Here are five things you must know for Wednesday, Oct. 2:
1. -- Stock Futures Fall as Grim Manufacturing Data Rattles Wall Street
U.S. stock futures pointed lower on Wednesday following the biggest single-day decline on Wall Street in more than a month after a grim reading of factory activity in the U.S., the world's biggest economy, sparked concerns for a global recession led by the trade spat between Washington and Beijing.
The Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index in September fell to its lowest level since 2009, with export orders tumbling amid the protracted trade dispute and employment contracting as plants and facilities idled and investment stalled. The data, which hammered U.S. stocks on Tuesday, followed the weakest reading for European manufacturing in seven years and ongoing signals of a sharp slowdown in both China and Japan.
Donald Trump used the data to rail yet again at the Federal Reserve, calling the central bank "pathetic" for not lowering interest rates further and thus inflating the value of the dollar. However, most analysts noted that trade uncertainty, not dollar strength, was the common theme among those polled by the closelyfollowed survey, suggesting deeper concerns for the global economy.
"This survey is a not consistent with recession across the whole economy, but the warning signs here are clear enough: The trade war is wreaking havoc, to the point where the incipient upturn in manufacturing in China is not transmitting, at all, to the U.S.," said Pantheon Economics' Ian Shepherdson. "This means that if consumers' confidence seriously falters, the U.S. could tip into the first recession ever caused directly by the actions of the president rather than the action of tight monetary policy on an overstretched private sector."
Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 158 points, futures for the S&P 500 were down 17.80 points, and Nasdaq futures declined 55.50 points.
The economic calendar in the U.S. Wednesday includes the ADP National Employment Report for September at 8:15 a.m. ET, and Oil Inventories for the week ended Sept. 27, at 10:30 a.m.
Homebuilder Lennar (LEN - Get Report) reported third-quarter earnings of $1.59 a share, beating Wall Street estimates of $1.32. Revenue in the period rose 3% to $5.9 billion. The stock rose 2.3% in premarket trading to $57.
2. -- Johnson & Johnson Settles Opioid Lawsuits in Ohio for $20.4 Million
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ - Get Report) settled opioid lawsuits with two Northeast Ohio counties for $20.4 million.
The company said the settlements with Cuyahoga and Summit counties remove it from a federal trial set to begin on Oct. 21
The settlements come a little more than a month after an Oklahoma judge ordered the healthcare giant to pay $572 million over its marketing of opioids in that state.
Johnson & Johnson and other opioid manufacturers still face some 2,000 other lawsuits related to the nation's opioids epidemic.
Privately held Purdue Pharma declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September under the weight of legal battles tied to its opioids business and after settlement talks with nearly two dozen state attorneys general collapsed.
Johnson & Johnson didn't admit liability in the settlements announced Tuesday. The company will pay a $10 million settlement, $5 million in legal fees, and will make a $5.4 million contribution to non-profit groups with opioid related programs in the two counties.
3. -- Libra Partners Waver on Supporting Facebook's Cryptocurrency Network
Visa (V - Get Report) , Mastercard (MA - Get Report) and other financial partners that agreed to help build and maintain Facebook's (FB - Get Report) Libra cryptocurrency-based payments network are reconsidering their involvement following scrutiny from U.S. and European government officials, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
Executives at some of Libra's backers have declined Facebook's requests to publicly support the project, the people said.
Their reluctance has Facebook scrambling to keep Libra on track. Policy executives from Libra's backers - a group called the Libra Association - have been summoned to a meeting in Washington on Thursday, according to people familiar with the matter.
Representatives from the companies are slated to meet in Geneva on Oct. 14, to review a charter for the Libra Association and appoint a board, according to a memo reviewed by Journal.
In a Twitter posting early Wednesday, Facebook's David Marcus said, "For Libra to succeed it needs committed members, and while I have no knowledge of specific organizations plans to not step up, commitment to the mission is more important than anything else."
4. -- Exxon Mobil Warns Lower Crude Prices Will Cut Profit
Exxon Mobil (XOM - Get Report) , the biggest U.S. oil company, warned investors that lower crude prices would clip its quarterly profit.
Exxon said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that third-quarter profit would fall by about 50% from the same period last year to around $3.1 billion. Exxon's oil and gas production division would see a 45% slump from last year's $4.23 billion total, while downstream profit likely will tumble 70% to $500 million.
Exxon is expected to report third-quarter earnings on Oct. 31.
West Texas intermediate crude prices fell about 8.5% during the third quarter as investors trimmed bets on increased demand amid the U.S.-China trade dispute and factored in record domestic output from shale deposits in the Permian basin.
Exxon shares declined 0.65% in premarket trading to $68.50.
5. -- Stitch Fix Tumbles on Soft Revenue Forecast
Stitch Fix (SFIX - Get Report) tumbled 8% to $18.45 in premarket trading Wednesday after the online clothing retailer beat fiscal fourth-quarter earnings expectations but issued a weaker-than-expected revenue forecast for the first quarter.
For the fourth quarter ended Aug. 3, the San Francisco online personal styling service earned 7 cents a share on revenue of $432 million vs. analysts' expectations for earnings of 4 cents on revenue of $432 million.
Stitch Fix said active clients during the quarter rose 18% to 3.2 million.
Stitch Fix said it expects first-quarter revenue of $438 million to $442 million vs. Wall Street expectations of $451.3 million. The company said it expects adjusted Ebitda of $6 million to $9 million.
For fiscal 2020, Stitch Fix predicted revenue of $1.9 billion to $1.93 billion vs. estimates of $1.91 billion.
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