Here are five things you must know for Thursday, Nov. 14:
1. -- Stock Futures Slip on Snag in U.S.-China Trade Negotiations
China's Commerce Ministry said Thursday that the cancellation of U.S. tariffs was a significant condition for a "phase one" trade agreement, casting doubt on the level of progress in talks between Washington and Beijing. The remarks followed a speech from Donald Trump on Tuesday in which he raised the specter of fresh levies on China-made goods if the two sides were unable to reach a broad agreement on trade.
Reports Wednesday also noted China's reluctance to commit to an exact monetary amount of agricultural purchases it would make from the U.S. The president has said China has agreed to buy up to $50 billion in U.S. soybeans, pork and other agricultural products annually.
Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 27 points, futures for the S&P 500 were down 3.60 points, and Nasdaq futures declined 10.25 points.
The Dow and S&P 500 scored record closing highs Wednesday as Walt Disney (DIS) - Get Report shares jumped on a surge in subscriptions for its new Disney+ streaming surge and helped to offset the possible snag in trade negotiations between the U.S. and China.
2. -- Walmart and Nvidia Report Earnings Thursday
Walmart (WMT) - Get Report earned an adjusted $1.16 a share in the third quarter, beating estimates of $1.09. The giant retailer also raised its outlook. The stock gained 3% to $124.60 in premarket trading.
The economic calendar in the U.S. Thursday includes the Producer Price Index for October at 8:30 a.m. ET, weekly Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m., and Oil Inventories for the week ended Nov. 8 at 11 a.m.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will testify for a second day before Congress, this time to the House Budget Committee in Washington at 10 a.m.
3. -- Cisco Sinks After Issuing Soft Guidance
Cisco said it expects adjusted earnings for the period of between 75 cents and 77 cents a share, below analysts' estimates of 79 cents. The company also guided for a second-quarter revenue decline of between 3% and 5% vs. analysts' expectations for 2.8% revenue growth.
Fiscal first-quarter adjusted earnings at Cisco were 84 cents a share, up from 75 cents a year earlier. Revenue rose to $13.16 billion from $13.07 billion.
Analysts were expecting earnings of 81 cents a share on revenue of $13.08 billion, according to FactSet.
Cisco noted in a press release that it was seeing a "challenging macro environment," and CEO Chuck Robbins added on a conference call that macro pressures the company previously had seen were now "more broad-based."
"All in, the quarter looked fine against previously muted expectations, however management had to lower numbers for the second quarter in a row," said Jim Cramer and the Action Alerts PLUS team, which holds Cisco in its portfolio. "You may remember how management previously cautioned about the negative dynamics impacting visibility, and as Robbins said on this conference call, 'there's been lack of clarity for so long that I think it finally just came into play.'
"Even so, there are still positives to point out, such as how well products like the Catalyst 9000 with the campus switching cycle are selling, as well as security services. But what Cisco can hang its hat on is the portfolio transformation story," the AAP team said.
4. -- Carl Icahn Acquires Stake in HP, Says Merger With Xerox Is a 'No-Brainer'
Carl Icahn, the billionaire activist investor, told The Wall Street Journal that he owns a 4.24% stake in HP Inc. (HPQ) - Get Report , valued at roughly $1.2 billion, and argued that a merger of printer makers Xerox (XRX) - Get Report and HP could yield big profits for investors.
Icahn's stake in HP wasn't previously reported. He owns a 10.6% stake in Xerox.
Xerox last week made an offer to buy HP for $33 billion. HP confirmed the approach, saying it has had "conversations with Xerox from time to time about a potential business combination" and added that it has "a record of taking action if there is a better path forward and will continue to act with deliberation, discipline and an eye towards what is in the best interest of all our shareholders."
Icahn told the Journal he believes it is in the best interests of the shareholders of both companies given the potential for cost savings of an estimated $2 billion and for the combined company to market a more balanced portfolio of printer offerings.
"I think a combination is a no-brainer," Icahn said.
5. -- WeWork's Third-Quarter Loss Widens to $1.25 Billion
WeWork, the office-space sharing company, lost $1.25 billion in the third quarter, ahead of a bailout last month by Japan's SoftBank Group (SFTBY) , which gave WeWork a $3 billion investment after its plans for an initial public offering fell through and the cash-strapped company needed an infusion of capital.
The company reported a second-quarter loss of $638 million, and a loss of $497 million in the third quarter of 2018.
We Co., the parent of WeWork, said third-quarter revenue was $934 million, a 94% increase from a year earlier. However, new market development and leasing costs surged, the company said.
The quarter included a $197 million charge related to asset impairments as WeWork wrote down the costs of businesses it acquired, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing to a person familiar with the charge. Costs related to the planned IPO, other deals and restructuring totaled $83 million.
A report from Bloomberg said the company's co-CEOs, Artie Minson and Sebastian Gunningham, called the quarter a "difficult chapter" for the company and said they're developing a plan to "provide a clear path to profitability." Bloomberg, citing an email to WeWork staff, reported that would include selling assets and cutting jobs.