Monday’s Pre-Market: Here’s What You Need To Know Before The Market Opens

Rebound continues: S&P 500 futures are continuing Friday’s gains, following the recent sell-off, and are currently trading up 1.27%. Dow Jones futures are also rising 1.26%, and futures tied to the tech-heavy Nasdaq index are up a solid 1.62%. Notably Tesla is currently soaring 4% in Monday’s pre-market trading, with Apple also 2.24% higher.

Today is the kick-off for Alibaba’s Virtual Investor Day, which takes place from September 28th – 30th, 2020 (Beijing Time). “We expect management to provide an update on the company’s key business segments, including the recovery of Core Commerce, especially its Offline businesses like Local Consumer Services (Ele.me) and New Retail, which have seen the most disruption during the pandemic” comments RBC Capital analyst Mark Mahaney. He says BABA remains one of the best plays on the growth of Chinese Internet.

Uber is soaring 6% in Monday’s pre-market after it won an appeal to retain its operating license in London despite problems with fraudulent drivers. “Despite their historical failings, I find them, now, to be a fit and proper person to hold a London PHV operator’s licence” the judge ruled. London is Uber’s largest market in Europe, boasting 3.5 million users and 45,000 drivers since its 2012 launch.

Also in the green is Cleveland-Cliffs which has just inked a deal with the world’s largest steelmaker ArcelorMittal to acquire substantially all the operations of ArcelorMittal USA LLC and its subsidiaries for about $1.4 billion. Cleveland-Cliffs stock is rising 11% in the pre-market trading hours today. Upon closure of the transaction, CLF will be the largest flat-rolled steel producer in North America, with combined shipments of approximately 17 million net tons in 2019. The company will also be the largest iron ore pellet producer in North America.

Also on the deal front, Devon Energy Corp. and WPX Energy Inc. are holding merger discussions, reports The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter. According to the report the companies are considering an all-stock deal that would create a massive $6 billion entity.

JD.com is rising slightly after The Wall Street Journal reports that JD’s online health-care subsidiary JD Health International Inc has filed an application to go public in Hong Kong. According to its sources the deal could raise at least $3 billion.

Beverage company Diego is surging 8% this morning after issuing an encouraging business update ahead of its 2020 annual general meeting. “We have made a good start to fiscal 21, with sequential improvement in our performance across all regions, driven by strong execution, robust demand in the off-trade channel and the gradual re-opening of the on-trade channel in most markets” cheered CEO Ivan Menezes.

Meanwhile Tesla has signed a deal with Australia’s lithium miner Piedmont Lithium to procure about one-third of Piedmont’s planned production of lithium ore mineral for five years. Under the initial five-year agreement, Piedmont will supply about a third of its planned production of spodumene concentrate (160,000-tonnes-per-year) from its deposits in North Carolina to Tesla. Meanwhile, the supply agreement “may be extended by mutual agreement for a second five-year term,” Piedmont said.

Sinking rapidly this morning is Aquestive Therapeutics. Shares are plunging 28% after the US FDA rejected its new drug application for Libervant (diazepam) Buccal Film for seizure cluster management. RBC Capital’s Randall Stanicky reiterated his AQST buy rating but dropped his $8 price target to $7 to reflect the delay. “The news is disappointing and came as somewhat of a surprise to us as we had viewed the approval hurdle as fairly low with greater debate around FDA’s orphan drug exclusivity decision. That said, the path forward appears manageable and AQST could conceivably make it to market as early as ~mid-2021” he wrote.

Better luck for Blueprint Medicines, which as expected, has received conditional marketing authorization in Europe for avapritinib as a monotherapy to treat unresectable or metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) with a D842V mutation. “We continue to view Blueprint’s novel, rationally designed, targeted kinase inhibitor platform as attractive and reiterate our buy rating” applauded Canaccord Genuity analyst Arlinda Lee.

Last but not least, Amazon has revealed plans to create 3,500 new corporate and tech jobs at its Canadian Tech Hubs in Vancouver and Toronto. The new roles will support existing teams across Amazon, including AWS, Alexa, Amazon Advertising, and Retail and Operations Technology, the company said.