Here are five things you must know for Wednesday, Feb. 19:
1. — Stock Futures Rise Though Focus Remains on Virus Outbreak
Stock futures were higher Wednesday and Asian shares traded mostly to the upside but the focus remains on the coronavirus outbreak in China that has now claimed more than 2,000 lives.
Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 66 points, S&P 500 futures were up 7.20 points and Nasdaq futures gained 31 points. The Nasdaq closed at a record high Tuesday even after Apple issued a revenue warning because of the coronavirus outbreak.
While the number of new virus cases in China has been falling, the country’s National Health Commission said as of Tuesday there were a total of 74,185 confirmed cases of the disease with 2,004 deaths.
Market-watchers have been monitoring closely the economic fallout from the virus outbreak, in China and other parts of the world.
“Collapse in demand due to Covid-19 remains the key worry for the markets across the globe as the disease continues its spread,” said Prakash Sakpal, economist for Asia at ING.
Bloomberg reported that China was looking to possibly bail out its airlines, which have suffered amid virus-related travel restrictions.
2. — Zillow, Analog Devices and Dish Report Earnings
Earnings reports are expected Wednesday from Zillow , Analog Devices , Bausch Health , Dish Network , Imax , Avis Budget Group , Boston Beer and Wingstop .
The economic calendar in the U.S. Wednesday includes Housing Starts for January at 8:30 a.m. ET, the Producer Price Index for January at 8:30 a.m. and minutes from the Federal Reserve’s meeting on Jan. 28-29.
3. — Nike Shakes Up Management Under New CEO Donahoe
Nike is making changes at the top, a month after new CEO John Donahoe took the helm of the athletic apparel giant.
Andy Campion, chief financial officer since 2015, was named chief operating officer, and Matthew Friend will take over as financial chief.
Heidi O’Neill, who has been with Nike for 21 years, will lead the company’s consumer business.
The executives will begin their new roles on April 1.
Eric Sprunk, Nike’s operating chief since 2013, and Elliot Hill, president of consumer and marketplace, will be leaving the company later this year.
Donahoe, who came to Nike from ServiceNow and eBay, said the leadership changes “set up the company for continued growth and demonstrate the strength of the Nike management bench.”
4. — Boeing Finds Debris in Fuel Tanks of Undelivered 737 MAX Jets
Boeing found debris in the fuel tanks of undelivered 737 MAX jets, the latest quality-control issue for the aerospace giant and the jet that has been grounded for nearly a year after two fatal crashes.
Boeing has ordered inspections of all the undelivered MAX aircrafts, about 400 that are stored at various locations, according to the Seattle Times.
Regarding an additional 385 MAXs that were delivered to customers but have been grounded and are parked at airfields around the world, a company spokesman told the Seattle Times Boeing was recommending inspections for those airplanes that have been in storage for more than a year.
“It’s still undecided if we will inspect the rest” of the delivered MAX fleet, spokesman Bernard Choi said. “Obviously, we’ll do what’s right for safety.”
Boeing, however, said it doesn’t think “this changes our timeline for the MAX return to service” by mid-summer.
5. — Groupon to Stop Selling Merchandise
Groupon was sliding more than 21% in premarket trading Wednesday after the e-commerce company posted disappointing fourth-quarter results and said it would stop selling merchandise by the end of 2020.
Groupon Goods, CEO Rich Williams said in a letter to shareholders, “has outlived its role as a business driver and has become a significant drag on our business.”
The company’s goods business, which sells such things as electronics, coats and household items, accounted for about 53% of Groupon’s fourth-quarter revenue of $612.3 million, a drop of 23% from a year earlier and well below analysts’ forecasts.
The company said it would launch a new marketing strategy with a focus on local experiences.
The stock sank 21.97% to $2.38 in premarket trading.
This article was originally published by TheStreet.
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