Stocks were higher to start Friday with the Dow adding 255 points, or 0.9%. The S&P 500 gained 0.8%, while the Nasdaq traded 0.7% higher.
The U.S. reported a record of more than 153,400 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, marking the third-straight record one-day spike and pushing the seven-day average of new infections to more than 131,400. Dr. Paul Casey, emergency department medical director at Bellin Hospital in Green Bay, Wisconsin, said the state is in “crisis mode” with one in three residents in the state having the coronavirus. “All hospitals across the state are either at or nearing capacity,” Casey said. “Today we had a record number of COVID-19 cases, 7,500, and two weeks ago it was half of that, and this is straining us almost to capacity.” A member of President-elect Joe Biden’s coronavirus task force urged Americans to avoid traveling over Thanksgiving, saying that it would only make the pandemic in the U.S. worse. “Right now we have a fire blazing and to me traveling and spending time with people over the holidays is sort of like pouring gasoline on a fire,” said Dr. Celine Gounder, a member of Biden’s COVID-19 advisory board. “It’s just not a good idea in the middle of a pandemic, especially at this juncture.”
Speaking of Biden, President Donald Trump’s claims that he won the election are becoming even more tenuous after another three networks projected Biden has won Arizona. Also hurting Trump’s cause, state and federal election officials said in a report out late yesterday that they had “utmost confidence in the security and integrity” of the November 3 vote, calling it “the most secure in American history.” “There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised,” the officials said in a statement. The statement also acknowledged the “many unfounded claims and opportunities for misinformation about the process of our elections” and urged Americans to turn to election administrators and officials for accurate election information. Meanwhile, as Trump tries to cling to power, the rest of the world is acknowledging President-elect Joe Biden’s victory with China becoming the latest country to congratulate him and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris for their victory. Still at stake is Georgia, which is expected to finish the recount of its 5 million votes by November 20.
Disney shares are up this morning after reporting better-than-expected results after the bell on Thursday. Disney reported a loss per share of $0.20 on revenue of $14.71 billion, compared to Wall Street expectations for a loss of earnings per share of $0.71 on revenue of $14.2 billion. The mouse house also said its streaming service, Disney+, now has more than 73.7 million paid subscribers as of the end of its fiscal fourth quarter. “The real bright spot [this quarter] has been our direct-to-consumer business,” said CEO Bob Chapek. “It has quickly exceeded our highest expectations.The growth of Disney+ speaks volumes about the strength of our IP, our unparalleled brands and franchises and our amazing content creators, all part of the Disney difference that sets us apart from everyone else.” Morgan Stanley analyst Benjamin Swinburne said in a note, “We expect Disney to further lean into streaming, implying higher spend and more original content that moves more quickly to its DTC platforms.”
DraftKings shares are also up this morning, rising more than 4% at the time of writing, following its better-than-expected third quarter results. The sports betting company reported a loss per share of $0.57 on revenue of $133 million, compared to estimates for a loss of $0.61 per share on revenue of $132 million. DraftKings also said its monthly unique payers surpassed 1 million, a 64% year-over-year increase. “The resumption of major sports such as the NBA, MLB and the NHL in the third quarter, as well as the start of the NFL season, generated tremendous customer engagement,” said DraftKings CEO Jason Robins in a press release. “In addition to our year-over-year pro forma revenue growth of 42%, DraftKings recorded an increase in monthly unique payers of 64% to over 1 million, demonstrating the effectiveness of our data-driven sales and marketing approach. Our product offerings and scalable platform provide a distinctive and personalized experience for customers across the ten states where we operate mobile sports betting today, and we look forward to entering additional jurisdictions at the earliest opportunity.”
And DoorDash is going public. The leading food delivery app in the U.S. filed its IPO prospectus with the SEC, and will list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DASH. DoorDash said in the prospectus that it has 1 million Dashers (delivery workers) and more than 18 million customers, including over 5 million customers on its $9.99 per month DashPass service as of September 30. It also reported $149 million in losses on revenue of $1.9 billion through the end of September. DoorDash seeks to join competitors GrubHub and Uber on the public markets. The company has the lead in U.S. market share among them, with 49% of meal delivery sales in September compared with Uber Eats’ 22% and GrubHub’s 20%.
Stocks We’re Watching
Blink Charging Company (NASDAQ: BLNK): Blink Charging shares gained nearly 10% yesterday after it reported third quarter results. The company posted revenue of $3.8 million in the quarter, up 84% year-over-year. “The accelerating adoption of electric vehicles represents an enormous opportunity for EV infrastructure providers, and Blink in particular, as more and more drivers seek fast, convenient and reliable charging options,” said CEO Michael D. Farkas in the earnings release. “Our momentum continued during the third quarter of 2020 despite the ongoing pandemic, which included challenges with logistics, shipping delays, and a decrease in driving patterns impacting utilization. Our continued growth was demonstrated by increased revenue driven by significant increases in product sales.”