Stock Market Futures Inch Higher Following Hot CPI Readings

U.S. stock futures are in the green heading into Friday’s trading session this week. As oil and commodity prices stabilize from a war-fueled price surge, inflation continues to rear its ugly head. Evidently, crude oil prices fell for a second consecutive session alongside all three major stock indexes. On the economic front, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index (CPI) readings are in. In February, the CPI gained by 7.9% year-over-year. While this is in line with consensus economists’ forecasts, it still represents a 40-year high for this inflationary measure.

In general, most would argue that inflation has been and remains a major concern for economies worldwide. With the Ukraine-Russia war further weighing in on already strained global supply chains, things could continue to worsen. Because of all this, some investors could be anticipating an acceleration by the central bank to tighten monetary policy. By extension, this could include more aggressive interest rate rises. Regardless, it seems like uncertainty will continue to be a prominent theme in the overall stock market today as well. As of 5:51 a.m. ET, the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq futures are trading higher by 0.33%, 0.41%, and 0.45% respectively.

Rivian Slumps Following Lackluster Quarterly Earnings Figures And Production Outlook

Rivian Automotive (NASDAQ: RIVN) is among the headliners in the stock market today. Naturally, this would be a result of its latest quarterly earnings update. After yesterday’s closing bell, the company missed Wall Street’s estimates at the top and bottom line. Diving in, Rivian posted a loss of $2.43 per share on revenue of $54 million for the quarter. To put things into perspective, consensus forecasts were pointing towards a loss of $1.97 per share and revenue of $60 million. Overall, it seems the upcoming electric vehicle (EV) maker continues to face challenges in getting its operations off the ground.

In fact, Rivian cites growing issues on the supply chain front as a key reason for its lack of momentum. To quote the company, “In the immediate term, we are not immune to the supply chain issues that have challenged the entire industry. Those issues, which we believe will continue through at least 2022, have added a layer of complexity to our production ramp-up.” Because of this, the company is currently expecting to produce 25,000 units of its electric trucks and SUVs in 2022. To point out, this is about half of its initial vehicle production forecast to investors during its IPO roadshow. Nevertheless, the orders continue to pile on for Rivian as its current total reservations are at a whopping 83,000.

Looking forward, the company refrained from providing revenue guidance for the current fiscal year. However, it is actively optimizing its operations. Namely, the company is planning to replace its battery cells with lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cells. By using LFP cells, Rivian benefits from generally cheaper build costs alongside batteries that charge quickly and deliver longer ranges for its EVs. This would be the company following in the footsteps of Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) earlier this year.

RIVN stock
Source: TradingView

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DocuSign On The Decline After Providing Less-Than-Expected Annual Guidance

Another name making the rounds because of its earnings today would be DocuSign (NASDAQ: DOCU). All in all, the company raked in a quarterly revenue of $580.80 million, above estimates of about $561.60 million. Year-over-year, this adds up to a solid 34.8% jump. At the same time, DocuSign is also looking at a respectable earnings per share of $0.48, in-line with consensus expectations. For the quarter, the company also saw sizable growth across several key metrics. Notably, its billings and subscription revenue are up by 25% and 37% year-over-year respectively. On top of all that, DocuSign also generated record margins throughout the quarter.

Commenting on all this is CEO Dan Springer. He highlights, “While the year unfolded differently than expected, we are proud of the ongoing performance and resilience of our team as we scaled to become a multi-billion dollar company. Together, we helped another 280,000 new customers begin digitizing how they agree as we surpassed 1.17 million total customers overall.” This alongside the e-signature company’s ongoing partnership with Zoom (NASDAQ: ZM) since last month is worth noting now.

Despite all of this, DOCU stock appears to be on the decline following the company’s guidance for the current fiscal year. DocuSign is expecting a total annual revenue of between $2.47 billion to $2.48 billion. This is noticeably below consensus estimates of $2.61 billion. The real question now is whether DocuSign can make the most of its operational momentum to drive meaningful growth long-term.

DOCU stock
Source: TradingView

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eBay CEO Jamie Iannone Reveals Company’s Interest In Potential Digital Wallet Offering

In other news, popular e-commerce platform eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY) is reportedly looking towards crypto tech. For the most part, this information comes from the company’s investors day event yesterday. In it, eBay officially launches its first digital wallet offering. Through its digital wallet, customers can “use proceeds from their sales to conveniently purchase their next item or pay their selling expenses.” Moreover, CEO Jamie Iannone also floated the idea of adding cryptocurrency-related functions to this wallet.

Iannone said, “we continue to evaluate other forms of payments that we should take on the platform. We don’t currently accept cryptocurrency on the platform.” Even so, eBay is not one to shy away from significant updates to its payment systems. Currently, the platform already supports Alphabet’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Google Pay and Apple’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) Apple Pay. Additionally, it also facilitates buy-now-pay-later solutions via Afterpay. Not forgetting, eBay already supports the trading of non-fungible tokens, an upcoming area of crypto tech now. As such, it would not be all that surprising for the company to consider accepting digital currencies on its platform.

EBAY stock
Source: TradingView

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Ford Teams Up With Utility Firm PG&E To Test F-150 Lighting EV As Backup Power Generator For Homes

Elsewhere, Ford (NYSE: F) is making plays in the home energy grid space now. Through a collaboration with California-based utility company PG&E (NYSE: PCG), it is looking to turn EVs into backup home generators. In detail, the duo are looking to test Ford’s upcoming F-150 in this current venture. They aim to do so by connecting the EV to the power grid. As it stands, initial testing is set to begin this spring. Should things go as planned, this would add another key feature to Ford’s already popular F-150 electric pickup truck.

Highlighting how this could benefit Ford in the EV market now is CEO Jim Farley. The CEO believes that this step into “bidirectional charging,” would set Ford apart from key competitors such as Tesla. Also, PG&E CEO Patti Poppe added that one in five EVs sold in the U.S. is in the company’s service area. In her own words, “That’s about 6,600 MW of capacity that’s driving around today.” With this in mind, investors may be tuning in to F stock at today’s opening bell.

F stock
Source: TradingView

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