Happy Friday! Today is July 31st and all Big Tech delivered blowout earnings, but stock futures are not much higher. Earnings as a whole at the halfway mark blew away expectations and U.S. consumer spending rises for the second straight month in June. The U.S. agrees to pay Sanofi and GSK $2.1 billion for 100 million doses of coronavirus vaccine and major banks are giving new graduates virtual introductions to careers in finance. Congress fails to agree on the next coronavirus stimulus deal as $600-a-week unemployment benefits expires.
Stock futures were barely higher early Friday even after some of the biggest tech companies and market leaders — Facebook, Amazon, Alphabet and Apple — reported better-than-expected quarterly results. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose just 40 points, or 0.1%. The move implied an opening gain of about 50 points. S&P 500 futures added just 0.2%. Nasdaq 100 futures, tracking a tech-heavy index, gained 1%.
The reopening story may be getting rocky, but one pleasant surprise has been earnings. With half of the S&P reporting, about 80% of companies have beaten the estimates. The average earnings beat has been 13.2% above the consensus, way above the historic norm of 3.3%, according to Refinitiv.
U.S. consumer spending increased for the second straight month in June, setting up consumption for a rebound in the third quarter, though the recovery could be limited by a resurgence in COVID-19 cases and the end of expanded unemployment benefits. The Commerce Department said on Friday that consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, rose 5.6% last month after a record 8.5% jump in May as more businesses reopened.
The U.S. government will pay drugmaker Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline up to $2.1 billion to develop and deliver 100 million doses of their potential coronavirus vaccine, the companies announced Friday. More than half of the $1.5 billion will be used to support further development of the vaccine, including clinical trials. The rest will be for manufacturing and delivery of the 100 million doses, the companies said. The U.S. will have the option to order an additional 500 million doses, they said.
Congress fails to agree on the next coronavirus stimulus deal as $600-a-week unemployment benefits expire
Republicans and Democrats have made little progress toward a coronavirus relief deal as economic data show an economy still reeling from the coronavirus pandemic. An enhanced federal unemployment benefit is expiring even as initial jobless claims increased for two consecutive weeks.Congressional leaders are blaming one another for the expiration as coronavirus cases continue to increase around the country.
No major media company has bet more on college sports than ESPN. The company airs college games on 10 different channels, including the ABC broadcast network and its ESPN+ streaming service.But this year the season is completely up in the air. Some conferences, including the Ivy League, have canceled fall sports entirely.The Pac-12 and Big Ten have eliminated games with schools outside of their conference, so they can limit travel and start their seasons later.