ZoomInfo Soars on IPO Debut

ZoomInfo (NASDAQ: ZI) soared over 80% in its IPO debut on Thursday, demonstrating investor interest in high-growth subscription software companies. ZoomInfo priced its stock above range at $21 per share, bringing the company's valuation to about $15 billion. The company is the first tech company to go public since the coronavirus pandemic market slump in March. ZoomInfo helps corporate sales and marketing teams with customer outreach, integrated sales software tools from companies like Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), Oracle (NYSE: ORCL) and others.

J.M. Smucker Reports Earnings Beat

The J.M. Smucker Company (NYSE: SJM) reported fourth quarter earnings and revenue that mostly topped Wall Street consensus expectations on Thursday. The company's revenue of $2.09 billion was a year-to-year increase of 10% and beat estimates by $40 million. Smucker's Non-GAAP earnings per share of $2.57 also beat by $0.29, but GAAP earnings per share of $1.98 missed by $0.06. The company's sales increase was attributed to higher volumes across U.S Retail Consumer Foods, U.S. Retail Coffee, and U.S. Retail Pet Foods during the quarter. "Looking ahead, we anticipate increased at-home consumption to continue during the beginning of our FY 21-though at a more moderate rate as stock-up purchasing in Q4 is not anticipated to reoccur, and significant decline for the Away From Home business are expected to persist throughout the year," CEO Mark Smucker stated in a press release.

Ciena Reports Earnings Beat

Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) reported second quarter earnings and revenue that topped Wall Street consensus expectations on Thursday. The company's revenue of $894.05 million was a year-to-year increase of 3.4% and beat estimates by $4.63 million. Ciena's Non-GAAP earnings per share of $0.76 and GAAP earnings per share of $0.59 also topped expectations by $0.24 and $0.22, respectively. "Our strategy, centered around innovation, diversification and global scale, has resulted in a resilient business capable of navigating challenging times and delivering strong shareholder value over the long-term," CEO Gary Smith stated in a press release. Ciena did not provide any forward guidance at this time.

Toro Misses on Earnings

The Toro Company (NYSE: TTC) reported second quarter earnings and revenue that missed Wall Street consensus expectations on Thursday. The company's revenue of $929.4 million was a year-to-year decline of 3.4% and missed estimates by $100.6 million. Toro's Non-GAAP earnings per share of $0.92 and GAAP earnings per share of $0.91 also missed by $0.06 and $0.09, respectively. The company's sales by segment: Professional $661.09 million (dow 8.6%) , Residential $261.98 million (up 12.9%) and Other $6.31 million (down 1.1%). Toro expected greater impact from the coronavirus pandemic in its sales and earnings per share percentages in the third quarter, also expecting negative sales and earnings growth in the fourth quarter as well.

Navistar Reports Earnings Beat

Navistar International Corp (NYSE: NAV) reported second quarter earnings and revenue that topped Wall Street consensus expectations on Thursday. The company's revenue of $1.93 billion was a year-to-year decline of 35.7%, but beat estimates by $70 million. Navistar's GAAP earnings per share of -$0.38 also beat Wall Street by $0.02. The company also reported a 39% decrease in truck segment revenue due to lower volumes in the company's core markets caused by the coronavirus pandemic, lower Mexico volumes and a decrease in GM-branded (NYSE: GM) units. Navistar expects the impacts of the pandemic on results to be more significant in the third quarter. "We are focused on preserving cash and reducing cost, but not at the risk of sacrificing our future," CFO Walter Borst stated in a press release.

Siemens and AES Partner to Build Lithium Ion Batteries

Siemens (OTC: SIEGY) and AES Corp (NYSE: AES) announced o on Thursday a 50-50 joint venture proposing to build two giant lithium ion batteries in Australia that would be bigger than the world-record storage facility built by Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA). Under the name Fluence Energy, the two will build twin 250-megawatt/ 125 megawatt-hour lithium ion batteries in Victoria and New South Wales to act as a "virtual transmission line" to allow better access for clusters of wind and solar plants. The two plan to have the batteries up and running with 14 months.

Facebook to Block Ads From State-Controlled Media Outlets

Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) announced on Thursday that the company will no longer allow state-run media outlets to run ads on its social networks, effective this summer. The move is part of the company's effect to prevent foreign interference in future elections. The platform was criticized after the 2016 presidential election for allowing foreign interference on politics on the platform. "Later this summer we will begin blocking ads from there outlets in the U.S. out of an abundance of caution to provide an extra layer of protection against various types of foreign influence in the public debate ahead of the November 2020 election in the U.S.," Facebook stated in a blog post. The company stated that state-run media outlets rarely advertise in the United States.

