Ford Says Q2 2021 Adjusted EBIT Will Exceed Its Expectations
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Ford said adjusted earnings before interest and taxes for the second quarter of 2021, which ends in two weeks, will surpass its expectations and be significantly better than a year ago. The company provided the insight ahead of President and CEO Jim Farley's participation in Deutsche Bank's Global Auto Industry Conference. Farley will tell conference attendees that Ford is seeing improvement in its automotive business since providing full-year operating guidance on April 28, despite continuing uncertainty about supplies of semiconductors. The improvement in automotive is being driven by lower-than-anticipated costs and favorable market factors. Additionally, higher vehicle auction values are benefitting Ford Credit. Net income for the second quarter of 2021 is expected to be substantially lower than a year ago, when results included a $3.5 billion gain on Ford's investment in Argo AI.
The Swiss stock market ended trading on Thursday at new record highs. The SMI climbed above the 12,000 point mark for the first time. Among others, financial stocks pushed the index up after the hawkish statements by the US Federal Reserve the previous evening. The Fed had signalled an earlier than expected turnaround in interest rates. The shares of CS Group, UBS and Zurich Insurance rose by between 0.3 and 0.7 per cent. Financial stocks were also sought after in Europe. The SMI improved 0.2 per cent to 12,011 points. The new record high is 12,018 points. Among the 20 SMI stocks, there were 11 price gainers and 9 price losers. 46.27 (previously: 38.5) million shares were traded. The focus was on the decisions of the US Federal Reserve and the Swiss National Bank (SNB). As expected, the SNB confirmed its monetary policy and at the same time significantly raised its economic growth forecast and slightly increased its inflation forecast. The central bank described the franc as "overvalued" and announced that it was prepared to intervene in the foreign exchange market if necessary.
European stock markets closed slightly higher on Thursday after comparatively quiet trading. The DAX closed 0.1 per cent higher at 15,728 points, the Euro-Stoxx-50 also gained 0.1 per cent to 4,158 points. CureVac NV reported unfavorable results in the second interim analysis of Covid-19 vaccine candidate CVnCoV, noting an "unprecedented broad diversity" of virus variants. CureVac shares were recently down 50% after hours to $47.20. "In the unprecedented context of at least 13 variants circulating within the study population subset assessed at this interim analysis, CVnCoV demonstrated an interim vaccine efficacy of 47% against COVID-19 disease of any severity and did not meet prespecified statistical success criteria," CureVac said. The favorable safety profile of the vaccine was confirmed. The HERALD study, conducted by CureVac in conjunction with Bayer, enrolled about 40,000 people in 10 countries in Latin America and Europe. Whitbread PLC said Thursday that total sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2022 fell 70% because of the government's pandemic-related restrictions. The London-listed owner of budget hotel chain Premier Inn said occupancy levels grew steadily to around 50% in the first two weeks of May from 35% at the start of the quarter, which ended May 27. The company said this was driven by a resilient demand from trades business customers. U.K. total accommodation like-for-like sales for the period fell 62%, with Germany reporting an 81% fall, it said.
The S&P 500 notched a third consecutive session of declines Thursday, kept under pressure by sliding shares of materials and financial companies. Markets opened little changed and then drifted between small gains and losses throughout much of the session. While advances in technology shares helped the Nasdaq Composite end higher, both the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average finished with losses. The S&P 500 ended down 1.84 points, or less than 0.1%, to 4221.86. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 210.22 points, or 0.6%, to 33823.45 for its fourth straight session of declines. The Nasdaq Composite rose 121.67 points, or 0.9%, to 14161.35, boosted by gains among technology stocks. JPMorgan Chase announced a new $150 million, five-year commitment in philanthropic capital and low-cost loans to Chicago's South and West sides. This is part of firm's continued effort to help advance racial equity across Chicago through new business investments, philanthropy and cross-sector partnerships. It will bring the firm's total business and philanthropic investments toward Black and Latinx and other underserved communities in Chicago to $800 million by 2025. By combining the firm's unique set of business, data, policy and philanthropic resources, JPMorgan Chase aims to improve homeownership opportunities, accelerate wealth creation, help grow small businesses and expand financial health for Chicago's South and West sides. Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Satya Nadella will also assume the role of company chairman, the company said Wednesday. The move marks the second year in a row Microsoft's board has undergone significant change after co-founder Bill Gates last year announced he was stepping down three months after having been re-elected to the board. Mr. Nadella, 53 years old, took over as Microsoft CEO in 2014 and helped restore the software company's fortunes, in part by betting on the company's cloud-computing business that has seen strong growth.
Confidence dominates at the end of the week on the East Asian financial markets and in Australia. With the exception of Shanghai, the stock market indices in the region show small gains. In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index is almost unchanged at 28,998 points. There is no impetus from the Japanese central bank, which keeps its monetary policy course unchanged after consultations. That the government has decided to extend the Corona exemption status for Tokyo and other regions.
Yields on U.S. government debt firmed slightly in Asia after they whipped around on Thursday with long-dated Treasurys seeing the biggest slump in weeks in turbulent post-Fed action.
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