Day Ahead: 3 Things to Watch for August 21

imageStock MarketsAug 20, 2020 04:04PM ET

(C) Reuters.

By Christiana Sciaudone — Markets closed higher on Thursday after starting out the day in the red because of jobless claims.

The usual tech stocks were higher, and Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) shot past the $2,000 mark in a seemingly unstoppable rally.

Uber (NYSE:UBER) and Lyft (NASDAQ:LYFT) got an emergency stay in California, and won’t stop operating at 11:59 p.m. local time under threat of having to make its drivers full employees. Shares turned higher.

American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL) is suspending flights in 15 U.S. cities where demand remains elusive.

U.S. weekly jobless claims unexpectedly increased to 1.106 million last week, from 923,000 the prior week, and above forecasts for 925,000. The rise in claims comes after $600-a-week government stimulus checks lapsed.

Joe Biden, the Democrat’s presidential candidate, will formally (finally) accept his party’s nomination Thursday night. U.S. President Donald Trump will accept his party’s nomination next week. The Republican National Convention kicks off in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Monday.

It’s looking to be a solidly slow summer Friday tomorrow (barring breaking news), but here are three things we dug up that may move markets:

1. Deere earnings come as stock hits all-time high

Deere (NYSE:DE) & Company is expected to report earnings per share of $1.17 on sales of $6.63 billion on Friday. Shares are trading at an all-time high, having recovered from a tumble in March. Shares have nine buy ratings, four holds and one sell.

2. Housing data expected to confirm nesting trend

Home sales have been strong in recent months as Americans’ nesting instinct kicks in amid Covid-related shutdowns. Existing home sales, scheduled to be reported at 10:00 AM ET (1400 GMT), will provide further evidence on the trend. The estimate is an optimistic 5.38 million for July, compared to the previous month’s 4.72 million.

3. Athletic apparel retailer Foot Locker seen benefiting from stimulus payments

Foot Locker (NYSE:FL)’s made a lot of noise recently about how good things have been thanks to Covid-19 stimulus supporting consumer spending. The sneaker seller posts quarterly earnings on Friday and is expected to report earnings per share of 32 cents on sales of $1.83 billion.

Day Ahead: 3 Things to Watch for August 21

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