Consumer Prices, Disney, Cisco: 3 Things to Watch


By Liz Moyer — Tech investors swooped in Wednesday to buy the dip, pushing the NASDAQ Composite higher and letting some of the steam out of a post-election run-up for the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

It was a reversal of a trend seen in the last few days, boosted by Monday’s news that a coronavirus vaccine finally may be right around the corner.

Optimism about a vaccine has helped markets overcome worries about record-high new Covid-19 cases and rising hospitalizations. Some localities have had to reverse reopening plans to stop the rapidly escalating spread of the virus.

With lawmakers now back in Washington for a lame duck session, attention will turn to whether an agreement can be reached on a new stimulus package — and how much it should be. The threat of massive new shutdowns may help Democrats make the case that more financial aid to individuals, businesses and local governments is better.

Here are three things that could affect markets tomorrow:

1. Economic data puts focus on the progress of reopenings

Data on consumer prices comes out Thursday at 8:30 AM ET (1230 GMT). The consumer price index for October is seen rising 0.1%, which would be less than the 0.2% increase the previous month. From last year, the CPI is seen rising 1.3% compared to the 1.4% gain in September.

Unemployment is also in view with the weekly release of claims data at the same time as the inflation data. Initial jobless claims are seen at 735,000, which would be an improvement over 751,000 filed the week before. Continuing jobless claims are expected to be 6.9 million, according to analysts tracked by

An important measure of oil demand will also come out at 11:00 AM ET (1500 GMT). The Energy Information Administration’s crude oil inventory report is expected to show a draw of 913,000 barrels. Earlier this week, the industry’s own report showed a bigger-than-expected draw of 5.1 million barrels.

2. Disney earnings: A tale of two companies

The Hollywood giant has been pulled every which way by Covid-related business interruptions. Its theme park and cruise businesses are reeling from closures and limited occupancy reopenings. Its movie and television production has been stymied by similar interruptions. But its streaming operations are seen benefiting from stay-at-home consumers, though it might be too early for that.

Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) is seen reporting a loss of 73 cents a share on revenue of $14 billion.

3. Cisco seen with lower results on weak demand

The networking giant has stumbled this year on weak demand from carriers and small- and mid-sized business customers, which make up about one-third of its business. The company is forecasting a 9% to 11% decline in results for the quarter ended in October, about the same as the one that ended in July.

Cisco Systems Inc (NASDAQ:CSCO) is seen reporting per-share profit of 70 cents on revenue of $11.8 billion.

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