1. Stocks to rise on coronavirus stimulus progress
On Thursday’s economic calendar, initial jobless claims are expected to exceed 1 million for the 17th straight week. The Labor Department’s 8:30 a.m. ET report is expected to show 1.3 million in new unemployment benefits filings last week, the same as the prior week.
2. Senators, White House reach ‘fundamental agreement’
Senate Republicans announced Wednesday evening a “fundamental agreement” with White House negotiators on how to move forward with a new relief bill. The legislation — which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., wants to keep under $1 trillion — would serve as a starting point in talks with House Democrats, who passed a $3.4 trillion coronavirus relief bill in May. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told CNBC’s “Mad Money” that additional financial aid to Americans is needed to support the economy, including an extension of the federal $600 per week boost to state unemployment benefits. Republicans, who have generally wanted to let that jobless program expire at the end of the month, are considering an extension through year-end but at a drastically reduced level of $100 per week.
3. Tesla books fourth straight quarterly profit
Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk speaks at an opening ceremony for Tesla China-made Model Y program in Shanghai, China January 7, 2020.
Aly Song | Reuters
Skyrocketing shares of Tesla added another nearly 5% in Thursday’s premarket after the electric auto maker booked its fourth straight quarter of profits, which means it can now be considered for inclusion in the S&P 500 index. Second-quarter earnings and revenue beat estimates. On Tesla’s post-earnings call, CEO Elon Musk said the company will build its newest gigafactory near Austin, Texas.
4. Microsoft warns on revenue; Twitter, airlines also report
Shares of Dow-stock Microsoft fell more than 2% in the premarket after the software and cloud giant warned on revenue outlook. In the second quarter, Microsoft issued better-than-expected earnings and revenue, saying the increase in home-based workers boosted its cloud computing business. However, the pandemic slowed sales to small businesses and slowed ad revenue at its LinkedIn unit.
Twitter shares were steady ahead of Thursday morning’s earnings. Among the many other companies issuing quarterly results before the bell was Southwest Airlines. The Texas-based carrier posted a $915 million loss and it warned that air travel demand will remain weak without a coronavirus vaccine. Southwest shares rose in premarket trading. American Airlines is also set to report.
5. Trump blames Covid-19 spikes on racial-injustice protests
U.S. President Donald Trump talks to journalists during a news conference about his administration’s response to the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House July 22, 2020 in Washington, DC.