Here are five things you must know for Thursday, May 16:
1. — Stock Futures Rise Slightly as U.S. Blacklists China’s Huawei
U.S. stock futures were higher on Thursday and global stocks traded mostly to the downside after Donald Trump blacklisted China’s Huawei Technologies from doing business with the United States, underscoring the breadth of the president’s myriad trade disputes and their potential impact on the world’s largest economy.
Telecom giant Huawei, a key plank in China’s ambitions toward dominating 5G networking around the globe, was placed on the “Entity List” by the U.S. Commerce Department late Wednesday, a move that effectively prevents it from acquiring components and technology from American companies without prior government approval.
The decision will “prevent American technology from being used by foreign-owned entities in ways that potentially undermine U.S. national security or foreign policy interests,” according to a statement from Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, which followed an executive order from Trump that declared a national emergency linked to “threats against information and communications technology and services in the United States.”
The moves highlighted the distance between China and the United States on trade, following their tit-for-tat tariffs increases over the past week, and snuffed out a late Wednesday rally sparked by multiple media reports that Trump would delay applying new levies on auto imports from Europe and Japan for at least six months.
Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 88 points, futures for the S&P 500 were up 10.25 points, and Nasdaq futures gained 25 points.
The economic calendar in the U.S. Thursday includes Housing Starts for April at 8:30 a.m. ET, weekly Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m., and the Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey for May at 8:30 a.m.
2. — Cisco Rises on Earnings Beat and Strong Revenue Forecast
Cisco Systems (CSCO – Get Report) was rising 3.7% in premarket trading Thursday to $54.39 after the networking giant posted fiscal third-quarter earnings that topped Wall Street forecasts and issued a strong fourth-quarter revenue forecast.
Adjusted earnings in the third quarter were 78 cents a share, beating analysts’ forecasts by 1 cent. Revenue of $12.96 billion came in higher than expectations of $12.89 billion.
Product revenue in the quarter was $9.72 billion vs. forecasts of $9.65 billion, while services revenue of $3.24 billion also topped estimates. Security revenue was $707 million, up 21% from a year earlier.
Cisco said it expects adjusted earnings in the fourth quarter of 80 cents to 82 cents a share on revenue of $13.21 billion to $13.46 billion, which equates to growth from a year earlier of 4.5% to 6.5%.
Analysts had been calling for earnings of 81 cents a share on revenue of $13.29 billion.
CEO Chuck Robbins said Cisco already has been working to adjust its supply chain to deal with the impact of U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports. He added the company sees “very minimal impact at this point” from the tariffs.
“All in, CEO Chuck Robbins and his team are executing despite uncertain macro and geopolitical environments,” said Jim Cramer and the Action Alerts PLUS team, which holds Cisco in its portfolio. The AAP team added that Cisco “represents a great way to play the 5G buildout that will happen across the globe.”
3. — Walmart, Nvidia, Pinterest Report Earnings
The stock was rising 1.8% in premarket trading to $101.70.
4. — Berkshire Hathaway’s Stake in Amazon Worth Nearly $1 Billion
In a regulatory filing, Berkshire Hathaway said it owned 483,300 shares of Amazon as of March 31, a stake worth more than $900 million based on Amazon’s closing price Wednesday of $1,871.15.
Buffett, the billionaire value investor, told CNBC earlier this month about Berkshire Hathaway’s purchase of Amazon shares, his company’s first investment in Amazon, while chiding himself as an “idiot” for not buying it sooner.
“I’ve been a fan (of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos) and I’ve been an idiot for not buying,” Buffett told CNBC.
Amazon shares were up 1% to $1,888.94 in premarket trading on Thursday.
5. — California Fire Officials Blame PG&E for Deadly Camp Fire
In a statement Wednesday, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said it “has determined that the Camp Fire was caused by electrical transmission lines owned and operated by Pacific Gas and Electricity (PG&E) located in the Pulga area.”
PG&E filed for bankruptcy earlier this year because it was likely to face more than $30 billion in potential liability costs stemming from the fire.
“While we have not been able to review CAL FIRE’s report, its determination that PG&E transmission lines near the Pulga area ignited the Camp Fire on the morning of November 8, 2018, is consistent with the company’s previous statements,” PG&E said in a statement.
“Our hearts go out to those who have lost so much, and we remain focused on supporting them through the recovery and rebuilding process,” the company said.