Stock Market Futures Edge Higher Despite Drop In Consumer Confidence For June
U.S. stock futures are seemingly stabilizing in early morning trading on Wednesday. This appears to be the case as investors continue to tread lightly ahead of this week’s economic data release. For one thing, there appears to be a rather mixed bag of information to consider already. On one hand, some of the biggest banks in the U.S. are raising their dividends following the Fed’s annual stress test. What this means is that the Fed gave the country’s biggest lenders the greenlight to redistribute excess capital to shareholders. Among the firms that are raising their dividend payouts are Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), and Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC).
On the other hand, you have the June U.S. consumer confidence (CC) reading from the Conference Board. According to the board, its CC index is down by 4.5 points to about 98.7 this month. This substantial drop would, in theory, be due to growing consumer concerns regarding inflation and slowing economic growth. Even so, a key potential market mover to consider this week would be the Bureau of Economic Analysis’ personal consumption expenditures due Thursday.
Commenting on the overall state of things is the CEO of investment advisory firm Waddell & Associates, David Waddell. He argues, “People are coming into the end of the quarter with a little bit more stability than they had certainly a month ago and have digested that the Fed may need to use recession as a policy tool.” While processing all this input, here is how the major U.S. stock index futures are doing now. As of 4:58 a.m. ET, the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq futures are trading higher by 0.15%, 0.09%, and 0.07% respectively.
Pinterest Stock In Focus After News Of Bill Ready Taking Over CEO Position
Making headlines in the stock market now would be Pinterest (NYSE: PINS). For the most part, this could be the result of its latest update to management. Diving in, the social media firm’s CEO Ben Silbermann will be stepping down from his role at the helm. Instead, the Pinterest founder will be transitioning towards the position of executive chairman of the board. Taking his place is Bill Ready, the president of commerce at Alphabet’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Google since 2020. Additionally, Ready also has experience as the former operating chief at PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL) and CEO of Venmo.
Weighing in on this is Silbermann. He starts by saying, “In our next chapter, we are focused on helping Pinners buy, try and act on all the great ideas they see.” Silbermann continues, “Bill is a great leader for this transition. He is a builder who deeply understands commerce and payments. And he shares our passion for creating a positive corner of the Internet. I’m confident he’s going to be an outstanding CEO.” On top of all that, Silbermann notes that Ready has a deep understanding of commerce and payments. This could, ideally, synergize with Pinterest’s plans to better monetize its platform. After considering Ready’s prior work history in industry-leading tech firms, investors would be eyeing PINS stock today.
Disney CEO Bob Chapek Receives Three-Year Contract Extension
In other CEO-related news, Disney (NYSE: DIS) CEO Bob Chapek seems to be making the right moves. On the whole, this is apparent seeing as the Disney board of directors is now extending Chapek’s contract. In detail, his contract was going to expire in February 2023. Through the current three-year extension, Chapek is set to maintain his role as CEO until July 2025. Seeing as the CEO continues to navigate Disney through the current challenging business environment, this is not all that surprising.
Adding some context to all this is the chairman of the Disney board, Susan Arnold. She highlights, “Disney was dealt a tough hand by the pandemic, yet with Bob at the helm, our businesses — from parks to streaming — not only weathered the storm, but emerged in a position of strength.” Arnold also notes that as Disney continues to focus on growth, the board believes that Chapek is “the right leader at the right time.” Notably, Disney’s focus on streaming has and continues to fuel growth for the company amidst the pandemic. Even as pandemic restrictions lift, Chapek is a firm believer in the company’s goal to achieve 230 million to 260 million Disney+ subscribers by 2024. Safe to say, all this could put DIS stock in focus amongst investors now.
Qualcomm Outpaces AMD and Nvidia As Apple Reportedly Faces Issues With 5G Chip Development Plans
At the same time, shares of Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) are advancing following a report regarding Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and its 5G chip plans. Namely, Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst from TF International Securities recently posted about Apple not being successful in its modem chip development plans. This, Kuo notes, is according to his latest survey data. Should this be the case, it could mean that Apple will have to continue relying on Qualcomm for 100% of its 5G modem chip needs. Arguably, this would translate to positive news for Qualcomm as consumer adoption of 5G tech continues to ramp up.
In fact, Kuo also believes that Qualcomm will “likely” top Wall Street estimates in late 2023 and 2024 because of this. While the analyst admits that Apple will continue to develop its 5G chips, he posits that this will not impact Qualcomm much. Kuo’s logic on this front is that the chip titan’s alternate business would have expanded enough to “significantly offset” any potential impacts from this by then. As such, QCOM stock is currently on the rise while competitors AMD (NASDAQ: AMD) and Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA) experience turbulence.
Amazon Web Services CEO Adam Selipsky On The Future Of Cloud Computing
Amazon’s (NASDAQ: AMZN) head of Amazon Web Services (AWS) Adam Selipsky is also in the news now. Overall, this is thanks to his latest interview with CNBC’s Jim Cramer yesterday. During the interview, Selipsky speaks on the current state of cloud computing adoption in the IT world. According to the AWS CEO, we are only seeing the initial stages and there is plenty of growth lying ahead. In Selipsky’s words, “Essentially, IT is going to move to the cloud. And it’s going to take a while. You’ve seen maybe only, call it 10% of IT today move. So it’s still day 1. It’s still early. … Most of it’s still yet to come.”
Moreover, he also states that AWS “could become the largest business at Amazon.” Evidently, AWS’ revenue for the first quarter came in above consensus figures on Wall Street. To put things into perspective, AWS accounted for about 16% of Amazon’s total revenue for the quarter. Because of this, Selipsky notes that AWS continues to push forward despite growing competition and a looming recession. In closing, he says, “Demand continues to be strong, with lots of new customers signing up and existing customers expanding.” The question now is whether all this makes AMZN stock an attractive buy for investors following its recent stock split.