Down for most of the night, U.S. stock futures are now indicating another big day of gains, with the DJIA pointing to an advance of 272 points at the open to retake the 29,000 level. Scientific progress toward a coronavirus cure is being cited as a catalyst for the latest movement, with reports suggesting researchers at Zhejiang University had zeroed in on two drugs to successfully fight the disease, as well as progress in the U.K. on creating a vaccine. President Trump also touted “the great American comeback” in his third SOTU address, while we’ll get payroll data from ADP and more earnings later in the session.
Go deeper: ‘A Fundamental Charting Analysis Of The DJIA’ by Mycroft Friedrich.
Updating its guidance for Q4 and the years ahead, Macy’s (NYSE:M) plans to close 125 department stores over the next three years, in an admission that a fifth of its locations cannot succeed as shoppers move online. The retailer is also cutting 2,000 corporate jobs, and abandoning a dual headquarters in Cincinnati for a head office in New York. Macy’s will additionally test a new concept that will take it out of traditional malls by opening smaller outlets in strip malls, and will continue to look for profits from its real estate.
Go deeper: Enterprising Investors feels Macy’s is trading at a discount.
Tobacco giant Imperial Brands (OTCQX:IMBBY) has abandoned its forecast for growth this year as a U.S. ban on some vaping flavors leads to a drop in sales of smoking alternatives. Demand for the products has also been dented by adverse news flow and safety concerns following a spate of illness in the U.S. Meanwhile, the CEOs of Juul (JUUL), Reynolds American (NYSE:BTI) and NJOY are set to be grilled about rising youth vaping rates by House lawmakers today, the first hearing since the Trump administration announced a limited ban on vaping flavors.
“Giga Texas?” Tesla’s (NASDAQ:TSLA) Elon Musk tweeted overnight, giving two options – “Hell yeah” or “Nope” in a survey set to last 24 hours. The poll garnered over 160,000 responses as of 6:30 a.m. ET, with nearly 80% voting in favor of the new gigafactory. Tesla, whose shares have been on a major tear and yesterday topped $900, currently has two gigafactories in the U.S. and one in Shanghai. In November, it also announced plans to build its first European factory and design center near Berlin.
Go deeper: Media headlines paint much different story than Tesla reality, writes Bill Maurer.
As tech platforms prepare for the 2020 presidential election, Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) said it will begin labeling tweets containing synthetic or deceptively edited forms of content and will remove any manipulated media “likely to cause harm.” Earlier this week, YouTube (GOOG, GOOGL) announced it would remove any content that has been doctored and may pose a “serious risk of egregious harm,” while TikTok issued a broad ban on “misleading information.” Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is further removing deepfakes and some other manipulated videos from its websites, but will leave up satirical content.
Go deeper: Erich Reimer explores Twitter’s political ad ban.
Over the past week, Jeff Bezos has sold 905,456 shares in Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) for more than $1.8B, according to financial filings. The disclosure comes as the company’s market cap vaulted over the $1T level following a robust set of Q4 results that displayed AWS strength and brushed off concerns about the cost of one-day Prime delivery. While it’s unclear exactly where the money is going, in the past Bezos has said he would sell at least $1B of Amazon stock a year to fund his rocket startup, Blue Origin (BORGN).
Shares of eBay surged nearly 9% late Tuesday after the WSJ reported that Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE:ICE) made a bid to acquire its marketplace business. The deal could value eBay at roughly $30B. Earlier on Tuesday, hedge fund Starboard Value called for eBay to sell its classifieds division, saying it would allow the company to focus on its growing marketplace unit. eBay has attracted multiple activist investors in recent years including Carl Icahn, who pushed for its 2015 spinoff of PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL).