Here are the most important news items that investors need to start their trading day:
Stock futures pointed to a higher open Thursday following a positive Wednesday for all three major U.S. indexes. Markets are looking to get back on track heading into September after the summer rally lost some momentum this month. Investors are eager for clues on what the Federal Reserve will do at its meeting next month in its fight against inflation. A couple of days of remarks from Fed speakers at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, starting Thursday, could well scratch that itch. Fed Chair Jerome Powell is slated to talk Friday.
The losses keep piling up for Peloton, the fitness equipment maker that became a phenomenon during Covid pandemic lockdowns only to bottom out, and then some, after people started leaving their homes again. On Thursday, the company posted its sixth consecutive quarter of reported losses as sales foundered and its gross margin hit an astounding negative 98.1% in the fiscal fourth quarter. (It was a positive 11.7% in the year-ago period.) Peloton didn’t even bother to give full-year guidance. The report came a day after investors celebrated news that Peloton started selling equipment and apparel through Amazon, marking the company’s first such deal with another retailer.
Enterprise software maker Salesforce’s shares slumped in off-hours trading after the company scaled back its outlook for the year. “Nearly everyone I’ve talked to is taking a more measured approach to their business,” company co-founder and co-CEO Marc Benioff said on a conference call with analysts. “We expect these trends to continue in the near term, and we’ve reflected this in our guidance.” Salesforce also approved a $10 billion share buyback program. It is also raising prices for Slack, the team messaging app it acquired last year for $28 billion as it became clear that hybrid work arrangements were going to stick around.
Amazon’s telehealth service, Amazon Care, will shut down at the end of the year. It marks a big step back for Amazon, although its ambitions in the health-care space remain robust. Amazon Care helped the company understand “what’s needed long-term to deliver meaningful health care solutions for enterprise and individual customers,” the service’s leader, Neil Lindsay, wrote in the memo. The company struck a deal to acquire primary-care provider One Medical last month, and it is reportedly bidding for Signify Health, a provider of home health services.
September is right around the corner. That means it’s Apple season. The tech giant on Wednesday sent out cosmic-themed invitations to a big event Sept. 7, when it is expected to unveil the latest iPhones. Investors and consumers alike will be looking for whether Apple will jack up its already premium-level prices given supply chain issues and inflation, CNBC’s Kif Leswing writes. Apple could also unveil a new Apple Watch at the event.
— CNBC’s Carmen Reinicke, Lauren Thomas, Jordan Novet, Annie Palmer and Kif Leswing contributed to this report.