Stock Market Futures Extend Previous Day’s Losses Ahead Of Second Quarter Earnings Season
U.S. stock futures are trading lower in early morning trading on Tuesday this week. Overall, consumers appear to be taking a more defensive stance as several potential market movers are due later in the week. To begin with, the Bureau of Labor Statistics is set to release its Consumer Price Index (CPI) tomorrow. According to consensus economist forecasts, the CPI could rise by as much as 8.8% year-over-year. Should this be the case, it would mark its fastest acceleration since December 1981.
Providing further commentary on this is the chief U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank (NYSE: DB), Matthew Luzzetti. He starts by saying that the firm is “expecting another strong inflation print.” Luzzetti then adds, “For a market that’s been dealing with certainly recession fears, I think this week will be renewed fears about elevated inflation.” At the same time, with growing mentions of soaring inflation, general outlooks on the upcoming batch of earnings would be somewhat muted as well. To remedy this, some of the biggest U.S. banks would have to post rather commendable figures later this week. Alongside all of this, there also appears to be no shortage of notable stock market news to check out today. As of 5:34 a.m. ET, the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq futures are trading lower by 0.67%, 0.68%, and 0.64% respectively.
Amazon Expands Smart Grocery Cart Service To Whole Foods Locations; Lands EV Cargo Van Agreement With Mullen Via Delivery Partner
Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) does not seem to be slowing down in the least bit on the operational front now. For starters, as of yesterday, the company is expanding its smart shopping cart solution, the Dash Cart, to Whole Foods locations. Starting this week, the Dash Cart will be available at a Whole Foods store in Massachusetts. Moving forward, Amazon is planning an initial launch of Dash Carts to other locations in Westford, Massachusetts, and northwest of Boston. All of which the company expects to happen over several months. Moreover, the company is also planning to offer a larger version of the Dash Cart, allowing customers to fit up to four grocery bags at a time.
In detail, the Dash Cart allows users to bypass the checkout line entirely. It accomplishes this by identifying and tallying items that are currently in the cart. Notably, the Dash Cart represents another iteration of Amazon’s “Just Walk Out” cashier-less tech as well. This would, in the long run, provide consumers with more convenience across the board when shopping at Whole Foods.
Additionally, Amazon also seems to be bolstering its delivery services as well. As of yesterday, one of its delivery partners, DelPack Logistics, now has an 18-month agreement with Mullen Automotive (NASDAQ: MULN). Through this partnership, Mullen will be delivering 600 of its Class 2 EV cargo vans throughout the duration. All in all, Amazon continues to make strides to refine its operations despite the current business environment. With all this in mind, AMZN stock could be worth noting in the stock market today.
Twitter Lawyers Claims Musk Deal Cancellation To Be Invalid
Elsewhere, investors will likely be keeping an eye on the ongoing drama between Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) and Elon Musk. Following his move to terminate the $44 billion acquisition of the firm, Twitter is now taking action against Musk. According to the latest SEC filing from Twitter’s team, the Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO’s “purported termination” is “invalid.” The legal team of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz writes, “Contrary to the assertions in your letter, Twitter has breached none of its obligations under the Agreement, and Twitter has not suffered and is not likely to suffer a Company Material Adverse Effect.”
Furthermore, the firm argues that Musk’s termination of the merger agreement is an intentional breach of the agreement. They also note that “the Agreement is not terminated, the Bank Debt Commitment Letter and the Equity Commitment Letter remain in effect, and Twitter demands that Mr. Musk and the other Musk Parties comply with their obligations under the Agreement, including their obligations to use their respective reasonable best efforts to consummate and make effective the transactions contemplated by the Agreement.” On the whole, it seems that Twitter is doubling down on its efforts to close the deal. As this legal battle continues to ramp up, TWTR stock would be in the spotlight this week.
GameStop Launches Long-Awaited NFT Marketplace
On Monday, GameStop (NYSE: GME) announced its long-awaited debut of its online marketplace for nonfungible tokens, or NFTs. This comes as the company tries to reinvent its businesses and cash in on consumer adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain. In essence, the platform allows users to connect their own digital asset wallets. This would include its own GameStop Wallet. Over time, the marketplace will expand functionality to encompass additional categories such as Web3 gaming, more creators and other Ethereum environments.
This is the latest push from the company, now chaired by Chewy (NYSE: CHWY) founder and activist investor Ryan Cohen to diversify the company’s revenue. It is also a clear indication that the company is trying to win over investors that may have long written off GameStop as a legacy retailer that is outdated in today’s economy. For reference, GameStop is one of the largest video game retailers in the world, with over 4,500 stores worldwide, with over 3,000 in the U.S. alone. The company also owns EB Games and Micromania. Given this piece of news, GME stock would be on many investors’ radar right now.
Rivian Plans To Layoff About 5% Of Its Workforce After Expanding Too Quickly
Electric vehicle startup Rivian Automotive (NASDAQ: RIVN) could be planning a layoff to trim its workforce by about 5%. This is because the company may have grown too quickly in some areas, according to a report by Bloomberg on Monday. The layoff could be announced in the coming weeks, according to the report, citing people familiar with the matter. Rivian currently has about 14,000 employees and has added thousands of new employees over the past year. It comes at a time when the company has begun production of its own electric trucks and SUVs as well as a delivery van for Amazon.
However, the layoffs will not affect manufacturing despite all of this. Rivian has also stumbled in recent months as it comes to deal with global supply-chain breakdowns and parts shortages like what companies all over the world are facing. On top of that, automakers now face challenges as vehicle sales dive with higher prices and also raging inflation. Tesla has also rung a similar tune by cutting about 10% of its salaried workforce while protecting manufacturing jobs as CEO Elon Musk says he sees a recession around the corner. All things considered, RIVN stock might be worth paying attention to today.