Stock Market Futures Under Pressure Following Choppy Mid-Week Trading Sessions
U.S. stock futures are inching lower as we approach the end of the current trading week. This comes at a time when volatility is running rampant in the stock market and investors are digesting plenty of data. The likes of which range from the latest earnings releases to the Federal Reserves’ current plans to address inflation. After looking at the whipsaw movement of stocks this week, some would argue that uncertainty remains a key theme in markets.
Providing some insight into all this is the chief global investment strategist at Charles Schwab (NYSE: SCHW), Jeffrey Kleintop. He suggests that on Wednesday, “the markets had a sense of relief that maybe Powell took 75 basis points off the table for further rate hikes, suggesting the Fed might take a more mild path.” Following that, Kleintop also adds “But [Thursday], I think the market’s recognizing that there are risks associated with that — higher inflation, maybe.“
Not forgetting, investors are also likely awaiting the latest print from the U.S. Labor Department due later today as well. For April’s job report, consensus estimates point towards a non-farm payroll increase of 380,000. Should this be the case, it would mark a deceleration from March’s commendable job growth. For unemployment, current projections suggest a month-over-month decrease to 3.5%, the lowest since February 2020. While keeping all this in mind, here’s how the key U.S. stock futures are doing today. As of 5:24 a.m. ET, the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq futures are trading lower by 0.46%, 0.56%, and 0.68% respectively.
Funko Pops On News Of Powerhouse Consortium Taking 25% Stake In Company
Among the major names popping off in the stock market today would be Funko (NASDAQ: FNKO). For the most part, this is thanks to a major consortium of investors taking a sizable 25% stake in the company. Namely, the group includes former Disney (NYSE: DIS) CEO Bob Iger, eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY), sports agent Rich Paul, and the Chernin Group. Overall, the investment is worth $263 million at $21 per share. Because of this, Chernin can now add two members to Funko’s board of directors. Additionally, the Chernin Group CEO Peter Chernin and Bob Iger will be acting as advisors for the board.
Speaking of all this is Chernin. He says, “We believe Funko is significantly undervalued in the public markets and at this highly attractive entry price provides a runway of opportunity and growth potential.” Moreover, the firm also believes that there is plenty of room to “drive substantial increases,” in Funko’s performance. At the same time, eBay’s chief business and strategy officer Stefanie Jay also had good things to say about the investment. She posits, “Funko sits at the intersection of pop culture, passion, and collectibles, with one of the most engaged communities of enthusiasts.”
Pair all this with Iger’s previous experience in the consumer-focused entertainment space and Funko could be looking at exciting times ahead. As such, FNKO stock would be in focus at today’s opening bell.
DoorDash Gaining Momentum After Revenue Beat On Quarterly Orders Hit All-Time High
On the earnings front today, we have DoorDash (NYSE: DASH). The company posted overall admirable results in its latest quarterly update. In it, DoorDash is looking at a revenue of $1.46 billion for the quarter, this adds up to a year-over-year increase of 35%. For reference, this tops Wall Street forecasts of $1.38 billion. Sure, the company did report a loss per share of $0.48, below consensus expectations of a $0.41 loss per share. However, DASH stock appears to be receiving plenty of attention from investors in the stock market now.
Notably, this would be thanks to DoorDash’s performance on a key metric, its total number of orders. For the quarter, the company’s total orders are up by 23% year-over-year to a whopping 404 million. This would represent a new high in DoorDash’s history and its greatest bump in new customers since the same quarter last year. Seeing as this is in comparison to a time when the U.S. seeing an uptick in new Covid infections, DoorDash appears to be doing well.
In fact, DoorDash notes that it is gaining market share in the U.S. food delivery market as well. To maintain its current momentum, DoorDash is looking to expand into new markets such as grocery, alcohol, and retail deliveries. With this in mind, I could see DASH stock turning heads at today’s opening bell.
Block In Focus Following GPV Gains; Misses On Earnings And Revenue
Block (NYSE: SQ) is another big firm to consider from the latest batch of earnings. Diving in, the fintech goliath is looking at earnings of $0.18 per share on revenue of $3.96 billion. For starters, this would fall behind consensus forecasts of $0.21 and $4.16 billion. Even so, investors seem to be looking beyond these figures and at Block’s core operational metrics. Simply put, more important measures such as the company’s gross payment volume (GPV) seem to be carrying SQ stock higher now.
In essence, a key focus in Block’s earnings update would be the GPV from its Square payment ecosystem. The company is currently looking at a GPV of $43.5 billion for its first fiscal quarter. This adds up to a solid 29% year-over-year and a 24% three-year compound annual growth rate. By and large, Block is actively working to bolster its operations across a wider array of clients. Worth mentioning, the company’s mid-market sellers division is looking at a year-over-year rise in gross profit of 47%. After considering all of this, investors may be keeping an eye on SQ stock now.
EPAM Systems Posts Better-Than-Expected Earnings Alongside Upbeat Earnings
Likewise, EPAM Systems (NYSE: EPAM) is also making the rounds thanks to its latest earnings call. In which, the company posted stellar results across the board. To begin with, EPAM is looking at a total revenue of $1.17 billion, beating Wall Street’s expectations of $1.06 billion. Year-over-year, this adds up to a solid jump of about 49.8%. According to EPAM, its acquisitions over the past year are to thank for 9.9% of its revenue for the quarter. Furthermore, the company’s earnings per share came in at $2.49, a substantial beat over consensus projections of $1.77. With figures like this, it is no wonder that EPAM stock is gaining attention now.
Providing an overview of the software firm’s current trajectory is CEO Arkadiy Dobkin. He states, “Our successful track record in adapting the Company to global disruptions gives me confidence that despite the deeply personal impact the [Ukraine-Russia] war has had on EPAM, we will execute through this near-term challenge, and emerge as a more diverse, more resilient and more relevant global company.” For the current quarter, EPAM is guiding for revenue of $1.14 billion, above Wall Street consensus figures of $1.09 billion. All in all, it seems like EPAM has no plans of slowing down soon and EPAM stock could stand to benefit from that.
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