What to watch today: S&P 500 looks to cement longest monthly win streak in nearly 4 years

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BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures fell slightly steady Tuesday, on the last day of August, with the S&P 500 tracking for a seventh straight monthly gain, its longest monthly winning streak since December 2017. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq again closed at record highs Monday. The Dow fell slightly, sending the 30-stock average to just over 0.6% away from its latest record close earlier this month. The Dow and Nasdaq were also poised for solid gains for August. (CNBC)

Zoom Video Communications shares sank more than 14% in Tuesday’s premarket, a drop that would wipe out 2021 gains and then some. While beating estimates with quarterly earnings and revenue, the stock was under pressure on slowing growth from the meteoric levels seen as the Covid pandemic began in 2020. Zoom also delivered forward guidance that basically matched estimates.

Home prices rose 18.6% annually in June, up from the 16.8% increase in May, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home price index. That is the largest annual gain in the history of the index dating back to 1987. Prices nationally are now 41% higher than their last peak during the housing boom in 2006. (CNBC)

* Millions of Americans will lose unemployment benefits this weekend (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

South Korea’s parliament passed a bill Tuesday to curb the payment policies of Apple and Alphabet‘s Google that force developers to only use the tech giants’ proprietary billing systems. The measure, when signed into law, will make South Korea the first country to go after major app store operators, which can charge commissions as high as 30% on in-app transactions. (CNBC)

President Joe Biden plans to address the nation Tuesday afternoon about his decision not to prolong the U.S. mission in Afghanistan. The U.S. has finished its evacuation efforts from Kabul’s airport, effectively ending America’s longest war. The nearly two-decade conflict began not long after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. In the final weeks of the U.S. troop and diplomatic withdrawal from Afghanistan, the civil government fell to the Taliban. (CNBC)

Power outages from Hurricane Ida could take weeks to fix in some parts of Louisiana, according to officials. Ida ravaged the region’s power grid, leaving the entire city of New Orleans and hundreds of thousands of other Louisiana customers in the dark. Power outages and widespread flooding slowed efforts Tuesday by energy companies to assess damages at oil production facilities, ports and refineries, many of which were shuttered ahead of the storm. (AP)

A wildfire swept toward Lake Tahoe on Tuesday, hours after the entire California resort city of South Lake Tahoe was ordered to evacuate. Communities just across the state line in Nevada were warned to get ready to leave. The threat of fire is so widespread in the region that the U.S. Forest Service announced Monday that all national forests in California would be closed until Sept. 17. (AP)

A CDC scientist said Monday the data needed to properly evaluate Covid vaccine boosters for the general population is limited; even as the president pressures health officials to clear the additional shots for wide distribution beginning the week of Sept. 20. The CDC emphasized that vaccinating the unvaccinated should be a “top priority,” adding that delivery of booster doses to vaccinated individuals should not deter outreach to those who remain unprotected from the virus. (CNBC)

Moderna‘s (MRNA) Covid vaccine produced more than twice the number of antibodies as the Pfizer (PFE) vaccine, according to a study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association. Moderna rose 1.4% in the premarket. Shares had been under pressure recently after the suspension of 1.63 million doses in Japan on contamination concerns. (MarketWatch)

Elizabeth Holmes, founder and ex-CEO of Theranos, goes on trial on allegations of defrauding investors and patients. Jury selection begins on Tuesday in San Jose federal court. Holmes, a one-time billionaire on paper, is facing 10 counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy. She pleaded not guilty. (CNBC)

STOCKS TO WATCH

Robinhood (HOOD) fell another 2.8% in premarket trading, following a 6.9% Monday tumble. The trading platform operator saw its stock pressured after CNBC reported that PayPal (PYPL) was exploring the launch of its own stock trading platform, as well as SEC Chairman Gary Gensler’s comment that a ban of payment for order flow, which constitutes the bulk of Robinhood’s revenue, was “on the table.”

Designer Brands (DBI), The footwear retailer formerly known as DSW, reported quarterly earnings of 56 cents per share, compared to a 24 cents a share consensus estimate. Revenue was well above Wall Street forecasts. Comparable-store sales surged 84.9%, more than the 62.2% increase forecast by analysts surveyed by StreetAccount. Its shares surged 7.5% in premarket trading.

Chico’s FAS (CHS) shares rallied 4.5% after the company reported an unexpected quarterly profit. Chico’s earned 21 cents per share, compared to consensus estimates of an 8 cents per share loss. Revenue was also well above estimates. Chico’s said the results represented the company’s best second quarter in eight years.

Russian technology company Yandex (YNDX) announced a deal to buy out Uber Technologies‘ (UBER) interest in several food delivery and ride-hailing joint ventures for $1 billion. Uber was little changed in the premarket, but Yandex gained 1.2%.

Virgin Galactic (SPCE) gained 3.3% in the premarket after Jefferies initiated coverage on the space travel company with a “buy” rating. Jefferies notes an expected ramping up in capacity by Virgin Galactic as well as rapidly growing demand.

Square (SQ) plans to offer a new paid version of its invoicing software called Invoices Plus, according to announcements shared with some sellers and seen by TechCrunch. The new service will offer some advanced features that had been tested over the past year in limited trials.