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Stock Market Futures Under Pressure Ahead Of Economic Data & Fed Minutes

Stock market futures are taking a breather in early morning trading on Wednesday. Even with markets taking a Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow, there is no shortage of key economic data points for investors to watch. To begin with, we have the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis’October figures from the Personal Consumption Expenditures Price (PCEP) index to consider. This would provide investors with insight regarding the changes in the price of goods and services purchased by U.S. consumers throughout October.

Adding to this is a quarterly update on the U.S. GDP alongside minutes from the Fed’s latest meeting. At the same time, the Labor Department will also be releasing the weekly unemployment figures a day earlier than usual due to the Thanksgiving holiday. As you can imagine, investors will likely spend some time digesting these data points. At the same time, there is plenty of stock market news to know about as well. As of 7:31 a.m. ET, the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq futures are trading lower by 0.40%, 0.33%, and 0.39% respectively.

General Motors Sees Hike In Reservations After President Biden’s Hummer Test Drive

General Motors (NYSE: GM) seems to be benefitting from President Joe Biden’s recent visit to one of its plants. Namely, the President was at one of the company’s GMC Hummer production plants last week. During the visit, he reportedly test drove one of these electric pickups. As a result, GM is seeing a sevenfold increase in daily reservations. Additionally, the company’s website traffic more than tripled on the same day. Now, President Biden’s interest in electrifying the U.S. fleet is well-known at this point. After today’s visit, it seems like consumers are more inclined to follow suit as well.

Global head of GMC Duncan Aldred commented on all this. He said “It just shows that the customer’s intrigue and interest and willingness to buy remains super-high.” While the company did not provide the exact number of reservations, Aldred did mention that there were over 125,000 “hand-raisers”. The likes of which are looking to enquire about the electric Hummer via GM’s website. Notably, GM is also going to begin delivery of the first iteration of the GMC Hummer by mid-December. As GM continues to make its mark in the electric vehicle (EV) world, investors could be watching GM stock closely.

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HP Soaring On Earnings Beat As Some Make Return To Office

HP (NYSE: HPQ) is in focus in the stock market today thanks to its latest quarterly earnings report. Diving right in, the company posted an earnings per share of $0.94 on revenue of $16.68 billion for the quarter. More importantly, HP handily beat Wall Street’s estimates of $0.88 and $15.4 billion respectively. As a result, HPQ stock is surging by over 7% in pre-market trading. Overall, even as the broader tech industry is seeing a pullback, investor interest in the provider of computer hardware seems to persist.

In detail, HP’s personal systems division raked in a total net revenue of $11.8 billion for the quarter. This marks a solid year-over-year increase of 13%. Furthermore, the company’s consumer PC business revenue surged by 25% over the same time as well. According to HP CEO Enrique Lores, this momentum in the company’s commercial client division is thanks to industry tailwinds. This appears to be the case as consumers turn to HP’s offerings across work-from-home and return to office markets. Moving forward, Lores also adds that HP expects this robust demand to persist for the “foreseeable future”. With all this in mind, HPQ stock could be gaining attention after today’s opening bell.

Billion Dollar Tesla ‘Gigafactory’ To Be Completed By Year End

Elsewhere, Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) appears to be kicking into high gear on the operational front now. Evidently, news recently broke on its highly anticipated ‘Gigafactory’ in Austin, Texas. According to a recent public filing, Tesla is set to spend at least $1.06 billion on the new EV factory. Furthermore, the general construction of the facility is set to be completed by December 31. This includes the facilities needed for bodywork, stamping, casting, and full vehicle assembly among other key manufacturing assets.

According to CNBC sources, all this is from construction filings with the Texas Department of Regulation. Upon completion of construction, the Gigafactory will reportedly focus on the production of Tesla’s upcoming electric pickup truck, the Cybertruck. Moreover, the company will also be manufacturing its Model 3 and Model Y EVs there as well. By and large, as EV players like Tesla continue to ramp up their operations, investors’ focus on the EV industry could continue to grow. With the company leading this charge, it would not surprise me to see TSLA stock gaining traction.

Levi Strauss Expecting “A Really Strong Holiday Season” Ahead

In other news, Levi Strauss (NYSE: LEVI) is among the retailers going into this holiday season with high expectations. To highlight, Levi Strauss CEO Chip Bergh recently spoke about the company’s projections for the quarter with CNBC’s Jim Cramer. In the interview, Bergh said, “We’re expecting a really strong holiday season, and it’s all being fueled by a super-strong consumer right now.” He argued that the consumer “home balance sheet” is as strong as ever now.

In particular, Levi Strauss is riding a new cycle in the denim jeans market. Bergh explained, “About 40% of Americans have changed their waist size. Some up, some down, but that drives you to have to go out and update your wardrobe. That, combined with the new denim silhouette, which is really driving a new denim cycle, is really the tailwind behind our business right now.” Not to mention, retailers, in general, are currently sporting better e-commerce services than ever. Even with a resurgence in coronavirus cases, this holiday shopping season could be one to watch closely.

Earnings To Note In The Stock Market Today

Not forgetting, there are also companies posting their quarterly figures in the pre-market today. They include Deere & Company (NYSE: DE), Futu (NASDAQ: FUTU), and Kingsoft Cloud (NASDAQ: KC). From today’s flurry of economic data to earnings and companies making plays, there is enough to keep investors busy ahead of Thanksgiving. 

This article originally ran on stockmarket.com.

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