen. "Our partnership with Ocado will speed up our efforts to redefine the food and grocery customer experience - creating value for customers and shareholders alike."

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