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U.S. futures slip; Disney, Charter reach distribution deal - what's moving markets

September 12, 2023 6:30 AM

Investing.com -- U.S. stock futures decline after a spike in Tesla's (NASDAQ: TSLA) shares bolsters equities on Monday, as traders look ahead to the release of major economic data later in the week. Elsewhere, British chip designer Arm will reportedly stop taking orders for its much-anticipated initial public offering a day early due to solid investor demand, while Disney and Charter Communications reach a distribution deal to end a TV blackout that threatened to leave millions of households unable to tune in to the first "Monday Night Football" game of the season.

1. Futures slip after positive day on Wall Street

U.S. stock futures fell on Tuesday, pointing to a lower open after a positive day on Wall Street that featured a surge in shares of electric carmaker Tesla.

At 05:53 ET (09:53 GMT), the Dow futures contract had shed 56 points or 0.2%, S&P 500 futures lost 11 points or 0.2%, and Nasdaq 100 futures dipped by 42 points or 0.3%.

The three main indices rose on Monday. Fueling the upticks were Tesla shares, which gained more than 10% after analysts at Morgan Stanley suggested that the company's Dojo supercomputer could give it access to new opportunities beyond "selling cars at a fixed price." The analysts added that the Elon Musk-led business may see its market value jump by $600 billion thanks to the technology.

Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) also announced that it had extended a deal to supply 5G chips to Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) until 2026, sending shares in the U.S. semiconductor designer higher by almost 4%.

Looming in the background for equity markets is a slate of major U.S. economic data this week that includes a fresh look at inflation and retail prices. The figures will likely inform whether the Federal Reserve chooses to push on with an aggressive monetary policy tightening campaign later this year.

2. Arm to close IPO order book a day early - reports

Strong demand for chip designer Arm's initial public offering has pushed the banks underwriting the highly-anticipated listing to stop taking orders a day earlier than originally planned, according to various media reports.

Sources familiar with the matter told the Financial Times and Bloomberg News that the order book will close by Tuesday afternoon, with the reports suggesting that the IPO is already anywhere from over five to 10 times oversubscribed. Arm declined to comment to both news outlets.

Arm still reportedly intends to price its shares on Wednesday, with the figure potentially near the top end of -- or even higher than -- its initial range of $47 to $51. At the top end of this band, the company's fully diluted market value could touch $54.5B.

The reports would suggest that investors are widely unperturbed by a fall in Arm's profits over the last quarter or the firm's warning that it is "susceptible" to trade tensions between the U.S. and China.

3. Apple expected to unveil new iPhone model

Apple is set to announce the latest version of its flagship iPhone at its annual fall hardware update in California later today.

The event will feature four new models of the ubiquitous device, according to sources quoted by the Wall Street Journal. The WSJ added that the gadgets, which are expected to be called the iPhone 15, will include two base models and two higher-priced advanced versions.

Despite a dip in iPhone revenues in Apple's most recent quarter, the smartphone remains massively important, making up about half of the group's total sales.

But the iPhone may be facing looming headwinds. Along with a slump in the global smartphone market, reports last week said that China has ordered government officials to stop using iPhones for work, stoking concerns over the gadget's future in the country. Analysts have also flagged that a new device from Huawei could threaten Apple's hold on China's market for high-end smartphones.

4. Oil prices move higher

Oil prices rose Tuesday, with Brent crude futures holding above $90 a barrel, as markets awaiting the release of the OPEC oil producer group's monthly report later in the session.

Traders are particularly on the lookout for OPEC's forecasts for China's oil market, as expectations that the country will drive demand to record highs this year dwindle. Industry data on U.S. crude stocks from the American Petroleum Institute are also due later today, and are expected to continue a recent run of draws.

By 05:54 ET, the U.S. crude futures traded 0.8% higher at $87.96 a barrel, while the Brent contract climbed 0.6% to $91.21. Last week, Brent touched a level above $90 a barrel for the first time in 10 months on news that Saudi Arabia and Russia had extended their voluntary supply cuts until the end of the year.

5. Disney and Charter reach deal to end ESPN, ABC blackout

Shares in Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) and Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR) were mostly unchanged in premarket U.S. trading on Tuesday after the two companies forged a distribution deal that ended a blackout of popular channels like ESPN and ABC.

Under the terms of the agreement, Disney will give select subscribers to Charter's pay-TV service Spectrum access to its advertising-supported Disney+ streaming offering. ESPN+, the entertainment giant's sports-based streaming service, will also be made available to Spectrum customers with more premium subscriptions. Charter will pay Disney higher rates to carry its TV channels in return.

The deal, which was announced on Monday, came just hours before a highly-touted National Football League game between the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills was due to be televised on ESPN. Millions of households may not have been able to watch the match-up if an agreement had not been reached.

The stand-off between Charter and Disney was largely seen as an example of the strained relations between pay-TV firms and entertainment companies during an era of increasing demand for streaming services. In a joint statement, both companies hailed the agreement as "transformative" and an "innovative model for the future."

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