Dow Futures, Exxon, Bumble, CrowdStrike - 5 Things You Must Know Wednesday

Stock futures rise after the S&P 500 and Nasdaq close at records; CrowdStrike reports earnings; Exxon Mobil weighing global job cuts.
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Here are five things you must know for Wednesday, Sept. 2:

1. -- Stock Futures Advance as Wall Street Sets More Records 

Stock futures were rising solidly Wednesday after the S&P 500 and Nasdaq closed at records and investors looked to the release of an employment report on the U.S. private sector.

Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 205 points, S&P 500 futures gained 24 points and Nasdaq futures rose 123 points.

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq kicked off September by closing at record highs Tuesday as the tech sector continued its strong rally and economic data on U.S. manufacturing and construction came in better than expected.

The S&P 500 finished up 0.75% to 3,526, and the Nasdaq rose 1.39% to close at 11,939. Both indexes also recorded record intraday highs. The Dow rose 215 points, or 0.76%, to 28,645.

“At the moment the market is seeing a lot of positive momentum,” Greg Boutle, U.S. head of equity and derivative strategy at BNP Paribas in New York, told Reuters. “If you get OK-to-good data and anything from the political landscape that looks like its moving more toward a compromise that’s constructive for markets.”

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, however, said following a phone call Tuesday with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that “serious differences” remain between Democrats and the White House over the next coronavirus relief package.

“Sadly, this phone call made clear that Democrats and the White House continue to have serious differences understanding the gravity of the situation that America’s working families are facing,” Pelosi said.

2. -- Wednesday Highlights: ADP Jobs Report, CrowdStrike Earnings

The economic calendar in the U.S. Wednesday includes MBA Mortgage Applications for the week ended Aug. 28 at 7 a.m. ET, the ADP National Employment Report for August at 8:15 a.m., Factory Orders for July at 10 a.m., Oil Inventories for the week ended Aug. 28 at 10:30 a.m. and the Federal Reserve's "Beige Book" at 2p.m.

The private sector jobs report from ADP is a precursor to the official U.S. jobs report for August that will be released on Friday.

Macy's  (M) - Get Report reported a second-quarter adjusted loss of 81 cents a share, narrower than analysts' estimates that called for a loss of $1.77. Same-store sales in the period fell 34.7%, wider than calls for a decline of 18.6%.

Earnings are also expected Wednesday from CrowdStrike  (CRWD) - Get Report, Five Below  (FIVE) - Get Report, Cloudera  (CLDR) - Get Report, Rocket Cos. (RKT), Zuora  (ZUO) - Get Report and Lands' End  (LE) - Get Report.

CrowdStrike Reports After Wednesday Close - Here's the Trade

Costco Wholesale  (COST) - Get Report reports sales for August on Wednesday.

Costco is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS member club. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells the stock? Learn more now.

3. -- Exxon Weighing Global Job Cuts 

Exxon Mobil  (XOM) - Get Report is assessing possible worldwide job cuts, a spokesman told Reuters Wednesday, after the energy giant  announced a voluntary layoff program in Australia following a slump in fuel demand because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have evaluations underway on a country-by-country basis to assess possible additional efficiencies to right-size our business and make it stronger for the future,” Exxon spokesman Casey Norton told Reuters in an email.

Bloomberg had reported at the end of June that between 5% and 10% of U.S.-based Exxon employees, who were subject to performance evaluations, could end up leaving this year after their assessments.

An Exxon spokesperson said at the time that the company had "no plans for layoffs, and there are no targets to reduce headcount."

"Exxon Mobil manages the highs and lows of the industry cycles by supplementing our employees with contractors," the company said. "As we head into down cycles, we reduce the use of contractors. That is happening now. We have a rigorous talent management process which routinely assesses employee performance."

In its latest second quarter, Exxon posted a wider-than-expected loss as the global coronavirus pandemic continued to blunt energy and commodity demand.

Exxon shares rose 0.41% to $39.59 in premarket trading Wednesday.

4. -- Dating App Bumble Preparing for IPO

Dating app Bumble is preparing for an initial public offering that could come early next year, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Bumble could seek a valuation of $6 billion to $8 billion. No plans have been finalized and the timing of the IPO could still change, Bloomberg noted.

Bumble would be joining other well-known technology companies such as Airbnb and Doordash that are also considering listing their stock.

Private-equity firm Blackstone Group  (BX) - Get Report bought a majority stake in Bumble last year - when it was known as MagicLab - in a deal that valued the company at $3 billion. 

5. -- TikTok Deal Talks Hit Snag Over Algorithm Question

Deal talks between U.S. companies and TikTok have hit a snag over whether TikTok's algorithms would be included in any package.

According to The Wall Street Journal, restrictions issued by the Chinese government last Friday, which place new rules on the export of artificial intelligence technology, threw into question whether TikTok's algorithms could be included in a sale to a U.S. buyer.

Participants in the talks are trying to figure out what, if any, approvals they would need from the Chinese government for a sale to go through. And that has diminished the chance that a deal will be completed soon, according to the people familiar with the discussions, because the algorithms are considered a vital part of the app's value.

TikTok's owner, ByteDance, is asking for $30 billion for the app's U.S. operations, according to the Journal.

There are two main parties vying for TikTok: Microsoft  (MSFT) - Get Report and Walmart  (WMT) - Get Report, which are jointly pursuing a deal; and Oracle  (ORCL) - Get Report, which has formed an alliance with some of TikTok's private-equity investors.