Stocks closed slightly higher yesterday in their first winning session since the start of the week. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones gained half a point while the Nasdaq lagged with a 0.2% advance. U.S. indices are still in negative territory for the week.
Yesterday’s big story was the presidential debate, but neither candidate said anything that really shook investor sentiment. Futures are a bit wobbly this morning, but index contracts are currently in the green.
China was the big loser in Asian overnight. The Shanghai Composite lost 1.0% to lead the region’s losses. However, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Composite climbed 0.5% on the day. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.2%.
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European stocks are rallying across the board mid-way through the across-the-pond trading session. The FTSE 100 leads with a 1.6% gain, and the Eurozone Stoxx 600 is up roughly 1.0%.
Today’s earnings docket includes:
American Express [AMEX], First Horizon [FHN], and Illinois Tool Woorks [ITW] before the bell.
On the economic front, keep an eye out for the Markit Manufacturing and Service PMIs scheduled for release at 9:45 a.m. EST.
Gilead Sciences [GILD]
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave its final approval for Gilead’s remdesivir as the first and only approved treatment for COVID-19 in the United States. The proprietary drug already had an FDA Emergency Use Authorization, but Thursday’s ruling makes gives the drug permanent status.
Analysts believe the drug could drive as much as $1 billion in sales through the second half of the year. Remdesivir sells under the brand name Veklury and costs $3,120 for a five-day, intravenous treatment.
GILD is trading actively on this news and it’s currently one of the S&P 500’s top gainers with a 5.0% after-hours advance.
Intel Corp. [INTC]
Intel disappointed investors after yesterday’s closing bell with a lackluster earnings report, and the bears are pouncing. The chipmaker had a rough quarter and reported bad news on just about every conceivable front. Intel’s Q3 earnings and revenues both met Wall Street’s targets, but the outlook for the future is gloomy.
Profit margins tightened despite booming chip sales because customer demand is shifting toward cheaper chips, Intel said. On top of that, the company also reported sliding sales in its crucial data center business, and its Q4 earnings forecast fell below Wall Street forecasts.
INTC is down 9.7% on the earnings miss, but the stock is starting to look pretty attractive from a value perspective. At current levels, it’s trading for about 10 times earnings, and that’s dirt-cheap.
Socket Mobile [SCKT]
Socket Mobile’s Q3 earnings report got a warm reception from investors despite slowing revenues. The company reported a 17% drop in revenues in the third quarter, but profitability improved. Socket’s overall earnings came in at $0.07 per share.
However, there was a concerning footnote in this earnings release. On a post-earnings conference call with analysts, Socket CEO Kevin Mills said the company “may be impacted by a goodwill adjustment.”
According to Mills, “this annual review was not started in time and therefore, could not be completed before today’s announcement. We will report the results in the Form 10-Q that will be filed on or around November 13th.”
This is very concerning for the company’s quarterly earnings figure. Socket only made $424,000 in the quarter, so a significant adjustment to goodwill could easily put their Q3 earnings figure in the red. If you’re going to play around with this one, know that shares prices could tank once Socket releases the goodwill report.
Despite the concerns, Socket Mobile is skyrocketing in the pre-market. Share prices have more than doubled, and SCKT is currently up 110.9%.
Zedge Inc. [ZDGE]
Shares of Zedge are rising on the back of an upbeat earnings report. The “phone personalization app maker” posted an unexpected profit in its fiscal fourth quarter thanks to strong-than-usual sales growth in the quarter. All and all, Zedge brought in $2.7 million in the quarter and grew its revenues at a 39.2% clip. Monthly active users increased 10.8% from Q3, but they were down 5.6% YoY.
Zedge’s 2021 forecast also seems bullish. The company’s revenue growth target for next year is 20%, and it’s aiming for continued positive cash flow and profitability.
In this market, investors are eager to find growth opportunities, so Zedge’s 39% revenue growth rate definitely got the market’s attention. ZDGE is trading actively and shares are currently up 43.8% in the pre-market.