Stock Market Futures Extend Gains From Yesterday’s Recovery Rally
U.S. stock futures are moving higher early on Friday morning this week. It seems the stocks continue to gain ground following back-to-back declines earlier during the trading week. While investors attempt to understand the Fed’s latest meeting minutes, uncertainty remains a theme in the stock market now. As questions about what the Fed will or won’t do continue to pop up, investors may be looking for guidance.
Providing an overview of all of this is Allianz (OTCMKTS: ALIZF) Investment Management’s senior investment strategist, Charlie Ripley. He argues, “The reality is we are in uncharted waters here and the Fed has a difficult task in unwinding the tremendous monetary support over the past couple years.” Ripley adds that “it is highly conceivable that uncertainty in the path of monetary policy will remain embedded in markets and that is exactly what we have been witnessing with the recent moves in interest rates and risk assets.”
Regardless, companies across the board continue to expand their offerings while making moves in the stock market today. As of 6:42 a.m. ET, the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq futures are trading higher by 0.28%, 0.19%, and 0.15% respectively.
CrowdStrike Receives Provisional Impact Level 4 Authorization From U.S. Department Of Defense
CrowdStrike (NASDAQ: CRWD) seems to be gaining attention in the stock market today thanks to its latest update. Namely, the cybersecurity titan received a provisional Impact Level 4 authorization from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). Simply put, this allows CrowdStrike access to a deeper library of controlled unclassified information (CUI) at the federal level. It provides the company with greater insight into more confidential DoD files, allowing it to better provide its security solutions. Because of this, CrowdStrike can now deploy its Falcon cybersecurity platform to a broad range of DoD and Defense Industrial Base (DIB) customers. All of which will serve to protect their CUI from potential cyberattackers.
Even after securing this provisional Impact Level 4 authorization, CrowdStrike notes that it is working towards an Impact Level 5. Speaking on all this is Shawn Henry, CrowdStrike’s chief security officer. He says, “This authorization will further CrowdStrike’s support to federal agencies in defending against modern cyber threats, and we remain committed to bolstering our engagements with the public sector. Private-public sector collaboration is critical during these unprecedented times, and cybersecurity must remain paramount for both sectors into the future.”
Furthermore, CrowdStrike is also actively working with fellow cybersecurity firm, Mandiant (NASDAQ: MNDT). As of yesterday, the duo are now part of a strategic partnership, helping joint clients defend against complex cybersecurity events. Through this team-up, Mandiant can employ CrowdStrike’s Falcon platform while CrowdStrike adds the Mandiant Managed Defense software to its platform. As CrowdStrike continues to break new ground in its fight against cybercrime, CRWD stock would be in focus today.
Atlassian Sees Long-Term Goal Of $10 Billion In Revenue Per Year, Citing Growing Demand For Cloud And Productivity Offerings
In other software-related news, Atlassian (NASDAQ: TEAM), an American-Australian firm is also making headlines today. For the most part, this is likely thanks to the company’s latest long-term annual revenue estimates. Diving in, Atlassian now has a goal of reaching $10 billion in annual revenue. The company believes that its role as a provider of productivity and collaboration solutions for organizational settings is a prime factor in this. In detail, Atlassian highlights its ongoing pivot to the cloud and active expansion of its product line to “reach a wider swath of corporate business.”
Moreover, co-CEO Scott Farquhar says that Atlassian has a clear and direct path toward achieving this goal. Farquhar also notes that these goals are to “give investors comfort around the near-term opportunities.” While executives did not provide a specific time frame for the goals, analysts already have their estimates for its current fiscal year. For now, Wall Street analysts expect annual sales of about $2.69 billion, quite a distance from Atlassian’s current long-term goals. Nevertheless, Atlassian is also expecting its cloud revenue to increase by 50% year-over-year for the next two fiscal years.
For one thing, the company’s current goals are loft, to say the least. Even so, Atlassian is likely depending on an increase in existing customer spending on its growing suite of cloud-based solutions. In fact, all of these solutions already have tight integrations with Atlassian’s core platform. This would make it easy for clients to expand their existing contracts as they adapt to changing work environments. After considering all of this, I could see investors considering TEAM stock at today’s market open.
Chevron ‘Very Likely’ To Receive License Extension In Venezuela
Meanwhile, Chevron (NYSE: CVX) , a leading name in the global energy industry is likely to receive some good news soon. According to Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, PDVSA, Chevron will probably receive a license extension from Washington to operate in the region. In particular, Chevron currently has a special operating license exempting it from sanctions on Venezuela’s oil sector. Additionally, recent talks between U.S. and Venezuelan officials touched on the topic of relaxing sanctions amidst growing global oil demand.
While this is only to maintain minimal operations, it would be a win for Chevron on the operational front. Not to mention, other oil giants such as Halliburton (NYSE: HAL), Schlumberger (NYSE: SLB), Baker Hughes (NASDAQ: BKR), and Weatherford (NASDAQ: WFRD) also have similar licenses. Ideally, should Chevron receive its extension, it could serve to further lessen the pressure on oil supplies in the long run. Whether this can provide CVX stock with meaningful growth down the line remains to be seen.
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Block Introduces New Cash App Feature “Paid In Bitcoin”
On the fintech front, Block (NYSE: SQ) is once again making waves today as well. Following the reveal of its physical Bitcoin wallet, the company is introducing several new Bitcoin-centric features on its payments app. For starters, Block’s Cash App now allows users to automatically receive payment in Bitcoin through “Paid in Bitcoin”(PiB). Essentially, PiB allows users to automatically invest a portion of their monthly paychecks into Bitcoin.
Also, Block is launching two other features as well, its “Bitcoin Roundups” and “Lightning Network Receives”. In essence, Bitcoin Roundups lets users round up any payments made to the closest dollar. After doing so, the difference is put towards purchasing Bitcoin. Meanwhile, Lightning Network Receives enables users to receive Bitcoin in the Cash App through layer 2 payment protocol, allowing for faster transactions. All in all, this latest push in the crypto space is not all that surprising from Block. As some of the biggest fintech players ramp up investments into crypto-based services, Block is looking to keep up. With all that said, SQ stock alongside its fintech stock peers could be worth looking out for now.