Stock Market Futures Edged Lower After Tech-Led Rebound Rally Tuesday

Stock market futures are ticking lower in early morning trading on Wednesday. The reversal of Tuesday’s positive sentiment did not apply to the U.S. stock market alone. Earlier today, stocks in Asia and Europe were mostly lower as all sectors and major bourses slid into negative territory. Investors today could be looking at the ADP private payrolls for more indications of the country’s economic health.

Meanwhile, Constellation Brands (NYSE: STZ) and Acuity Brands (NYSE: AYI) are reporting their earnings before the opening bell today. Rising inflation and supply chain disruptions are among the key problems plaguing companies’ recovery from the pandemic. Yet, Wall Street is expecting solid corporate growth when the third-quarter earnings season kicks off later this month. As of 6:49 a.m. ET, the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq futures are shedding by 1.06%, 1.26%, and 1.47% respectively.

Palantir (PLTR) Stock Surging On $823 Million Army Contract

Palantir Technologies (NYSE: PLTR) is trading higher in pre-market trading today. This came after the company said it won the vast majority of an $823 million program to provide data and analytics software to the U.S. Army. As Palantir stock has been trading sideways in recent months, the dips have presented investors with multiple opportunities to buy at discounts. And those who bought PLTR stock recently could be seeing respectable gains at a time of market volatility. With the new contract, the company announced that it will support Army Intelligence users worldwide with a globally federated intelligence data fabric and analytics platform.

best tech stocks (PLTR stock)

We look forward to the continued partnership with [Program Executive Officer Intelligence Electronic Warfare & Sensors] and the Army’s Intelligence Community in providing new and exciting technology that help them in their modernization efforts,” said Doug Philippone, Palantir’s global defense lead, in a statement.

Fundamentally, Palantir appears to be growing robustly. In its second quarter, revenue jumped 49% year-over-year. Admittedly, the company may have yet to reach profitability. But many are confident that the company could achieve further growth with its capabilities. And Palantir’s Army contract is a step in the right direction. If anything, the latest contract win demonstrates the company’s ability to continue to sign up new government contracts.

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Levi Strauss Earnings On Tap After The Stock Market Closes Today

Jeans specialist Levi Strauss (NYSE: LEVI) will report its earnings after the closing bell today. Demand for the company’s products is likely to be strong thanks to consumer spending and a high appetite for premium apparel products. But some investors are nervous ahead of the earnings due to inflation and supply chain challenges, amongst other things. If Nike’s (NYSE: NKE) recent performance is of any guide, there’s a chance Levi could see a similar growth downgrade. 

LEVI stock

From its last quarterly update, Levi showed no signs of slowing down. In fact, the company’s sales came in 156% higher in comparison with the prior year period. Despite the closure of most retail locations due to new COVID-19 restrictions in Europe, the jeans specialist managed to set a new revenue record in its second fiscal quarter. Should consumers continue to flock to Levi’s premium apparel options, the company could still see a strong operating margin and positive earnings outlook for late 2021.

Even though Wall Street is expecting another strong quarter today, the company likely faces huge cost spikes and mounting supply chain issues that might threaten sales growth and profitability. UBS keeps a bullish stance on LEVI stock on a positive view of the company’s long-term growth potential. With Levi continuing to expand into new markets and push deeper into online channels, would you agree that LEVI stock is a long-term hold?

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Norwegian Cruise Line Set To Launch Full Fleet By April

Miami-based Norwegian Cruise Line (NYSE: NCLH) will begin sailing its full fleet of 28 ships by April 1 of next year, according to CEO Frank Del Rio. 75% of the company’s cruise ships could return to normal operations by January 2022. With vaccine makers such as Pfizer (NYSE: PFE), Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA) or Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) seeking FDA’s approval for booster shots, reopening sectors like cruise lines could benefit. 

What’s more, consumers and investors alike can also thank pharmaceutical giant Merck (NYSE: MRK). As you may or may not know, Merck’s antiviral pill for COVID-19 has proven effective at cutting the rate of hospitalization or death by half in a Phase 3 clinical trial. All these are great news for cruise line stocks.

Let’s say you get on a cruise and find out that you’ve just contracted COVID-19. An antiviral pill could stop the insidious coronavirus in its tracks. While Merck’s antiviral pill isn’t approved for Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA yet, cruise line companies like Norwegian are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. According to Norwegian’s CEO, he’s confident that the reopening will take place very soon. He said, “If anything, the world is opening up, more people are getting vaccinated … Pent-up demand continues to be very, very strong for the sailings we’ve operated thus far.”  

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Bitcoin & Other Cryptocurrencies Continued To Push Higher

Cryptocurrencies were broadly higher on Wednesday morning as Bitcoin stayed above the key level of $50,000. There are a few reasons why the bulls are back in the crypto space. For one, U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell expressed interest in regulating stablecoins. This could pave the way forward for the crypto industry to legitimize themselves ahead of mainstream adoption.

In addition to this, Bitcoin could become a legal mode of payment in Brazil. Federal deputy Aureo Ribeiro has revealed that Brazilians could soon be able to make purchases with Bitcoin. Now, Brazil is preparing to vote on a cryptocurrency regulation bill which is expected to be presented to the Plenary of the Chamber of Deputies within the next few days. Should the plan gain approval, this would likely serve as another major catalyst for the crypto space as a whole. Recall that El Salvador became the first country in the world to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender last month. 

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