Here are five things you must know for Tuesday, April 23:
1. -- Stock Futures Slip Ahead of Earnings Deluge
U.S. stock futures were down slightly Tuesday ahead of the next wave of corporate earnings reports that could set Wall Street up for another record run.
Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 22 points, futures for the S&P 500 slipped 2.75 points, and Nasdaq futures fell 7.25 points.
Of the more than 80 companies reporting earnings so far this season, nearly 80% have beaten earnings expectations, according to data from Refinitiv, while around 48.1% have topped revenue estimates. The overall pace suggested collective first-quarter earnings for the S&P 500 will shrink by 1.7% from the same period last year to $309.9 billion on a share-weighted basis.
Oil prices rose for a third straight day following the U.S. State Department's decision to remove waivers on the purchase of Iranian crude, issued last November to eight different countries - including China, India and Japan - that are set to expire on May 2. West Texas Intermediate crude oil, the U.S. benchmark, was up 0.8% to $66.08 a barrel.
2. -- Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola and Verizon Report Earnings
3. -- Tesla's Musk Says Robotaxis to Be on Roads in 2020
Tesla (TSLA - Get Report) CEO Elon Musk said Monday at a presentation detailing the electric vehicle company's autonomous driving efforts that "all Tesla cars being produced right now have everything necessary for full self-driving; all you have to do is improve the software."
The event, at Tesla's headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., came ahead of Tesla's first-quarter earnings release on Wednesday, after the company recently issued disappointing sales and delivery numbers that hurt its stock price.
Musk also strongly criticized the Lidar distance-measuring systems that are the basis for most other companies' self-driving vehicle technologies, including that of Alphabet's (GOOGL - Get Report) Waymo, which many consider to be the leader in developing autonomous driving.
"Lidar is a fool's errand; anyone relying on it is doomed," Musk said, noting that the systems require many unnecessary cameras and that Tesla's system of visual recognition and learning is much more effective.
Musk also said that vehicles produced with Tesla's "full self-driving" system will comprise a fleet of robotaxis of "over 1 million" by the end of 2020.
That will be made possible through a ride-sharing app, a preview of which Musk briefly showed to the audience. The idea behind that app is to allow people to lease them out for robotaxi rides on its own exclusive Tesla network - described by Musk as a "combination of the Airbnb and Uber model" - of which Tesla would take a 25% to 30% cut. He estimated the gross profit of a single robotaxi as $30,000 per year.
He expressed confidence that robotaxis would be fully usable with no hands on the steering wheel or "looking out the window" by the second quarter of next year, and that they would be allowed in some jurisdictions by the end of 2020.
- Elon Musk: All Tesla Cars Produced Now Are Capable of Full Self-Driving
- Elon Musk Promises 'Over a Million' Tesla Robotaxis by the End of 2020
4. -- Whirlpool Rallies After Strong Earnings Beat
Whirlpool (WHR - Get Report) jumped more than 8% in after-hours trading Monday after the appliances maker beat analysts' earnings forecasts.
Adjusted earnings in the quarter were $3.11 a share, topping forecasts of $2.86, while revenue of $4.76 billion fell from $4.91 billion a year earlier and came in below estimates of $4.83 billion.
However, the stock got a boost after Whirlpool said it expects earnings for the year of $14.05 to $15.05 a share, well above Wall Street expectations of $13.38.
Whirlpool faces challenges stemming in part from the ongoing U.S.-China trade dispute, and it has been lifting prices and cutting costs as steel an aluminum costs have risen.
"We delivered another strong quarter with margin expansion and record first-quarter earnings per share despite a soft demand environment in several countries," said Marc Bitzer, chairman and CEO of Whirlpool. "Successful execution of price increases and sustained focus on cost discipline drove very positive results in the first quarter, and provide confidence in our ability to deliver our full-year financial goals."
5. -- Facebook Hires State Department Adviser as General Counsel
Facebook (FB - Get Report) named Jennifer Newstead as its general counsel on Monday, and John Pinette, who previously advised Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates among other jobs, as the company's new vice president of global communications.
"Jennifer is a seasoned leader whose global perspective and experience will help us fulfill our mission," said Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg in a statement. Newstead said she was "looking forward to working with the team and outside experts and regulators on a range of legal issues as we seek to uphold our responsibilities and shared values."
Newstead was appointed by Donald Trump as the State Department's top legal adviser in 2017. Prior to that, she was a partner in the law firm of Davis, Polk & Wardwell LLP.
The appointments at Facebook come at a time when the social media giant is facing mounting regulatory and public-relations issues.
Earlier this month, Facebook admitted to yet another potential data breach involving the "unintentional" uploading of millions of email contacts.