Daily summary:

  • A positive regular session on Wednesday, with the major indexes all posting modest gains on both vaccine and federal stimulus announcements.
  • The Dow Jones (Symbol: DIA) finished the day up 0.6%. The S&P 500 (Symbol: SPY) also rose about 0.6% as utilities and real estate investment trusts led the broader market higher. The Nasdaq (Symbol: QQQ), meanwhile, rose 0.2%.
  • FirstEnergy (Symbol: FE) — The energy stock fell more than 24%, continuing a sharp fall from Tuesday, after the company was embroiled in a corruption investigation in Ohio. The company said that it has received subpoenas as part of the investigation and “we intend to fully cooperate.”
  • Pfizer (Symbol: PFE) — The pharmaceutical stock gained 2.3% after the U.S. government announced a deal to pay Pfizer and German partner BioNTech $1.95 billion to produce its vaccine candidate if clinical trials are successful. The agreement would give the U.S. 100 million doses of the potential vaccine.
  • Snap (Symbol: SNAP) – Shares slid more than 8% after the social media company said its net loss in the second quarter rose nearly 28% year over year due to long-term investments. The company reported a 9-cent loss for the quarter, which was in line with Street estimates compiled by Refinitiv, while revenue exceeded expectations.
  • Kohl’s (Symbol: KSS), Macy’s (Symbol: M) — Shares of the retailers both tumbled more than 6% on Wednesday after UBS downgraded both stocks to sell from neutral. The firm said the two companies can no longer rely on third-party partners to help drive growth as the pandemic has permanently changed consumer shopping habits.
  • Best Buy (Symbol: BBY) — Shares of the electronics retailer surged nearly 8% after the company announced online sales were up 255% for fiscal second quarter 2021 on a year-over-year basis. Overall sales through July 18 were also up about 2.5%.
  • iRobot (Symbol: IRBT) – Shares of iRobot dropped more than 6% after the automatic vacuum maker posted big earnings beat. iRobot said it earned $1.06 per share in the previous quarter, significantly higher than the 29 cent consensus estimate per Refinitiv. The company also raised its revenue forecast due to a surge in demand amid the pandemic.
  • Biogen (Symbol: BIIB) – Shares of Biogen rose more than 1% after the drug maker reported better-than-expected quarterly result. It posted an EPS of $10.26, compared to a consensus estimate of $8.03. Biogen said it benefited from about $100 million in accelerated sales due to the pandemic.
  • Toll Brothers (Symbol: TOL) – Shares of homebuilders surged after data showed existing home sales jumped the most in history in June. Sales of existing homes jumped 21% in June, marking the largest monthly gain on record, according to the National Association of Realtors. Toll Brothers jumped 7%.
  • Spotify (Symbol: SPOT) – Shares of the music streaming company advanced more than 4% after striking a long-term licensing deal with Vivendi’s Universal Music Group, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. The deal would reportedly result in Spotify collecting revenue for its analytics information, among other things.

After Market hours:

Tesla (Symbol: TSLA) reported its second-quarter results. Shares rose more than 4% after hours as the company beat expectations and reported its fourth straight quarter of profits. Here’s how Elon Musk’s electric car and renewable energy business did versus analysts’ expectations, according to estimates compiled by Refinitiv:

  • Earnings: $2.18 (ex-items) vs. 3 cents per share, expected.
  • Revenue: $6.04 billion vs. $5.37 billion, expected.
  • Net income: $104 million (GAAP)

What to look out for today – Thursday:

  • AT&T (Symbol: T), Twitter (Symbol: TWTR) and American Airlines (Symbol: AAL) are set to report earnings Thursday.
  • On Thursday, the Labor Department will release its latest report on weekly jobless claims. The weekly figures provide Wall Street with critical insight on how many Americans continue to collect unemployment benefits, known as continuing claims. Another 1.3 million workers are expected to have filed first-time claims for state unemployment benefits during the week ended July 18.