Guidewire Software Beats on Earnings

Guidewire Software (NYSE: GWRE) reported third quarter earnings yesterday after the bell, and today at midday its stock has fallen 3.8% to $106 despite the earnings beat. The insurance software firm posted a net loss of $31.0 million, down massively from a net loss of $0.1 million in the prior year period, or GAAP earnings per share of negative 37 cents, beating consensus estimates of negative 40 cents. Guidewire posted adjusted net income of $7.7 million or earnings per share of 9 cents, down from 18 cents but beating consensus estimates of negative 5 cents. The firm posted revenue of $168.17 million, up 3.3% and beating estimates by $16.68 million. Looking ahead to the full year, Guidewire sees adjusted earnings of 84 to 92 cents per share on revenue of $703.5 to $711.5 million.

Elastic Falls Despite Earnings Beat

Elastic (NYSE: ESTC) reported fourth quarter and full year earnings yesterday after the bell, and today at midday its stock has fallen 5% to $84.75 despite the earnings beat. The software firm posted a net loss of $31.2 million, up from a net loss of $34.8 million in the prior year period, or GAAP earnings per share of negative 38 cents, beating consensus estimates of negative 53 cents. Elastic posted adjusted earnings per share of negative 12 cents, up from negative 28 cents and beating consensus estimates of negative 31 cents. The firm posted revenue of $123.62 million, up a whopping 53.4% and beating estimates by $6.47 million. For the full year, the firm reported a net loss of $167.2 million. Looking ahead to the first quarter of 2020, Elastic sees an adjusted net loss of 17 to 19 cents per share on revenue of $119 to $122 million, above analysts’ expectations.

Smartsheet Craters Despite Earnings Beat

Smartsheet (NYSE: SMAR) reported first quarter earnings yesterday after the bell, and today at midday its stock has cratered 22.5% to $45.80 despite the earnings beat. The software firm posted net loss of $27.8 million, down from a net loss of $19.8 million in the prior year period, or GAAP earnings per share of negative 23 cents, beating consensus estimates of negative 30 cents. Smartsheet posted adjusted earnings per share of negative 11 cents, up from negative 12 cents and easily beating consensus estimates of negative 19 cents. The firm posted revenue of $85.5 million, up a whopping 52.2% and beating estimates by $4.1 million. Smartsheet sees revenue of $86 to $87 million for the second quarter and revenue of $360 to $370 million for the full year, below analysts' expectations.

Cloudera Plunges Despite Earnings Beat

Cloudera (NYSE: CLDR) reported first quarter earnings yesterday after the bell, and today at midday its stock has plunged 12% to below $11 despite the earnings beat. The software firm posted a net loss of $58 million, up massively from a net loss of $103 million in the prior year period, or GAAP earnings per share of negative 20 cents, beating consensus estimates of negative 23 cents. Cloudera posted adjusted earnings per share of 5 cents, up from negative 13 cents and easily beating consensus estimates of 1 penny. The firm posted revenue of $210.5 million, up 12.3% and beating estimates by $5.8 million. Looking ahead to the second quarter, Cloudera sees adjusted earnings of 6 to 7 cents per share on revenue of $206 to $209 million. Wedbush lifted its price target on Cloudera from $12 to $14 after the earnings beat.

Bill Gates Pledges $1.6 Billion to Global Vaccine Alliance

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Thursday pledged $1.6 billion to Gavi, the global vaccine alliance it helped to establish 20 years ago, to support projects to immunize children amid the coronavirus crisis. In an announcement at the Global Vaccine Summit hosted by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the Gates foundation said the funds would be a five-year commitment to support Gavi’s efforts to vaccinate 300 children in the world’s poorest countries by 2025. The Gates Foundation also committed to donate a total of $100 million toward Gavi’s efforts to purchase potential COVID-19 vaccines for poorer countries, up from on an initial pledge of $50 million in May. The Summit hosted by Johnson, which aims to raise at least $7.4 billion for Gavi, was attended virtually by leaders and representatives from over 50 countries, as well as many chief executives.

Justice Department Approves TD & Charles Schwab Merger

Brokerage firm Charles Schwab (NYSE: SCHW) obtained antitrust approval from the US Department of Justice for its acquisition of TD Ameritrade (NASDAQ: AMTD), sources told CNBC's David Faber on Thursday. The report came after Schwab announced last November it agreed to acquire rival broker TD Ameritrade in an all-stock deal valued at $26 billion. The merger of the 2 largest publicly traded brokers will create a behemoth with more than $5 trillion in total client assets. The deal needed to satisfy federal government concerns about Schwab's dominance in the registered investment advisors space, but the new report today says the DOJ did not see any antitrust violation. In the morning TD Ameritrade shares jumped 4.7%, and Charles Schwab shares rose 1.7% on the news.

