The Stock Market Looks Like It Could End July With a Bang – TheStreet.com

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Updated from 8:05 a.m. ET, Monday, July 31. 

Stock futures pointed to gains for Wall Street on Monday, July 31, as equities looked to close out a solid month.

S&P 500 futures increased 0.14%, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 0.27%, and Nasdaq futures added 0.23%.

Gains on Monday should put benchmark indexes in range of closing records. The Dow clocked a new record on Friday, July 28, for the its third day in a row, though the S&P 500 and Nasdaq fell short of their own. The latter two had closed at records earlier last week. The S&P 500 was on track for a 1% increase for the month, the Dow a 2.3% gain, and the Nasdaq an increase of 3.8%. 

Apple Inc. (AAPL) will dominate a jam-packed earnings calendar this week with its earnings report on Tuesday, Aug. 1. The world’s largest company is expected to post earnings of $1.57 a share during its quarter that ended in June, a 10% increase from a year earlier. Sales are forecast to have climbed nearly 6% to $44.9 billion.

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Earnings of note on Monday include Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc.  (DO) , Precision Drilling Corp. (PDS)  and Pandora Media Inc. (P) .

Discovery Communications Inc. (DISCA) agreed to acquire Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. (SNI) in a cash-and-stock deal worth $14.6 billion. The deal, which values Scripps at $90 a share, represents a 34% premium to Scripps’ trading levels on July 18, before reports of negotiations surfaced.

XO Group Inc. (XOXO)  reported a slightly-better-than-expected quarter. The lifestyle media company earned 11 cents a share, in-line with estimates. Revenue increased 9.1% to $42.23 million, $720,000 above consensus.

Sohu.com Inc. (SOHU)  moved higher in premarket trading on a quarterly revenue beat and solid outlook. Revenue of $461.17 million was up nearly 10% from a year earlier and exceeded estimates by $26.5 million. A net loss of $1.85 a share was 27 cents steeper than anticipated. For the third quarter, Sohu anticipates revenue between $480 million and $510 million, higher than $474.6 million consensus.

HSBC Group PLC (HSBC) posted stronger-than-expected first-half earnings and launched an additional $2 billion share buyback program as Europe’s biggest bank continues to see firmer growth in Asian markets.

HSBC said pretax profit for the first six months of the year wast $10.2 billion, up 5.15% from the same period last year. Revenue for the first half was $26.2 billion, down 11% from last year “primarily due to currency translation differences, the absence of fair value movements on our own debt and revenue from the operations in Brazil that we sold,” HSBC said.

The bank also said it would add a further $2 billion to its existing share buyback program, taking it to $5.5 billion since the second half of 2016.

American depositary receipts of HSBC were rising 1.5% in premarket trading on Monday.

Crude oil prices traded above $50 overnight before settling lower to trade under that level again. The earlier bump was tied to Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ decision to meet next week to discuss why some members were falling short of a commitment to limit output. The countries will convene in Abu Dhabi on Aug. 7-8. 

West Texas Intermediate crude was down 0.6% to $49.43 a barrel early Monday.

Dynavax Technologies Corp. (DVAX) surged 90% higher in premarket trading after a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel ruled on Friday afternoon that data supports the safety of its hepatitis B vaccine. The positive ruling set off a string of analyst upgrades on Monday. JPMorgan upgraded to overweight from neutral and increased its price target to $26 from $7. RBC Capital upgraded to outperform from sector perform. 

The U.S. flew two B-1B bombers across the Korean peninsula on Saturday, July 29, the latest in rising tensions in Asia. The move was in reaction to North Korea launching another missile on Friday. The launch, possibly of an intercontinental ballistic missile, was detected by Japan and South Korea and later confirmed by the U.S. Defense Department. President Donald Trump passed the North Korea issue off onto China in a string of tweets on Saturday.  

On the economic calendar Monday: Chicago PMI for July will be released at 9:45 a.m. ET, and pending home sales for June are scheduled for 10 a.m.

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