Boosted by Apple, Nasdaq futures are moving higher this morning, and are currently up 0.86%. Ahead of its big iPhone 12 launch today Apple is trading up 1.4% in Tuesday’s pre-market- building on its 6.7% five-day rally. AAPL is expected to announce its first 5G-enabled iPhone line-up at the event which could include 2 base models (a 12 and a 12 mini) and 2 Pro models.
Monness analyst Brian White believes the new products should usher in a new era for Apple, although it will be more of a subtle transition, and defined by the current macro environment. “Ultimately, we anticipate the advent of 5G networks to drive iPhone upgrades, ushering in new capabilities and services on Planet Apple; however, we believe this will prove to be an evolution, not a revolution,” White commented.
However, with earnings beginning to roll in, a cautious air prevails: futures tied to the S&P 500 are down 0.08%, with Dow Jones futures down 0.38%.
Notably, shares in Exelon are advancing 5.1% in Tuesday’s pre-market trading session following a report that the company is mulling a breakup that would involve the spinoff of its non-utility assets, including the divestment of its nuclear plants. According to the Bloomberg report, Exelon is working with advisers to evaluate the split. No final decision has been made and Exelon could opt to keep its current structure, they said.
JP Morgan is also climbing higher right now on the back of a solid earnings beat. CEO Jamie Dimon commented: “JPMorgan Chase earned $9.4B of net income on nearly $30B of revenue and we maintained our credit reserves at $34B given significant economic uncertainty and a broad range of potential outcomes.” Credit costs came in at $611M and included $569M of net reserve releases.
New Oriental Education, the largest provider of private educational services in China, has also reported a solid earnings beat for the first fiscal quarter ended August 31, 2020. Shares are now rising 2.4% in Tuesday’s trading.
In the red this morning, Royal Caribbean is sinking 6% after it launched an underwritten public offering of $500M of shares of common stock. Meanwhile Beyond Meat is down 4% after investors took fright from a ratings downgrade at Bernstein. Analyst Alexia Howard cautioned that the stock looks increasingly overvalued, thanks to a 154% rally so far this year.
Corona updates: Johnson & Johnson has halted its late-stage Covid-19 vaccine trial after a study participant fell ill, news provider STAT has reported. The details of the ‘unexplained illness’ have not been provided. “We must respect this participant’s privacy. We’re also learning more about this participant’s illness, and it’s important to have all the facts before we share additional information,” JNJ told STAT in a statement.
JNJ also reported mixed earnings results with Q3 Non-GAAP EPS of $2.20 beating by $0.22 but GAAP EPS of $1.33 missing Street estimates by $0.37. Encouragingly, revenue of $21.08B improved 1.7% year-over-year and beat the Street by $930M. Looking forward, JNJ is boosted revenue guidance to $81.2B-82.0B from $79.9B-81.4B and Non-GAAP EPS: $7.95-8.05 from $7.75-7.95. Shares in the healthcare giant are trading down 2% in early morning trading.
On a more positive note, Medigen Vaccine Biologics has obtained a Taiwan government subsidy for successfully initiating a Phase 1 clinical trial of its COVID-19 vaccine combined with Dynavax’s CpG 1018 adjuvant in Taiwan. The subsidy will be released at agreed upon milestones in the total amount of up to $16.4M. Shares in Dynavax are rising 7% in Tuesday’s pre-market trading.
And Pfizer and BioNTech will provide 1.5M Covid-19 vaccine doses to the New Zealand government following a deal signed by the parties on Monday.
In other healthcare news, Voyager Therapeutics is plunging 11% right now after its Investigational New Drug (IND) submission for VY-HTT01 for the treatment of Huntington’s disease was placed on clinical hold by the FDA. The IND was placed on clinical hold pending the resolution of certain chemistry, manufacturing and controls (CMC) matters, says the company. Voyager expects to receive more feedback from the FDA within 30 days and plans to work closely with the agency to resolve these issues.
Last but not least, Tesla has again slashed the price of the Model S on its website by $3,000. The Long Range Plus version of the sedan now kicks off from $71,990 in the US, with the Performance version at $91,990 (including potential incentives and gas savings). Shares in the electric vehicle maker are rising marginally higher in pre-market trading.