Here are five things you must know for Wednesday, June 5:
1. -- Stock Futures Rise on Hopes for a Rate Cut
U.S. stock futures were rising Wednesday, following Wall Street's biggest single-day gains in at least five months during the previous session, as investors continued to bet that any trade-related slowdown in the domestic economy will be offset by an interest rate cut from the Federal Reserve.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's comments during a central bank symposium in Chicago triggered the jump, although investors had been primed for the rally earlier in the week when his colleague, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, spoke of a "darkened" global trade outlook and hinted at a policy move in response.
"We do not know how or when these issues will be resolved," Powell said of the ongoing trade conflicts with China, Mexico and the European Union. "We are closely monitoring the implications of these developments for the U.S. economic outlook and, as always, we will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion, with a strong labor market and inflation near our symmetric 2% objective."
With the CME Group's FedWatch tool now pricing in a 53% chance of a rate cut in July, and at least an 85% probability of another reduction in the key fed funds rate before the end of the year, investors are returning to risk markets with renewed optimism, even as the outstanding issues of trade and a corresponding slowdown in global growth remain unresolved.
Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 159 points, futures for the S&P 500 were up 18.35 points, and Nasdaq futures gained 58.25 points.
The economic calendar in the U.S. for Wednesday includes the ADP National Employment Report for May at 8:15 a.m. ET, the PMI Services Index for May at 9:45 a.m., the ISM Non-Manufacturing Index for May at 10 a.m., Oil Inventories for the week ended May 31 at 10:30 a.m., and the Federal Reserve's "Beige Book" at 2 p.m.
Earnings reports are expected Wednesday from Five Below (FIVE - Get Report) , American Eagle Outfitters (AEO - Get Report) , G-III Apparel Group (GIII - Get Report) , Campbell Soup (CPB - Get Report) , Cloudera (CLDR - Get Report) , Stitch Fix (SFIX - Get Report) , MongoDB (MDB - Get Report) and United Natural Foods (UNFI - Get Report) .
2. -- SalesforceSalesforce.com ( CRM - Get Report) rose 4.4% in premarket trading Wednesday to $157.50 after the business-software company beat analysts' fiscal first-quarter earnings expectations and raised its fiscal-year outlook.
Adjusted earnings in the period were 93 cents a share vs. 74 cents a year earlier and ahead of analysts' forecasts of 61 cents.
Revenue rose to $3.74 billion from $3.01 billion a year earlier and bested expectations of $3.66 billion. Cloud-based revenue jumped 11.2% to just below $1.1 billion.
"We're No. 1 in sales, we're No. 1 in service and we're leading in so many other areas. We're No. 1 in model-driven application platforms, driven by our amazing community of 6 million developers. We're also a leader in marketing and commerce and continue to gain share and with MuleSoft we also have this No. 1 integration platform, it's incredible," said Marc Benioff, co-CEO of Salesforce.
The company said it expects second-quarter adjusted earnings of 46 cents to 47 cents a share on revenue of $3.94 billion to $3.95 billion. Salesforce raised its earnings outlook for the fiscal year to $2.88 to $2.90 a share from previous guidance of between $2.74 and $2.76 a share. Revenue was forecast at $16.1 billion to $16.25 billion.
Analysts polled by FactSet expect second-quarter earnings of 65 cents a share on revenue of $3.94 billion, and fiscal-year profit of $2.67 a share on revenue of $16.14 billion.
"The quarter, guidance, and management's broader view of the digital transformations taking place across the world reinforces our long-term outlook on the business,' said Jim Cramer and the Action Alerts PLUS team, which holds Salesforce in its portfolio. "After a tough period of dormancy and shares steadily trading lower, we view now as a good time to buy."
3. -- Apple CEO Tim Cook Doesn't Expect to Be Targeted by China
Apple (AAPL - Get Report) rose 1.7% to $182.67 in premarket trading Wednesday after CEO Tim Cook told CBS News he didn't think the tech giant would be targeted by China should the ongoing trade war between Washington and Beijing seep further into the tech sector.
Cook, speaking on the sidelines of Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, said that while he couldn't rule out the possibility of retaliation from China following last month's move by the Treasury Department to blacklist Huawei Technologies from doing business with U.S. companies, he doesn't anticipate it.
"Well, currently, the Chinese have not targeted Apple at all. And I don't anticipate that happening, to be honest," Cook said, adding that levies on iPhones assembled in China but shipped to the United States likely would impact sales of its most important product.
"I'm hoping that doesn't happen. And I don't anticipate it happening. I know people think the iPhone is made in China," Cook said. "The iPhone is assembled in China. The truth is, the iPhone is made everywhere. It's made everywhere. And so a tariff on the iPhone would hurt all of those countries, but the one that would be hurt the most is this one."
"We've had a company in China for a long time. And so, there is a, I believe, a healthy level of respect for both sides," Cook said. "And so I don't anticipate that happening. But I'm not promising that it will not, but I don't anticipate it."
4. -- GameStop Sinks, Videogame Retailer Eliminates Dividend as Sales Fall
GameStop said the elimination of its quarterly dividend of 38 cents a share would be effective immediately. GameStop said the move would save it about $157 million in cash a year.
The company posted adjusted earnings in the quarter of 7 cents a share vs. estimates that called for a loss of 3 cents. But revenue of $1.55 billion fell from $1.79 billion a year earlier and missed forecasts of $1.64 billion. Same-store sales fell 10.3% vs. analysts' calls for a decline of 7%.
"As I've been digging into our business, it's clear to me that we need to transform to remain a viable player in our industry, which is currently undergoing meaningful technological change," CEO George Sherman told investors on a conference call. "And while the industry grows and attracts new customers, our recent performance shows me that we have work to do to evolve and transform."
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5. -- Bernie Sanders to Press Walmart on Worker Pay
Sanders, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for president, was invited by Walmart workers to attend the meeting and present a proposal that would allow worker representation on Walmart's board. He also is expected to push for raising the retailer's minimum wage of $11.
Sanders told The Washington Post that "workers need and deserve a seat at the table. If hourly workers at Walmart were well represented on its board, I doubt you would see the CEO of Walmart making over a thousand times more than its average worker."
Walmart CEO Doug McMillon makes nearly $24 million a year, 1,076 times more than the average employee who earns just $22,000 each year, according to Newsweek.
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