Johnson & Johnson, Target, Lowe's, Tesla - 5 Things You Must Know Wednesday

Stock futures rise; Target, Lowe's and Take-Two Interactive report earnings; Johnson & Johnson will stop selling talc-based baby powder in the U.S. and Canada.
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Here are five things you must know for Wednesday, May 20:

1. -- Stock Futures Point Higher

Stock futures traded higher Wednesday, rebounding from the previous day's late-session slide after reports questioned Moderna's  (MRNA) - Get Report coronavirus vaccine candidate.

Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 301 points, futures for the S&P 500 gained 33 points and Nasdaq futures were up 101 points.

Stocks ended lower Tuesday after STAT News published an article citing experts who suggested “we ought to take the early readout” from Moderna's vaccine Phase 1 trial “with a big grain of salt.”

Wall Street has been betting the U.S. economy would begin to recover from the coronavirus pandemic as the country gradually begins reopening. But with lockdowns being lifted and stores again welcoming customers, the fear is that without a vaccine the U.S. could see a resurgence in infections and would be forced to shut down again.

President Donald Trump, who has been pushing hard to get the economy restarted, said he expects “a really great third quarter” as state lockdowns are lifted. However, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said this week that a recovery may have to wait until the end of next year.

With Round-the-Clock News, Futures Are Often the First to Respond

2. -- Target, Lowe's and Take-Two Report Earnings

Lowe's  (LOW) - Get Report reported stronger-than-expected first-quarter earnings and said its solid performance continued in May as big retailers that remained open during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic continued to book big top- and bottom-line gains.

Lowe's said adjusted earnings for the quarter ended in April were $1.77 a share, firmly ahead of the Wall Street consensus forecast of $1.22. Revenue rose 11% to $19.7 billion, with same-store sales in the U.S. rising 12.3% and digital sales surging by around 80%.

Target  (TGT) - Get Report earned 59 cents a share in the first quarter, beating estimates of 44 cents, as revenue of $19.62 billion also topped analysts' forecasts.

Same-store sales rose 10.8%, while digital comparable-store sales in the quarter soared 141%.

Earnings reports are also expected Wednesday from Take-Two Interactive  (TTWO) - Get Report, Expedia  (EXPE) - Get Report, Royal Caribbean  (RCL) - Get Report, L Brands  (LB) - Get Report, Analog Devices  (ADI) - Get Report and McKesson  (MCK) - Get Report.

Take-Two Interactive is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS member club. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells TTWO? Learn more now.

The economic calendar Wednesday includes the Mortgage Bankers' Association's purchase applications index for the week ended May 15 at 7 a.m. ET, Oil Inventories for the week ended May 15 at 10:30 a.m. and minutes of the April 29 meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee at 2 p.m.

3. -- Johnson & Johnson to Stop Selling Talc Baby Powder

Johnson & Johnson  (JNJ) - Get Report will stop selling talc-based baby powder in the U.S. and Canada following thousands of lawsuits that claim women who used the product got cancer.

The stock was up slightly in premarket trading Wednesday after Johnson & Johnson said it was discontinuing sales of the product as demand for "talc-based Johnson's Baby Powder in North America has been declining due in large part to changes in consumer habits and fueled by misinformation around the safety of the product and a constant barrage of litigation advertising." 

Johnson’s Baby Powder “represents approximately 0.5% of the total U.S. Consumer Health business,” according to a statement from the company.

Johnson & Johnson said it “remains steadfastly confident in the safety of talc-based Johnson’s Baby Powder."

The company said its existing inventory will be sold through retailers until it runs out. Cornstarch-based Johnson’s Baby Powder will remain available in North America.

4. -- California Governor Not Worried Tesla Will Leave the State

California Gov. Gavin Newsom told CNBC he wasn't worried that Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Report CEO Elon Musk would move the electric carmaker's operations out of the state.

“I’m also not worried about Elon leaving anytime soon,” Newsom said in an interview.

“I’ve had a lot of conversations with him, and we’re committed to the success and the innovation and the low-carbon, green growth economy that he’s been promoting for decades and the state of California is accelerating in,” the governor added.

Musk last week sued Alameda County and threatened to relocate Tesla's headquarters amid a dispute with public health officials over worker safety during the coronavirus pandemic.

Musk has expressed frustration with government-imposed shutdowns and called the county's decision to delay the reopening of Tesla's plant the "final straw." He said he planned to move production facilities, and the group's headquarters in Fremont, California, to either Texas or Nevada.

Tesla's plant in Fremont was reopened earlier this week.

5. -- Apple TV+ Secures Rights to Tom Hanks' 'Greyhound'

Apple TV+ secured the rights to WWII naval drama “Greyhound” that was written and stars Tom Hanks.

The film from Sony Pictures originally was scheduled to debut in theaters over Father’s Day weekend.

But the coronavirus pandemic changed those plans and the film instead will become the biggest feature film commitment made by Apple  (AAPL) - Get Report to premiere on Apple TV+. 

Deadline reported Apple secured rights to the film for about $70 million.