Obama Weighs in on Police Brutality Protests

Former US President Barack Obama, who remains highly popular, told the country on Wednesday he does not believe the protests that have erupted across the country are like the 1968 riots, which arguably helped elect Republican President Richard Nixon. Obama said: "I've heard some people say that you have a pandemic, then you have these protests, this reminds people of the '60s and the chaos and the discord and distrust throughout the country." Obama spoke on police violence at a virtual town hall a week after George Floyd's death. In addition to highlighting differences between 1968 and now, Obama urged reforms in the collective bargaining agreements with police and local governments. He also highlighted the complex role played by lawyers and district attorneys in leading prosecutions against police brutality. Obama took a more compassionate stance on the protests than President Donald Trump has.

ECB Boosts Bond Buying to €1.35 Trillion

The European Central Bank (ECB) announced Thursday it will increase the Pandemic Emergency Purchase Program by €600 billion or $672 billion to €1.35 trillion, as it attempts to boost the region's economy in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. The amount comes on top of €750 billion of government bond purchases the ECB announced in March. In a press conference after the announcement, ECB President Christine Lagarde said the program boost was deemed to be “the appropriate size” to bring inflation “significantly closer” to its path before the crisis. The emergency program is helping keep borrowing costs lower for eurozone countries. The ECB also announced it decided to keep its interest rates steady, as expected, and unveiled new measures to encourage bank lending.

Simon Property Group Sues Gap over Missed Rent

Simon Property Group (NYSE: SPG), the biggest mall owner in the US, is suing one of its biggest tenants Gap (NYSE: GPS), arguing the apparel retailer failed to pay more than $65.9 million in rent and other charges due during the coronavirus pandemic. Gap said in late April it stopped paying rent on its temporarily shuttered stores, totaling about $115 million in monthly expenses in North America, but it also warned of the risks of litigation from the move. Simon chief executive David Simon made it clear he expects rent to be paid, despite any temporary store closures from lockdown measures. In the lawsuit filed on Tuesday, Simon is asking the Delaware court to order Gap to pay up to $66 million, in addition to future rent payments. In the morning Gap shares slipped 0.5%, while Simon shares rose 1%.

US Jobless Claims Rise by 1.9 Million

Filings for unemployment insurance claims in the US rose by 1.877 million last week in a sign the worst is over for the coronavirus crisis but the level of unemployment still remains high. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had expected 1.775 million new claims. The total was a decrease from the previous week's upwardly revised total of 2.126 million and the first time a jobless claims report came under 2 million since the week ended March 14. But cContinuing claims, which provide a clearer picture of how many people remain unemployed sharply climbed by 649,000 to 21.5 million, worse than economists' expectations. On Friday the Labor Department releases its nonfarm payrolls report for May. Economists estimate a decline of 8.3 million jobs and a 20.5% unemployment rate, the highest level since the Great Depression.

Russia Declares Emergency After Arctic Oil Spill

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday declared a state of emergency in a region within the Arctic Circle in far northern Russia after 20,000 tons of oil leaked into a river from a power plant on May 29. The massive spill occurred when "oil products" leaked into the Ambarnaya River from a tank in an industrial plant operated by a subsidiary of Norilsk Nickel, the world's biggest producer of palladium and one of the largest producers of nickel, platinum, and copper. Putin was shocked to learn that local authorities had found out the incident from social media 2 days after it happened, and he chastised the region's governor Alexander Uss, according to Reuters. He expressed concern about the health situation in the region. Norilsk Nickel said the accident was caused by a sudden sinking of supporting posts and it is trying to limit damage to the environment.

Senate Passes Coronavirus Aid Flexibility Bill

The US Senate on Wednesday evening overwhelmingly passed a bill that eases rules about how small businesses can use Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and still get ensure they are forgiven. The legislation would make several changes to the PPP, which aims to help small businesses keep employees on payroll after state public health measures designed to control the pandemic forced them to shutter. Under the new proposal, small businesses must spend 60% of the loan money on payroll expenses, down from 75%. They can also use the funds for 6 months, up from 2 months. The bill also extends a June 30 deadline to rehire workers, pushes back the timeline for repaying loans, and lets firms that obtain loan forgiveness to defer payroll taxes. President Donald Trump is expected to sign the bill soon.

Hong Kong Commemorates Tiananmen Anniversary

On Thursday many people in Hong Kong are commemorating the Chinese government's bloody 1989 crackdown on students and protesters by troops in Tiananmen Square by lighting candles across the city, defiantly circumventing a ban on the usual public gathering amid the coronavirus pandemic. In Hong Kong, an annual candlelight vigil that people held in the city's Victoria Park for three decades usually draws tens of thousands of people. The traditional vigil came after the European Union on Wednesday urged China to allow people in both Hong Kong and Macau, its other semi-autonomous city, to commemorate the crackdown, arguing it is "a signal that key freedoms continue to be protected." The US State Department also mourned the victims, adding it stands with Chinese people who aspire for human rights and basic freedoms. The Hong Kong government, under pressure from Beijing, warned people to avoid the vigil due to coronavirus.

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