AstraZeneca, Tesla, Slack, Lululemon - 5 Things You Must Know Wednesday

Stock futures rebound modestly following Wall Street's sharp tech-led declines; AstraZeneca halts a key coronavirus vaccine trial; Slack plunges on weaker-than-expected billings.
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Here are five things you must know for Wednesday, Sept. 9:

1. -- Stock Futures Rebound Modestly

Stock futures were rebounding modestly Wednesday following Wall Street's sharp losses during the previous session led by tech shares.

A halt in a key coronavirus vaccine trial from AstraZeneca  (AZN) - Get Report was holding back further gains.

Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 199 points, S&P 500 futures were up 29 points and Nasdaq futures jumped 157 points.

Stocks ended sharply lower Tuesday as technology shares continued their rapid retreat. The tech-heavy Nasdaq, where stocks such as Apple  (AAPL) - Get Report and Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Report trade, has fallen more than 10% - a correction - since setting an all-time high last Wednesday.

Tesla shares finished Tuesday's session down 21%, its worse session ever, to $330.21. In premarket trading Wednesday, the stock was rising 5.49% to $348.

Tesla Stock's Worst Day Ever

The S&P 500 has declined more than 7% over the past three trading days.

“The bottom line is that this correction was long overdue and likely has more downside over the next few weeks (and) months as these positions are cleared out,” said analysts at Morgan Stanley. Tech stocks rose 11.8% in August.

2. -- AstraZeneca Halts Covid-19 Vaccine Trial

AstraZeneca declined more than 2% in premarket trading Wednesday after halting global trials of its cover-19 vaccine candidate because a participant in a U.K. study had an unexplained illness.

The trial was halted after “a suspected serious adverse reaction in a participant in the United Kingdom,” Stat News reported. AstraZeneca is developing the vaccine candidate with the University of Oxford.

AstraZeneca, in a statement, described the halt as a “routine action which has to happen whenever there is a potentially unexplained illness in one of the trials, while it is investigated, ensuring we maintain the integrity of the trials.” The pause, the company said, will allow an independent committee to review safety data.

A person familiar with the situation told The New York Times that the participant had been enrolled in a Phase 2/3 trial based in the United Kingdom. 

Late-phase trials of the coronavirus vaccine began in the U.S. last month, a study that aimed to enroll 30,000 people. Studies also are being conducted in the U.K., Brazil and South Africa.

American depositary receipts of AstraZeneca declined 2.19% to $53.51. 

3. -- Slack Plunges on Disappointing Billings

Slack Technologies  (WORK) - Get Report was plunging more than 17% in premarket trading after the messaging and collaboration platform reported a narrower fiscal-second-quarter loss on 49% higher revenue but provided disappointing billings data.

Slack reported a second-quarter loss of 13 cents vs. a year-earlier loss of 98 cents. On an adjusted basis, Slack broke even in the period.

Revenue rose $215.9 million from $145 million a year earlier. Paid customer growth rose 30% in the second quarter.

Calculated billings were $218.2 million in the second quarter, up 25% from a year earlier, but Wall Street had been looking for roughly 33% growth in billings to $236 million.

Slack lifted its fiscal 2021 outlook.

The stock dropped 17.63% to $24.15 in premarket trading Wednesday.

4. -- Wednesday's Highlights: GameStop Earnings, JOLTS Report

Earnings reports are expected Wednesday from GameStop  (GME) - Get Report, Navistar International  (NAV) - Get Report and American Eagle Outfitters  (AEO) - Get Report and BigCommerce BIGC.

The economic calendar in the U.S. Wednesday includes MBA Mortgage Applications for the week ended Sept. 4 at 7 a.m. ET and the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey for July at 10 a.m.

5. -- Lululemon Sees Third-Quarter Earnings Drop

Lululemon Athletica  (LULU) - Get Report was falling in premarket trading after the athletic apparel company said it expects adjusted profit in its current third fiscal quarter to fall as much as 20% because of higher marketing costs.

The company said it was “cautiously optimistic with regard to the second half of the year as we continue to navigate the uncertain environment.”

Lululemon posted fiscal second-quarter earnings that beat analysts' estimates.

Adjusted earnings in the quarter were 74 cents a share on revenue of $902.9 million, up from $883.4 million a year earlier. Revenue at Lululemon’s direct-to-consumer business, which includes online sales, jumped 155% in the second quarter.

Analysts has been expecting earnings of 56 cents a share on revenue of $844.5 million. 

The stock declined 4.6% to $333.70.