Stock Market Futures Trading Sideways To Start The Week

U.S. stock futures are looking for direction on Monday morning as investors tread cautiously in the last week of September. The general stock market sentiment seems to be improving. This came as investors digest the Fed’s indications on the tapering of its asset purchasing program. But the contagion risks from China Evergrande Group remain. A lot of the attention continues to be on China where a crackdown on power consumption to meet emission targets could affect industrial activity. And that could put pressure on the pace of global economic recovery. 

Clearly what’s going on in the Chinese economy is getting much more attention globally. Undoubtedly we will see a slowdown in the economy as we move into next year. The question now is to what extent that’s going to happen and the knock-on implications for global growth.”- Steve Brice, Standard Chartered Wealth Management Chief Investment Officer

Meanwhile, European stocks are surging higher on German election relief and surge in energy stocks. The sharp gains in energy stocks came as crude oil prices surged to three-year highs of almost $80 a barrel. As of 7:15 a.m. ET, the Dow futures are up 0.20% while S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures are trading lower by 0.10% and 0.55% respectively. 

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Aurora Cannabis (ACB) Earnings On Tap After The Stock Market Closes Today

Aurora Cannabis (NASDAQ: ACB) is set to report its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings after the closing bell today. The Canadian marijuana company saw its stock price doubled earlier this February to its 52-week high. Since then, it has shaved more than 65% of market value. Hence, ahead of earnings today, investors are hoping to see if the upcoming report could provide any potential boost to ACB stock. 

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Even though marijuana sales got a boost during the pandemic, Wall Street isn’t very optimistic heading into its earnings. After all, Aurora has been repeatedly disappointing its investors since 2020. Its failure to grow revenue and achieve positive earnings is hard to ignore. And if you have been paying attention to the company’s development, chances are you’ve come across the company’s recent development. In particular, Aurora is closing its facility in Edmonton, impacting approximately 8% of its global workforce. 

While it’s unlikely to post a profit, there are other ways the company can show if it’s making progress. Some of the key metrics investors might want to focus on are its write-downs, operating expenses, and revenue. If Aurora manages to keep write-downs and operating expenses low and increase its revenue, that could be enough to convince some investors. But if history is of any guide, investors may not be putting too much hope on the company. 

Bitcoin & Other Cryptocurrencies Recover After China Intensified Crackdown  

On Friday, the People’s Bank of China said all crypto-related activities are illegal, effectively making Bitcoin illegal in the country. Even though the news sent Bitcoin lower initially, the world’s largest cryptocurrency bounced back over the weekend. Admittedly, China’s stance on the crypto market was not something new. But it was enough to put pressure on Bitcoin and the broader cryptocurrency market. With this piece of news, China has made its intentions crystal clear. And that is to have a tight grip over all its financial activity in the country.

Not to mention, investors had already been unnerved by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) taking a tougher stance on cryptocurrency lately. SEC Chairman Gary Gensler said, “decentralized finance and the world in which bitcoin and other cryptos reside, has no rightful place in the U.S. financial system without meaningful oversight and additional regulations.

Meanwhile, Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) recently announced that its 330 million active users will soon be able to send Bitcoin to each other instantly and for virtually zero cost. The social media company began integrating the Strike Bitcoin Lightning wallet with its platform, essentially allowing the company to handle millions of payments a second. Apart from Twitter, Robinhood Markets (NASDAQ: HOOD) launched cryptocurrency wallets as Bitcoin becomes a bigger part of its business.

Alibaba (BABA) Backs Logistic Startup Ninja Van

Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) invested $578 million in Ninja Van, a Singaporean logistics startup in a Series E round. Investors participating along with Alibaba include DPDgroup parent Geopost, investment firm B Capital Group and Monk’s Hill Ventures. The fresh funding would help lift the company’s valuation to well above $1 billion. An initial public offering (IPO) could take place as soon as early next year.

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The quality of investors joining us in this round of investment is a clear signal that the market recognises the emerging opportunities for e-commerce logistics in Southeast Asia,” Ninja Van co-founder and chief executive Lai Chang Wen said in the statement. As an entrenched player in the region, “Ninja Van is positioned to take a central role in meeting the shifting demands of both businesses and consumers,” he added.

For starters, Ninja Van operates in six markets in Southeast Asia and delivers close to 2 million parcels a day in the region, according to its website. Among its major clients include PT Tokopedia, Alibaba’s Lazada Group, and Shopee, a unit of Sea (NYSE: SE). According to an annual study conducted by Bain & Company, Southeast Asia is projected to be home to 350 million online shoppers by the end of this year, up from 310 million last year. Alibaba has certainly faced regulatory headwinds at home in recent months. But that has not stopped the company from diversifying abroad. 

[Read More] Top Stocks To Buy Now? 4 Renewable Energy Stocks For Your Watchlist

Earnings To Watch In The Stock Market Today

To top it all off, several other major companies are looking to report their earnings today. For those looking to jump on some pre-market earnings action, we have iBio (NYSE: IBIO) and S&W Seed (NASDAQ: SANW) on tap.

Alternatively, in the case you are keener on earnings after the closing bell, there is a good mix of names to consider as well. Namely, Aurora Cannabis, Aytu Biopharma (NASDAQ: AYTU), Concentrix (NASDAQ: CNXC), iPower (NASDAQ: IPW) among others would be in focus. Whether you are keeping up with crypto news or following earnings reports, there is no shortage of exciting news as we kick start a new trading week.

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