Premarket Roundup for Thursday, December 1: Fedspeak, China EV Sales, Earnings

The Dow Jones industrials closed Wednesday up 2.2%, the S&P 500 was up 3.09% and the Nasdaq saw a gain of 4.41%. Premarket trading Thursday morning had all three indexes down slightly.

Equities, in general, popped Wednesday afternoon, following the release of Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s speech at Brookings. Here is the money quote:

Monetary policy affects the economy and inflation with uncertain lags, and the full effects of our rapid tightening so far are yet to be felt. Thus, it makes sense to moderate the pace of our rate increases as we approach the level of restraint that will be sufficient to bring inflation down. The time for moderating the pace of rate increases may come as soon as the December meeting.

Three China-based electric vehicle (EV) makers reported November sales figures before U.S. markets opened on Thursday.

Li Auto Inc. (NASDAQ: LI) reported deliveries of 15,034 vehicles in November, an increase of 11.5% year over year and a monthly record for the company. The stock jumped nearly 19% on Wednesday, as investors begin to believe that China will ease its zero-Covid policy.

Nio Inc. (NYSE: NIO) delivered 14,178 vehicles in November, a 30.3% year-over-year increase. The anticipated relaxation of China’s lockdown policy pushed the stock up by nearly 22% Wednesday.

Xpeng Inc. (NYSE: XPEV) delivered 5,811 vehicles last month, just over half as many as the 10,138 the company delivered in November 2021. Shares soared more than 47% in Wednesday trading after the company said it expects December deliveries to top 10,000 again. The easing of the lockdown policy figures in, too, of course.

After U.S. markets closed Wednesday, Dow component Salesforce Inc. (NYSE: CRM) reported quarterly results that beat consensus estimates for both earnings and revenue. The bad news was current quarter revenue guidance and the resignation of co-CEO Bret Taylor. Shares traded down about 6.5% Thursday morning.

Snowflake Inc. (NYSE: SNOW) also beat estimates on both the top and bottom lines, but guidance for the January quarter was below the consensus estimate. The company’s revenue guidance also fell short for fiscal 2023. Shares traded down more than 6% in Thursday’s premarket.

Pure Storage Inc. (NYSE: PSTG) followed the leaders and also beat estimates for both earnings and revenue. Sales rose 20% year over year, and fourth-quarter guidance was in line with expectations. Shares traded up about 4.2% Thursday morning.

Okta Inc. (NASDAQ: OKTA) reported a break-even quarter in which consensus estimates called for a loss per share of $0.24. Revenue rose 37% year over year. The company also forecast earnings per share of $0.09 to $0.10, versus a consensus estimate for a loss of $0.12 per share. Shares traded up more than 15% in Thursday’s premarket.

Dollar General Corp. (NYSE: DG) missed the consensus earnings estimate by $0.33 per share (13%). Revenue was up 11% year over year and beat the consensus estimate by less than 1%. The company also issued downside guidance for fourth-quarter earnings per share. Shares traded down 6.2%.

Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) beat estimates on the top and bottom lines and raised full-year guidance for earnings and revenue (less gasoline sales). Kroger did not mention its proposed acquisition of Albertsons, but it will undoubtedly be asked about that on the conference call. Shares traded up about 4.5% in Thursday’s premarket.

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