Here are five things you must know for Thursday, May 2:
1. -- Stock Futures Point Higher Though Powell Comments Dent Sentiment
U.S. stock futures were slightly higher on Thursday, rebounding from declines in the previous session after a policy statement from the Federal Reserve suggested U.S. interest rates likely will remain unchanged for the better part of the year.
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said Wednesday that he didn't see a "strong case for moving" policy "in either direction" after the central bank kept the target range of the key Fed Funds rate unchanged at between 2.25% and 2.5%. He did, however, allude to the transitory nature of conditions that was keeping inflation below the Fed's 2% target rate, comments that investors interpreted as signaling an upward bias on rates by the latter part of 2019.
"Equity markets were looking for so much more from the Fed and were shocked when Chair Powell said the Fed did not see a convincing case to move rates in either direction," said Stephen Innes, head of trading of SPI Asset Management.
Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1 point, futures for the S&P 500 gained 2.90 points, and Nasdaq futures were up 17 points.
Investors likely now will turn their attention to the U.S. jobs report on Friday, which is expected to show that U.S. employers added 180,500 new jobs to the economy last month, for fresh signals on both growth and inflation, which the Fed expects to continue to accelerate throughout the rest of the year.
For Thursday, the economic calendar in the U.S. Thursday includes weekly jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. ET, first-quarter Productivity and Costs at 8:30 a.m., and Factory Orders for March at 10 a.m.
2. -- Qualcomm Forecasts Light Third-Quarter Sales
Qualcomm (QCOM - Get Report) reported second-quarter earnings that beat analysts' estimates but the chipmaker forecast weaker-than-expected third-quarter revenue as it accounted for payments from Apple (AAPL - Get Report) to settle a long-running patent dispute.
Adjusted earnings in the period were 77 cents a share, topping forecasts of 71 cents a share. Revenue of $4.98 billion fell from $5.22 billion a year earlier but beat forecasts of $4.8 billion.
"We delivered a better-than-expected quarter with earnings per share above the high end of our estimates, reflecting stronger QTL results and solid execution in QCT," said Steve Mollenkopf, CEO of Qualcomm. "We are also pleased to have reached multi-year agreements with Apple and look forward to continuing to support them as a customer. We are executing well on our strategic priorities as 5G commercial launches begin around the world."
Qualcomm also said Apple's back-dated royalty payments linked to the patent dispute settlement, which was reached last month after years of litigation, would give it a one-time benefit of between $4.5 billion and $4.7 billion. Qualcomm earlier had estimated the settlement would boost earnings per share by around $2.
For the third quarter, Qualcomm estimated adjusted earnings in the quarter of 70 cents to 80 cents a share, a decrease of 20% to 30% from a year earlier, on revenue of $4.7 billion to $5.5 billion. The guidance was below analysts' forecasts of $1.29 a share on revenue of $5.28 billion.
The stock declined 0.3% to $86.10 in premarket trading on Thursday.
3. -- Square Sinks After Issuing Weak Second-Quarter Profit Forecast
Adjusted earnings in the first quarter were 11 cents a share, beating Wall Street expectations of 8 cents. Revenue rose 43% from a year earlier to $489 million and beat analysts' estimates of $480 million.
Square said gross payment volume increased 27% to $22.6 billion during the period but was below analysts' expectations of $22.8 billion.
For the second quarter, Square said it expects adjusted profit of 14 cents to 16 cents a share on adjusted revenue of $545 million to $555 million. Wall Street analysts were calling for earnings of 18 cents a share on revenue of $557 million.
The company increased its adjusted revenue guidance for 2019 to a range between $2.25 billion and $2.28 billion from $2.22 billion to $2.25 billion.
The stock fell 4.5% in premarket trading to $70.30.
4. -- Dow Inc., DowDuPont, Under Armour and Activision Report Earnings
Dow said earnings for the three months ended in March fell 24.4% from the same period last year to $1.92 billion, in-line with the company's previous guidance. Sales eose 10% to $10.8 billion and topped the Wall Street forecast of $10.68 billion.
Dow said second-quarter headwinds, including maintenance costs, would be around $200 million higher than last year, but noted that rising oil prices would be "constructive" for earnings as the year progresses. Dow also said it has around $400 million in cost savings to realize following its April spinoff from DowDuPont.
The stock fell slightly in premarket trading.
DowDuPont said adjusted non-GAAP earnings were 84 cents a share, down 25% from last year but just ahead of analysts' forecasts. Sales fell 9% from last year to $19.6 billion, just shy of analysts' estimates of $19.65 billion.
Earnings reports are also expected Thursday from Under Armour (UAA - Get Report) , Activision Blizzard (ATVI - Get Report) , Monster Beverage (MNST - Get Report) , Dunkin' Brands (DNKN - Get Report) , Kellogg (K - Get Report) , CBS (CBS - Get Report) , United States Steel (X - Get Report) , PG&E (PCG - Get Report) , Gilead Sciences (GILD - Get Report) , Shake Shack (SHAK - Get Report) , Arista Networks (ANET - Get Report) and Weight Watchers (WTW) .
5. -- Beyond Meat's IPO Is Priced at $25 a Share
Beyond Meat's initial public offering was priced at $25 a share, the top end of the expected range of between $23 and $25, and values the company at just under $1.5 billion.
The plant-based meat maker will be offering 9.625 million shares.
Beyond Meat will list on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the ticker symbol "BYND."
Investors in Beyond Meat include actor Leonardo DiCaprio and Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft.