Stock Futures Under Pressure Ahead Of August Retail Sales Figures

Stock futures appear to be on the decline early Thursday morning. This would likely be the result of a rather mixed bag of economic data across the globe. While inflation levels continue to wade in the U.S., China saw its retail and production figures slump in August. Similarly, U.S. retail sales figures are on tap later today and investors could be playing things safe. Besides, weekly jobless claims data will also be available at 8:30 a.m. ET today. Add this to concerns about a possible stock market correction, and it won’t be surprising if investors are cautious. 

Overall, Akshata Bailkeri, Bruderman Asset Management equity analyst, shed some light on this. Bailkeri said, “Equity markets have been positive for seven consecutive months, which is quite rare … So yes, investors are rightly concerned.” She continued, “But the reason why we’re seeing this is that these earnings behind a lot of these companies are continuing to grow, and that’s really what’s driving these index values higher.

Given all of this, investors would have several key factors to note. Whether you are looking to buy on the current dips or staying on the sidelines, there is plenty of news to consider in the stock market today. As of 6:42 a.m. ET, the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq futures are down by 0.11%, 0.15%, and 0.20% respectively.

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Adobe Eyeing The E-Commerce Payments Market

For starters, Adobe (NASDAQ: ADBE) is now looking to go into the digital payments business. Just yesterday, the enterprise software titan revealed plans to add payment services to its e-commerce platform. Notably, this would open up more ways for merchants to accept payment methods such as credit cards among others. This could bring Adobe’s e-commerce services closer to the likes of Shopify (NYSE: SHOP). Now, most would not immediately think of Adobe when considering the top e-commerce stocks in the market. However, the company has been providing e-commerce related software to retailers looking to run online stores since 2018.

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In detail, Adobe is planning to implement its news payment system by the end of the year. For now, the company is planning a rollout for its U.S. retailers. Moreover, Adobe will also be partnering up with leading fintech firm PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL). PayPal will help process “a variety of payment types, including credit and debit cards” alongside PayPal’s payment and buy-now-pay-later offerings.

Overall, this would be a strategic play by Adobe now. With Adobe’s current play, businesses of all sizes have a more integrated operating experience on its e-commerce platform now. That includes having access to more comprehensive reporting capabilities. As a result of all this, I could see investors eyeing ADBE stock in the stock market today.

PepsiCo Looking Towards The Plant-Based Consumables Market

In other news, PepsiCo (NASDAQ: PEP) is reportedly planning to release new plant-based snacks and drinks. In an interview with CNBC yesterday, CEO Ramon Laguarta provided some details on this move by the company. According to Laguarta, plant-based products could be coming to the PepsiCo portfolio by as early as 2022. More importantly, the company is doing so via a joint venture with leading alternative meat producer, Beyond Meat (NASDAQ: BYND). Through the PLANeT Partnership, we could be looking at a rather powerful team-up in the works.

PEP stock quote

In essence, Pepsi will be tapping into Beyond Meat’s expertise in the plant-based consumer products market. At the same time, Beyond Meat would be able to benefit from Pepsi’s massive production network and marketing chops for new products. In the aforementioned interview, Laguarta also highlights that new consumer trends continue to point towards higher demand for plant-based alternatives.

Given the current focus on health and sustainability globally, this would be understandable. With what seems like a win-win situation, both PEP stock and BYND stock could, arguably, be worth watching long term.

[Read more] Best Stocks To Invest In 2021? 3 Cyclical Stocks To Watch

New Data From Moderna Supporting Booster Shots

Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA) is making headlines yet again this week thanks to its latest data on COVID-19. Yesterday, the company released findings from its phase three study of breakthrough Covid cases among fully vaccinated people. The study found that such cases were “less frequent among trial participants who were more recently inoculated”. In theory, this would suggest that immunity for earlier groups of vaccinated individuals could be starting to lessen.

biotech stocks (MRNA stock)

For a sense of scale, there were 88 breakthrough cases out of a sample of 11,431 individuals vaccinated between December and March. This number almost doubled to 162 in a sample of over 14,746 trial participants who received their vaccines between last July through October. This would indicate that vaccine protection begins to decrease after about a year.

Because of all this, Moderna appears to have data to back up booster shots being a necessity this fall. While the validity of the stance continues to be debated, MRNA stock would likely continue to be in focus regardless.

[Read More] Best Lithium Battery Stocks To Buy Now? 4 To Know

Chevron Taking The Hydrogen Route To Alternative Energy

Another piece of stock market news to consider today would be from Chevron (NYSE: CVX). Namely, Chevron is now making investments towards renewable natural gas and hydrogen. While most in the energy industry are turning to wind or solar energy, CEO Mike Wirth provided some insight into the oil giants’ long-term plans. According to Wirth, the tech in these key renewable energy spaces are “relatively mature”. As such, Chevron believes that it “can’t create value for shareholders by going into wind and solar.

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Alternatively, this update comes a day after Chevron revealed plans to more than triple its lower-carbon energy investments. Simply put, the company is now looking to put $10 billion towards its lower-carbon energy business through 2028.

By and large, Wirth had this to say, “We’ve got a track record of disciplined capital allocation in our traditional business, in mergers and acquisitions, and we intend to apply that in our new energies business, as well.” With even one of the largest oil companies in the U.S. looking to go green, things could be heating up in the energy industry now.

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