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What to watch today: Dow set to fall more than 400 points as Covid cases rise; more earnings coming

CNBC logo CNBC 10/28/2020 Peter Schacknow

BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. equity futures are set for a sharply lower open, as investors grappled with an increase in coronavirus cases, uncertainty over next Tuesday's election, and the continued lack of an economic stimulus package. Dow futures implied an opening loss of more than 400 points. S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures also were in the red. On Tuesday, the Dow and benchmark S&P fell, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 0.6%. (CNBC)

* Treasury yields fall for 4th straight day over stimulus concerns (CNBC)

The Dow is already at its lowest in a month, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq at three-week lows. Based on futures activity, the S&P 500 is likely to go negative for October at the open, joining the Dow and leaving the Nasdaq as the only major index higher for the month. A drop by the Dow today would be its fourth straight and its longest losing streak since late February.

* European markets tumble on coronavirus, U.S. election and stimulus fears (CNBC)

Mortgage applications to purchase a home were essentially flat last week, rising just 0.2% after having fallen for four straight weeks, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Later this morning, Energy Department releases its weekly look at oil and gasoline inventories. There are no government economic numbers set for release today. (CNBC)

Boeing (BA), General Electric (GE), Blackstone (BX) and Mastercard (MA) are among this morning's high-profile earnings reports. UPS (UPS), Anthem (ANTM), General Dynamics (GD), ADP (ADP), Tupperware (TUP) and Norfolk Southern (NSC) also set to report.

* GE shares jump after posting surprise adjusted third-quarter profit, revenue tops expectations (CNBC)

* Boeing to cut thousands of additional jobs through 2021 as it adjusts to long-term drop in air travel demand (CNBC)

After-the-bell reports today include Amgen (AMGN), Ford (F), Gilead Sciences (GILD), Pinterest (PINS), Visa (V), Fastly (FSLY), Etsy (ETSY), eBay (EBAY) and Churchill Downs (CHD).

IN THE NEWS TODAY

Nearly half a million new infections were reported in the U.S. over the last seven days, with several Midwestern states in particular seeing a worsening of their coronavirus outbreaks. On Tuesday, Wisconsin reported a record 64 deaths and 5,262 new cases. And in Illinois, Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker has instituted public-health restrictions in parts of the state, including Chicago. Indoor dining in restaurants and bars will be suspended in the state's largest city beginning Friday and gatherings will be capped at 25 people. (Reuters/Journal Sentinel)

* Merkel seeks limited lockdown as German virus cases surge (Associated Press)


Video: Dow CEO Jim Fitterling on earnings beat, demand increase and outlook (CNBC)

UP NEXT
UP NEXT

More than 70 million Americans have already voted in the 2020 election, eclipsing over 50% of the total turnout in the 2016 presidential election, according to data compiled by the U.S. Elections Project. So far, Democrats hold a commanding advantage over Republicans in mail-in voting volume for states that report party data. However, the GOP maintains a lead over the Democrats for in-person votes cast. (CNBC)

* With six days left in race, Trump heads to Arizona and Biden delivers Covid-19 speech (Reuters)

The chief executives of Facebook (FB), Alphabet (GOOGL) and Twitter (TWTR) are set to testify today in front of the Senate Commerce Committee for a hearing in part focused on Section 230, a decades-old law that provides the companies a legal shield for the content their users post online. The CEOs are expected to warn about the consequences of dramatically changing the law. Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, for example, is set to reaffirm his openness to more government regulation of tech firms, while emphasizing the role of Section 230 in allowing the social media giant to "empower" its users. (CNBC)

* Facebook political advertisers say their ads are being blocked even though they follow the rules (CNBC)

Microsoft (MSFT) beat Wall Street forecasts in its fiscal first quarter results for revenue and per-share earnings, but provided lighter-than-expected revenue guidance that investors zeroed in on. The tech titan's shares were lower by over 2% in early trading. In its quarterly report Tuesday night, Microsoft reported a year-over-year decline of 10% in its search advertising revenue, which is of note for investors ahead of Google-parent Alphabet's earnings release Thursday. That's because in recent quarters, the firms have exhibited similar trends in search advertising revenues. (CNBC)

More than 90,000 people in Southern California were under evacuation orders due to the threat of two wildfires in Orange County. And in the Gulf Coast, Zeta has returned to hurricane strength in a historically busy Atlantic storm season. A life-threatening storm surge could arrive by late today along parts of the northern Gulf Coast, with hurricane conditions expected in portions Louisiana and near the state lines with Mississippi and Alabama, according to the National Hurricane Center. (USA Today/Associated Press)

STOCKS TO WATCH

FireEye (FEYE) beat estimates by 4 cents with adjusted quarterly profit of 11 cents per share, with the cybersecurity company's revenue also topping estimates. FireEye also gave strong current quarter revenue guidance.

First Solar (FSLR) more than doubled the 61 cent consensus estimate with quarterly earnings of $1.45 per share, with revenue considerably above Wall Street forecasts as well. The solar equipment company said its results have not been materially impacted by the pandemic.

Deutsche Bank (DB) reported a surprise third-quarter profit, with the bank's bottom line benefitting from improved performance by its investment banking operations.

Juniper Networks (JNPR) matched estimates with adjusted quarterly earnings of 43 cents per share, while the networking and cybersecurity company's revenue came in above analyst forecasts. The company said it saw better-than-expected demand during the quarter despite challenges created by the pandemic.

Sony (SNE) raised its annual profit forecast after reporting better-than-expected fiscal second-quarter profit, with its gaming business getting a boost from pandemic-related lockdowns as well as the performance of its Japanese animated film "Demon Slayer."

Caesars Entertainment (CZR) is selling its Tropicana Evansville casino for $480 million, with Gaming & Leisure Properties buying the real property assets and Twin River Worldwide Holdings buying the operating assets.

Akamai Technologies (AKAM) shares are under pressure despite beating estimates on the top and bottom lines for its latest quarter. The provider of online content delivery technology reported adjusted quarterly profit of $1.31 per share, 8 cents above estimates.

WATERCOOLER

The Los Angeles Dodgers captured their first World Series crown in 32 years Tuesday night, topping the Tampa Bay Rays, 3-1, in Game 6 and capping a pandemic-altered MLB season. Corey Seager was named World Series MVP, as the shortstop helped the Dodgers' avenge their championship losses in 2017 and 2018. (LA Times)

Programming note: Thursday is our Technology Executive Council Summit, featuring Frank Slootman, CEO of Snowflake; Alex Stamos, former chief security officer at Facebook; Alexis Wichowski, deputy CTO for innovation at the City of New York; and Tom Leighton, CEO & co-founder of Akamai Technologies. The event will bring together CIOs, CTOs and CISOs and we encourage you to join us. Apply for a seat on the Council today!

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