U.S. futures were relatively flat on Friday as factory price data out of China once again ignited concerns over inflation.
Dow futures were trading 0.23% higher, S&P futures had gained 0.15% and NASDAQ futures were slightly lower, down 0.07% at the time of writing.
Investors are waiting for earnings results from JinkoSolar (JKS) and Jadestone Energy (JSE) before the bell, while Corus Entertainment (CJREF) and Qualigen Therapeutics (QLGN) are expected to report during the course of the day.
Naked Brand (NAKD) was the most actively traded stock in the pre-market with over four million shares having already changed hands. The New Zealand-based company disclosed that Ault Global Holdings Inc. owned approximately 6.4% of its outstanding shares.
Meanwhile, Provention Bio (PRVB) was the weakest stock before the open falling 39% after the FDA identified deficiencies in its Teplizumab trials for diabetes.
In earnings news, Levi Strauss & Co. (LEVI) climbed 4.7% before the bell after reporting better-than-expected Q1 results. Adjusted diluted EPS of $0.34 came in ahead of analysts’ expectations $0.24, while revenues declined 13% year-on-year to $1.3 billion but still beat analysts’ estimates of $1.2 billion. Levi’s e-commerce and online business saw revenues grow 41% year-on-year and contribute 10% of total net sales in the first quarter.
In M&A news, Shares of Health Equity (HQY) rose almost 2% on Thursday after the technology-enabled services platforms provider announced that it has agreed to acquire Further for $500 million. “By putting HealthEquity’s Total Solution inside of network partner applications and private-label brand environments, Further’s technology will align us more closely than ever before and enable new partnerships to introduce more consumers to HSAs,” said President and CEO, Jon Kessler.
Canopy Growth (CGC) dropped 4.8% on Thursday after announcing the acquisition of The Supreme Cannabis Company for $435 million. The transaction is expected to close in June with potential cost synergies of approximately $30 million projected in the first two years. Through the acquisition, Canopy will strengthen its portfolio with access to premium brand, 7Acres, while adding production capacity through the Kincardine, Ontario production facility.
UPS (UPS) is looking to enhance its air delivery services by adding electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft to its fleet. UPS plans to buy the aircraft from Beta Technologies with deliveries expected to begin in 2024. The aircraft comes with a 250-mile range and a 1,400-pound cargo capacity ideally suited for time-sensitive deliveries.
Crown Holdings (CCK) rose almost 3% in Thursday’s extended trading session after announcing that it will sell 80% of its European Tinplate business to KPS Capital Partners for €1.9 billion. “We are very pleased that the European Tinplate business will have a strong owner in KPS Capital Partners to support future profitable growth and innovation initiatives,” said President and CEO, Timothy Donahue. Crown will retain a 20% stake in the business and will use the proceeds from the sale for general corporate purposes.