Stock Market Futures Slip Ahead Of Jobs Report

U.S. stock futures are edging lower in early morning trading today. As volatility and uncertainty remain key themes in the stock market today, this is understandable. After all, investors continue to receive a mix of economic data this week. Investors were also digesting employment data released by ADP on Thursday. The data showed the slowest job creation pace since the pandemic-era recovery. However, stocks rallied into the close, finishing Thursday’s session strong, as investors see value in many beaten down growth stocks.

Providing insights into the market’s situation today is Goldman Sachs’ (NYSE: GS) Chris Hussey: “Today’s data also only heightens the focus on Friday’s May payrolls release – particularly on wage growth. A very strong reading might signal that the Fed has a lot more to do to quell inflationary pressures in the economy, while a big negative surprise – like we saw in ADP today – could support those who think the U.S. is fast slipping into a recession.”

Although the pace of job growth is expected to have slowed for the month of May, economists say the labor market remains strong. As we anticipate the nonfarm payroll data later this morning, let’s look at some stock market news before the opening bell. As of 6:45 a.m. ET, the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq futures are trading lower by 0.32%, 0.53%, and 0.95% respectively.

Okta Stock Is Soaring Following Strong Earnings & Optimistic Outlook 

Okta (NASDAQ: OKTA) is rallying in the pre-market session today, adding to gains from Thursday’s intraday trading. This came after the identity management software company reported better-than-expected results for the quarter ended April. For the quarter, revenue came in 65% from a year ago to $415 million. This is ahead of the company’s guidance range of $388 million to $390 million. In fact, if we take out the contributions from the Auth0 identity-platform, revenue grew a formidable 39%. For those unfamiliar, this quarter marks the first full year that Okta has had Auth0 on the books. This follows the close of its $6.5 billion acquisition last year. 

“I’m really proud of that number,” Todd McKinnon, chief executive and co-founder of Okta said. “I’m proud of the overall growth, but the 39%, I’m proud of it too. I think when we bought Auth0 one of the concerns was ‘Oh, they were just buying growth,’ and you’ve seen the core business maintain that growth of near 40% over the past four quarters, which is pretty exciting for me.”

In addition to a strong quarter, the company also raised its forecast for the fiscal year. For the January 2023 fiscal year, the company now sees revenue of $1.805 billion to $1.815 billion, up 39% to 40%. All in all, the positive quarter and outlook came as a surprise for some who worry about the potential impact of the security breach earlier this year. Considering the strong growth, I can understand why many could be jumping on OKTA stock when the market opens today. 

OKTA stock
Source: TradingView

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Lululemon Athletica Raises Guidance As Consumers Keep Spending Despite Higher Prices

Athletic apparel maker Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ: LULU) is another company making waves in the stock market today. Similar to Okta, Lululemon reported fiscal first-quarter revenue that outpaced analysts expectations. The strong quarter is driven by double-digit growth online and in the retailer’s men’s division. From its latest quarterly report, the company’s revenue grew roughly 32% to $1.61 billion from $1.23 billion a year earlier. If anything, the company makes it clear that wealthier consumers are still spending. This suggests that the company’s target market has been resilient. 

Overall, the company’s focus on clothes for sports and wellness allowed it to thrive during much of the pandemic. Much of the success was because many sought out stretchy pants and comfortable clothing to wear at home. And that sets a new trend to even wear these athleisure items during social outings, or even in their workplace if it’s permissible. If anything, this shows that the product pipeline remains very attractive to a broad range of consumers. 

What’s more, the company also raised its outlook for the fiscal year. In detail, Lululemon sees sales in fiscal 2022 in a range of $7.61 billion to $7.71 billion. This is up from a prior forecast of $7.49 billion to $7.62 billion. With the company’s strong growth and its investment in other markets such as China, would you consider buying LULU stock for the long haul?

LULU stock
Source: TradingView

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Kohl’s Stock Gains On Report Of Receiving Two Bids In Sales Process

Shares of Kohl’s (NYSE: KSS) are rising in the premarket trading today after receiving takeover bids from Sycamore Partners and Franchise Group. Diving right in, Sycamore’s bid values the KSS stock in the mid-$50s a share, while Franchise Group offered around $60. Should one of the deals materialize, this represents a potential upside of more than 30% from Thursday’s closing price of $41.18. The Kohl’s board could meet to review the bids in the coming days, according to people familiar with the matter.

Prior to this, Kohl’s had indicated that it believed the company was worth at least $70 per share. But ever since the weaker than expected earnings from Target (NYSE: TGT) and Walmart (NYSE: WMT), sentiments around the industry may have taken a hit as well. Not to mention, the weaker-than-expected first quarter result also scared off some bidders, even as other retailers like Macy’s (NYSE: M) reported strong sales. Because of all this, it would not surprise me to see KSS stock moving sideways until a deal looks more likely. 

KSS stock
Source: TradingView

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CrowdStrike Stock Dips Despite Earnings Beat

CrowdStrike (NASDAQ: CRWD) could be a top cybersecurity stock to look out for today. After the closing bell on Thursday, the cybersecurity titan reported fiscal results that topped estimates, but its stock is losing ground in the premarket trading today nonetheless. For the quarter, CrowdStrike reported earnings of $0.31 per share, above estimates of $0.23 a share. Meanwhile, revenue jumped 61% to $487.8 million, beating estimates of $463.9 million. With these figures in mind, it’s not difficult to expect CrowdStrike to maintain its operational momentum moving forward.

“Gross retention rates reached an all-time high and the number of customers adopting six or more and seven or more modules both more than doubled year-over-year, underscoring the immense value we deliver to customers seeking to transform, consolidate and fortify their security defense,” the company said. Considering the post-earnings dip, would you be keen on initiating a position in CRWD stock when the markets open today?

CRWD stock
Source: TradingView

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