Here are five things you must know for Wednesday, Sept. 11:
1. — Stock Futures Higher as China Makes Tariff Exemptions
U.S. stock futures rose modestly Wednesday, putting the Dow Jones Industrial Average in position to extend its winning streak to six straight sessions, after China said it would allow some exemptions to additional tariffs on U.S. imports as the two side prepared to re-start trade talks.
China’s Finance Ministry revealed the exemptions, which cover 16 different products linked to the first round of tariffs it applied in July 2018, on its website Wednesday, just weeks ahead of what is expected to be a key meeting between Chinese and U.S. trade officials, led by Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, in Washington.
The move could signal both a conciliatory position for the Chinese as they prepare for the talks that have been dormant since late May, or suggest a desire from Beijing to mitigate the obvious slowing seen in its domestic economy – particularly in the manufacturing sector – from the ongoing trade dispute with the United States.
Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 39 points, futures for the S&P 500 were up 3 points, and Nasdaq futures rose 12.25 points.
The economic calendar in the U.S. on Wednesday includes the Producer Price Index for August at 8:30 a.m. ET, and Oil Inventories for the week ended Sept. 6 at 10:30 a.m.
2. — Apple’s New iPhone 11 – Camera Improvements Are the Selling Point
Apple (AAPL – Get Report) unveiled three new versions of its iPhone — the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max – to much fanfare at its annual fall event on Tuesday. The iPhone 11 will start at $699, $50 less than the starting price of Apple’s previous new base model, the iPhone XR. The higher-end 11 Pro will start at $999 and the 11 Pro Max will start at $1,099, the same as their predecessors.
The new phones will be available for pre-order starting on Friday, and will start shipping to customers on Sept. 20.
As expected, camera improvements are the major selling point for Apple’s new iPhones, and in the cases of the 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max, Apple also is looking to sell consumers on major battery life gains.
And when it comes to iPhones other than the 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max, Apple also is wagering more aggressive pricing will provide a sales boost, according to TheStreet’s Eric Jhonsa.
The 5.8-inch iPhone 11 Pro and 6.5-inch 11 Pro Max feature three rear cameras, one more than what’s found on the iPhone XS and XS Max. The 6.1-inch iPhone 11 sports two rear cameras, one more than what’s found on the iPhone XR. In each case, an ultra-wide angle lens is being added for the first time.
Apple also revealed at the event that its forthcoming television service, Apple TV+, which launches Nov. 1, will cost just $4.99 a month, lower than many had expected before the event.
3. — GameStop and Dave & Busters Sink on Disappointing Guidance
GameStop (GME – Get Report) sank 14.93% to $4.33 in premarket trading Wednesday after the video game retailer’s second-quarter results came up well shy of analysts’ estimates and it issued a disappointing fiscal-year forecast.
The loss in the quarter was $415.3 million, or $4.15 a share, including impairment charges of $400 million. The adjusted loss in the quarter was 32 cents a share, wider than analysts’ calls for a loss of 18 cents a share.
Sales in the period were $1.29 billion, below estimates for $1.34 billion.
GameStop said it expects adjusted earnings for the year of $1.15 to $1.30 a share, well below Wall Street predictions of $1.61 a share. It said comparable-store sales would decline at a “low-teens” percentage pace after slumping 11.6% over the past quarter.
“Make no mistake, this transition will take time and our sales expectations over the next several quarters will reflect the end of console cycle and the next generation of console launches by both Sony and Microsoft later for 2020,” CEO George Sherman said on a conference call. “However, our strategic framework is focused not only on sales, but expanding our gross margin, reducing costs and optimizing inventory management, all of which will lead to continued growth of free cash flow of the business, both in the near term and over the long term.”
Second-quarter earnings at Dave & Buster’s were 90 cents a share, higher than 84 cents a share a year earlier and above forecasts of 84 cents. Revenue rose 8% to $345 million, but same-store sales during the period fell 1.8%.
Dave & Buster’s said it expects same-store sales for the fiscal year to fall between 2% and 3.5%, wider than its previous expectations. Revenue, the company said, is expected at between $1.34 billion and $1.36 billion, below previous guidance of $1.37 billion and $1.39 billion.
4. — General Electric Will Give Up Majority Control of Baker Hughes
General Electric (GE – Get Report) will give up majority control of Baker Hughes (BHGE – Get Report) after it was announced GE was looking to raise up to $3 billion from the sale of shares in the oilfield services company.
The industrial conglomerate previously had announced its intentions to sell down its stake in Baker Hughes.
General Electric will sell up to nearly 121 million Class A Baker Hughes’ shares, including overallotment options, while Baker Hughes will repurchase $250 million of Class B common stock from GE in a private transaction.
GE’s stake in Baker Hughes will fall below 50%, and it will only be permitted to designate one member to the oilfield services company’s board, down from five.
GE shares rose slightly to $9.15 in premarket trading. Baker Hughes fell 3.77% to $23.20 in after-hours trading Tuesday.
5. — Wednesday Marks the 18th Anniversary of 9/11
Wednesday marks the 18th anniversary of 9/11, the September day in 2001 when nearly 3,000 people died in the worst terrorist attacks on U.S. soil.
The 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York will commemorate the lives lost with a ceremony honoring those killed at the World Trade Center, Pentagon and aboard Flight 93 – as well as the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The ceremony begins at 8:25 a.m. ET.