Here are five things you must know for Wednesday, June 19:
1. -- Stock Futures Mixed as Wall Street Eyes the Fed, Trade Talks
U.S. stock futures pointed to a mixed start for Wall Street on Wednesday as equity investors were hoping to get support from global central bank easing and fruitful U.S.-China trade talks.
Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 2 points, futures for the S&P 500 were down 1.45 points, and Nasdaq futures slipped 2.25 points.
With the Federal Reserve set to make an announcement on interest rates at 2 p.m. ET amid pressure from Donald Trump to "level the playing field" in global commerce with lower interest rates, and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi pledging to re-start the bank's €2.6 trillion bond buying program if growth and inflation continue to slow, investors have driven global stocks to multi-week highs.
The Dow closed Tuesday within 1.4% of its all-time closing high of 26,828.39 on Oct. 3, 2018, while the S&P 500 finished within 1% of its April 30 record of 2,945.83.
Trump's announcement of a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping later this month at the G-20 meeting in Osaka, Japan, gave markets a boost and lifted Asian shares in Wednesday's session.
As for the Federal Reserve, CME Group futures prices suggest a 24.2% chance of a rate cut from the central bank later Wednesday, with the balance of bets on a reduction in July that would take the key target rate to a range of 2% to 2.25%.
The future of Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is another matter. Trump suggested late Tuesday that Powell's future as chairman may hinge on his consent to lower interest rates.
The unprecedented political pressure on the central bank chief, who has been the subject of numerous criticisms from the president since his appointment last year, was highlighted by a report from Bloomberg that alleged Trump had sought ways to remove Powell from his post earlier this year.
The economic calendar in the U.S. on Wednesday includes Oil Inventories for the week ended June 14, at 10:30 a.m.
2. -- Adobe's Second-Quarter Revenue Jumps 25%
Adobe (ADBE - Get Report) was rising 4.24% to $288.51 in premarket trading Wednesday after the software company posted fiscal second-quarter earnings and revenue that beat analysts' forecasts but a forecast for the third quarter that came up short.
Adjusted earnings in the quarter were $1.83 a share on revenue of $2.74 billion, a 25% increase from a year earlier. Analysts were expecting Adobe to report earnings of $1.78 a share on revenue of $2.71 billion. Revenue at the company's digital-media business, which includes Adobe Photoshop and Premiere, rose 22% in the quarter to $1.89 billion.
"Adobe's continued momentum is being fueled by the explosion of creativity across the globe and the widespread business transformation agenda to deliver engaging customer experiences," said Shantanu Narayen, Adobe's president and CEO. "With an innovative technology platform, exciting product roadmap and strong ecosystem of partners, we are well positioned for the second half of FY19 and beyond."
Adobe said for the fiscal third quarter it expects earnings of $1.95 a share, including an income tax adjustment loss of 7 cents a share. Wall Street had been calling for earnings of $2.05.
- Adobe Tops Q2 Earnings Forecasts as Cloud Focus Drives Digital Media Sales
- What Did the World Look Like Before Photoshop? A History of Adobe
3. -- CBS Reportedly Preparing an Offer to Buy Viacom
CBS (CBS - Get Report) is preparing to make an offer for Viacom (VIAB - Get Report) in the coming weeks, following a meeting of CBS directors last week in which a potential deal was discussed, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the situation.
Representatives of CBS and Viacom already have had preliminary discussions about the outlines of a deal, one of the people told the Journal.
If the companies move ahead with negotiations, it would be a third attempt to reunite the media companies that were divided by Sumner Redstone more than 13 years ago, the Journal noted.
Shari Redstone, vice chairman of both companies, believes that CBS and Viacom would be better positioned to compete with larger rivals as one company, according to the Journal. She is president of National Amusements, which controls both CBS and Viacom.
Obstacles to a deal include would be determining the price for a stock transaction and picking a new leadership team.
4. -- U.S. Steel to Idle Plans as Demand Weakens and Prices Fall
Shares rose 2.88% to $15 in premarket trading on Wednesday.
The steelmaker also said it expects adjusted earnings in the fiscal second quarter of about 40 cents a share, below analysts' forecasts of 51 cents.
The company will take one furnace off line at its mill in Gary, Ind., and another at its mill in Ecorse, Mich.
The company said the moves would decrease monthly blast furnace production capacity by about 200,000 to 225,000 tons beginning in July. If both furnaces remain idled for the remainder of the year, U.S. Steel said it expects flat-rolled shipments to be about 11 million tons, below a prior forecast of 11.5 million tons.
U.S. Steel said it would resume blast furnace production at one or both idled blast furnaces in the U.S. "when market conditions improve."
The benchmark price of hot-rolled coiled sheet steel in the U.S. has dropped by more than 35% since approaching a decade high last summer, according to The Wall Street Journal.
5. -- PG&E to Pay $1 Billion to Local Governments for Wildfire Damage
PG&E (PCG - Get Report) , the utility blamed for igniting several wildfires caused by downed power lines that killed dozens and destroyed thousands of homes in California, agreed Tuesday to pay $1 billion in damages to local governments.
Attorneys representing 14 local public entities announced the settlement with Pacific Gas & Electric to cover "taxpayer losses."
More than half of the settlement is related to the 2018 fire in Northern California that killed 85 people and destroyed more than 13,000 homes. It included $270 million to the town of Paradise, which was mostly destroyed in the fire, the Associated Press reported.
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