Microsoft, AMD, Las Vegas Sands, Amy Coney Barrett - 5 Things You Must Know Tuesday

Stalled stimulus talks dent sentiment and a coronavirus resurgence heightens fears of economic shutdowns; Microsoft and AMD report earnings; Sands is exploring the sale of casinos on the Las Vegas Strip.
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Here are five things you must know for Tuesday, Oct. 27:

1. -- Stock Futures Point Higher

Stock futures rose slightly Tuesday following the S&P 500's biggest loss in a month as stalled stimulus talks in Washington dented sentiment and a surge in coronavirus cases in the U.S. and across the globe heightened fears of economic shutdowns.

Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 108 points, S&P 500 futures were up 16 points and Nasdaq futures gained 61 points.

The Dow on Monday fell 650 points, or 2.29%, to 27,685, the S&P 500 slumped 1.86% and the Nasdaq dropped 1.64% as a stimulus agreement from lawmakers in Washington before Election Day appeared unlikely.

"We think the ability to get stimulus done is fading each day as we get closer to the U.S. election, but are reminded that volatility is expected to stay as uncertainties surrounding the path of the virus and the outcome of the election continue to weigh on investors’ minds," said Charlie Ripley, senior investment strategist for Allianz Investment Management. "With the U.S. election next week, virus cases rising across the globe, and the lack of an agreement on stimulus in Congress, it appears market participants have shifted toward a risk-off tone."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin again failed to reach agreement on a relief package in a phone call Monday, according to a Pelosi aide. 

Differences between House Democrats and the White House “have narrowed,” but “the more it narrows, the more conditions come up on the other side,” said White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases across the globe has passed 43.5 million, according to Johns Hopkins University, with deaths from Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, at 1,159,708. 

Coronavirus cases in the U.S. have surged to beyond 8.7 million with deaths at 225,735, the most in the world.

2. -- Microsoft, AMD, Caterpillar, Merck Report Earnings

Advanced Micro Devices  (AMD) - Get Report agreed to buy rival Xilinx  (XLNX) - Get Report for $35 billion in stock, and the chipmaker also reported third-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ estimates.

3M  (MMM) - Get Report posted better-than-expected earnings and sales on Tuesday on surging sales of its health care products and equipment including respirators, as well as strong demand for consumer products like 3M stickies.

Eli Lilly  (LLY) - Get Report posted weaker-than-expected third-quarter earnings and lowered a portion of its full-year profit guidance as sales of its blockbuster diabetes treatment, Trulicity, slowed.

Earnings reports are expected Tuesday from Microsoft  (MSFT) - Get Report, Caterpillar  (CAT) - Get Report, Raytheon  (RTX) - Get Report, Pfizer  (PFE) - Get Report, Merck  (MRK) - Get Report, Harley-Davidson  (HOG) - Get Report, JetBlue Airways  (JBLU) - Get Report and FireEye  (FEYE) - Get Report.

Microsoft and AMD are holdings in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS member club. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells the stocks? Learn more now.

The economic calendar in the U.S. Tuesday includes Durable Goods Orders for September at 8:30 a.m. ET and Consumer Confidence for October at 10 a.m.

3. -- Amy Coney Barrett Confirmed to Supreme Court

Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed to the Supreme Court late Monday by a deeply divided Senate.

Barrett's confirmation solidifies a 6-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court. 

The Senate confirmed Barrett on a partisan 52-48 vote.

“This is a momentous day for America, for the United States Constitution, and for the fair and impartial rule of law,” President Donald Trump said. Barrett, Trump said, “will make an outstanding justice on the highest court in our land.”

Barrett could be involved in decisions on abortion, the Affordable Care Act and even on the presidential election if the outcome is close.

4. -- Las Vegas Sands Explores Sale of Casinos on City's Strip

Las Vegas Sands  (LVS) - Get Report has been exploring the sale of its casinos in Las Vegas, according to a report.

Las Vegas Sands, the world’s largest casino company, is working with an adviser to solicit interest for the Venetian Resort Las Vegas, the Palazzo and the Sands Expo Convention Center, which together may fetch $6 billion or more, Bloomberg reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

The properties are all connected along the famous Las Vegas Strip.

A representative for the company confirmed it was in very early discussions about a sale and that nothing has been finalized.

A sale would concentrate Sands’ casino portfolio entirely in Macau and Singapore. The U.S. already was a small and shrinking part of Las Vegas Sands' operations, accounting for less than 15% of revenue last year, Bloomberg noted.

Shares of Las Vegas Sands closed Monday at $49.13, down 3.06%, but rose by 1.24% in after-hours trading to $49.74.

5. -- Charles Schwab to Cut 1,000 Jobs Following TD Ameritrade Purchase

Charles Schwab  (SCHW) - Get Report announced it would cut about 1,000 jobs following its acquisition of TD Ameritrade.

The combined workforce will be cut by about 3% in an effort to reduce “overlapping or redundant roles,” Schwab said in a statement.

The company "will continue to hire in strategic areas critical to support our growing client base,” Schwab said.

The $26 billion merger was finalized Oct. 6, forming a company with about $6 trillion in client assets.