Stock market futures are gaining in early morning trading on Thursday. Notably, this could be due to the recent bill passed in the U.S House of Representatives to suspend the U.S. debt ceiling. Nevertheless, Senate Republicans are likely to vote against the bill. Meanwhile, investors are also looking forward to the weekly jobless claims data at 8:30 a.m. ET today. Amid the current market conditions, should investors remain bullish?
Well, Paul Schatz, Heritage Capital President recently said, “But remember, all the reasons why we’re going down — nothing is new … You’ve got the debt ceiling and the government shutdown and Evergrande and inflation. All known things. None of these are going to befall the bull market or cause a recession. There’s always some kind of short-term thing the market focuses on to get a pullback going. We’ve got it. I think it’s one you buy with both hands in the next week or so, and I think we’re going strongly to new highs in Q4.” As of 6:35 a.m. ET, the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq futures are trading higher by 0.40%, 0.39%, and 0.41% respectively.Google Search Getting A Revamp To Boost User Retention Time
To begin with, Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL) subsidiary Google is making headlines in the stock market now. It revealed plenty of details at its annual Search On event yesterday. Namely, the main piece of news around the company now would be its plans for Google Search. According to Google VP of merchant shopping, Matt Madrigal, the company is looking to add more consumer-focused tools. In essence, this will see more means for users to engage in end-to-end shopping on Google.
Not to mention, Google is also revamping its search engine with a brand new artificial intelligence (AI) known as Multitask Unified Model, or MUM for short. According to company executives, MUM is a whopping 1,000 times more powerful than Google’s current search engine AI. By pulling data from across the web, the AI can supposedly tell users all the things needed for a particular hike up Mt.Fuji. This among numerous other nuances and details in the new AI would serve to enhance the overall user experience.
In turn, this could see a rise in user retention as Google becomes a one-stop internet search solution, possibly bolstering its ad businesses. As Google seeks to bring more comprehensive solutions to the world’s questions, it would not surprise me to see investors eyeing GOOGL stock today.
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In other tech-related news, the IBM Corporation (NYSE: IBM) is also making waves in the stock market today. This is likely thanks to recent mentions of the supposed tax-free spinoff of its Kyndryl business. In brief, Kyndryl is an IBM IT infrastructure business consisting of about 90,000 employees.
Through a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), details of the tax-free spinoff are now out. Notably, according to the filing, IBM is looking to finalize the move by the end of 2021. Subsequently, Kyndryl will list on the New York Stock Exchange with the ticker symbol of KD.
For the uninitiated, Kyndryl offers a wide array of IT infrastructure management services to organizations globally. This includes but is not limited to its data & AI, cloud, core enterprise, mainframe-as-a-service, digital workplace, and cybersecurity solutions. Ideally, with the current spinoff plans, the dedicated team over at Kyndryl will be able to focus on innovation and expansions. Overall, this would give IBM more space to focus on its core cloud and AI capabilities while addressing the booming enterprise tech market as well.Walgreens Eyes Health Care IT Service Firm Evolent Health
Elsewhere, health care giant Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ: WBA) is making bold plays as well. Yesterday, news broke of the company’s interest in acquiring Evolent Health (NYSE: EVH). In short, Evolent is an IT services firm that primarily operates in the health care industry. This includes solutions consisting of care management and administrative simplification among others.
Through its services, the company reportedly saved Medicare more than $21 million in 2020 by helping to optimize its operations. Given all of this, it is no wonder that EVH stock is in the limelight now. In fact, EVH stock surged by over 7% throughout yesterday’s intraday trading session.
By and large, should Walgreens decide to move forward with this plan, it could be a strategic move. This would be the case as acquiring Evolent would give Walgreens a stronger hold on the growing health care IT space. As with most industries in the world, today, IT services are becoming an increasingly relevant component to consider. Additionally, the potential acquisition could also serve to benefit Walgreens’ growing online drugstore business as well, given Evolent’s IT expertise. Because of all this, WBA stock could be in focus in the stock market now.
[Read More] What Stocks To Buy Today? 5 Tech Stocks To WatchTarget Bringing Out The Big Guns This Holiday Season
Target (NYSE: TGT) is gearing up for the holiday season now. This is evident given Target’s latest announcement regarding its holiday sales. From October 10 through December 24 shoppers can request price adjustments on items purchased from Target. This will be in the case that prices drop later in the season due to various promotions or offers. According to Target, the company plans to match select prices from competitors within 14 days of a customer’s purchase.
By and large, this would be similar to a push by most of the largest names in the retail space now. If anything, some would argue that it is a necessary one. For some context, a recent study by Salesforce (NYSE: CRM) suggests that consumer prices could rise by up to 20% during this holiday season.
Based on data from over 1 billion global shoppers, the firm estimates that this could add up to $223 billion in additional costs faced by retailers and manufacturers. Due to the ongoing pandemic putting pressure on global supply chains, this would make sense. With Target kicking into high gear in anticipation of all this, we could be looking at exciting times ahead for TGT stock.Earnings To Note In The Stock Market Today
On top of all that, there are also notable names reporting earnings today. In the pre-market, we have several retail names on tap. This includes the likes of CarMax (NYSE: KMX), Bed Bath & Beyond (NYSE: BBBY), and McCormick & Company (NYSE: MKC). Furthermore, there are also companies like Paychex (NASDAQ: PAYX) and AngioDynamics (NASDAQ: ANGO) reporting before the opening bell as well.
Alternatively, Jefferies (NYSE: JEF) is set to report its third-quarter earnings after the closing bell today. All in all, things are as active as ever in the market now with companies making moves. With that said, there is certainly plenty of news to keep you busy in the stock market today.