Stocks making the biggest moves midday: U.S. Steel, Tesla, Unity Software, Beyond Meat & more

CEO of Tesla Motors Elon Musk reacts following the company’s initial public offering at the NASDAQ market in New York June 29, 2010

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

Check out the companies making headlines in midday trading. 

U.S. Steel — U.S. Steel shares popped more than 9% after the company reported a smaller-than-expected loss for its fiscal third quarter. U.S. Steel posted a loss of $1.45 per share. Analysts polled by FactSet expected a loss of $1.52 per share. CEO David Burritt said “improving market conditions experienced in June and July have accelerated through August and September.”

Unity Software — Shares of Unity Software soared more than 36% on its first day of trading. The software company — which trades on the Nasdaq under ticker “U” — is trading above $70 per share, above its IPO price of $52 per share. Unity follows the market debut of software storage company Snowflake on Wednesday, the biggest software IPO in history.

Tesla – Shares jumped more than 4% ahead of the company’s Battery Day on Tuesday. Morgan Stanley said the event could be “potentially narrative changing” for the company in a note to clients on Friday. Separately, Piper Sandler raised its target to $515 from $480, pointing to “poorly-understood” aspects of the company’s business model, including the energy segment.

Beyond Meat – Beyond Meat fell more than 6% in midday trading on Friday after JPMorgan downgraded the alternative meat company due to “sluggish” fundamentals and said the stock was “ahead of itself.” We think “the stock is ahead of itself and we view Street estimates as too high, thanks to chief rival Impossible Foods taking share at grocery and restaurants hesitating to add menu complexity during the COVID-19 crisis,” the brokerage said in a note.

SunPower — Shares of solar storage company ticked 4% higher after Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock to equal weight from underweight. The Wall Street firm attributed the upgrade to possible margin expansion and higher storage penetration.

Dave & Buster’s — Shares of the entertainment and restaurant chain continued to swing wildly, jumping nearly 13% on Friday. Raymond James upgraded the stock to outperform from market perform, saying its recent sell-off was “overdone.” The company disclosed last week that it could possibly be forced into Chapter 11 bankruptcy later this year. It made a similar disclosure last quarter as well.

Home Depot – Shares of Home Depot fell 1.1% in midday trading after Oppenheimer cut its rating on the home-improvement retailer and reduced its price target on shares from $320 to $305. Oppenheimer also cut its rating on Lowe’s from outperform to perform. “Our updated models for HD and LOW reflect a ‘base case,’ whereby comp trends gradually moderate to about pre-COVID-19 levels,” the note said.

Foot Locker — Shares of Foot Locker gained about 1% after Argus Research upgraded the footwear retailer to buy from hold. The Wall Street firm said consumers “have returned to stores with intentions to buy merchandise” while digital sales remained strong.

— CNBC’s Maggie Fitzgerald, Fred Imbert, Pippa Stevens, Jesse Pound and Thomas Franck contributed reporting.

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Stocks making the biggest moves in the premarket: Oracle, Tesla, Home Depot, Beyond Meat & more

Check out the companies making headlines in the premarket Friday:

Home Depot (HD), Lowe’s (LOW) — An analyst at Oppenheimer downgraded both of the home improvement companies to “perform” from “outperform.” He also lowered his price targets on the two stocks, noting that, near term, “we’re increasingly concerned that the market is becoming too lax toward chances of a post-Covid-19 sales growth downshift at HD/LOW and potential impact on shares.” Home Depot and Lowe’s fell 1% and 1.4%, respectively.

Oracle (ORCL) — Oracle shares were down more than 1% after the Commerce Department said it will block U.S. users from downloading TikTok or WeChat starting Sept. 20. The announcement comes as Oracle tries to finalize a deal in which it will become the U.S. business partner of TikTok-parent ByteDance.

Ambarella (AMBA) — Ambarella shares rose more than 1% in the premarket after a Berenberg analyst initiated the semiconductor design company with a “buy” rating and a price target of $67 per share. That price target implies a 28.4% upside over the next 12 months. “Although AMBA’s stock has reflected recent concerns over the impact of revenue churn in non-focus areas, we think the company is through the worst of this,” the analyst said.

Dave & Buster’s (PLAY) — Dave & Buster’s popped nearly 10% as several analysts upgraded the stock even after the company reportedly warned about a potential bankruptcy if a deal with its lenders is not reached. Stifel and Raymond James were two of the firms upgrading Dave & Buster’s. In a note, Stifel said the recent pullback in the stock “creates an attractive entry point for investors with higher levels of risk tolerance. Meanwhile, Raymond James said Thursday’s pullback on bankruptcy concerns “seems overdone.”

Beyond Meat (BYND) — A JPMorgan analyst downgraded Beyond Meat to “underweight” from “neutral,” sending the stock down more than 4%. “The stock is ahead of itself and we view Street estimates as too high, thanks to chief rival Impossible Foods taking share at grocery and restaurants hesitating to add menu complexity during the Covid-19 crisis,” the analyst said.

Tesla (TSLA) — Tesla shares were up 4% in the premarket after an analyst at Piper Sandler hiked his price target on the electric car maker to $515 per share from $480 per share. The new target implies a 21.6% upside from Thursday’s close of $423.43 per share. The analyst said the target hike came after examining Tesla’s energy segment and noting: “We anticipate sharply higher demand for these products.”

Foot Locker (FL) — Argus Research upgraded Foot Locker shares to “buy” from “hold,” highlighting that “have returned to stores with intentions to buy merchandise” while digital sales are still strong.

Brexit blackmail: EU threatens to BAN British meat if trade negotiations fail

The Government is currently trying to negotiate a new deal for when the Brexit transition period runs out at the end of this year. Earlier this week it announced plans to override parts of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement unless the EU makes additional concessions to Britain.

This could be done via the Internal Market Bill which is currently making its way through Parliament.

European leaders have threatened to withdraw from trade negotiations with London unless the bill is withdrawn.

Senior figures in the European Parliament have also pledged to block any trade deal with the UK if the proposal becomes law.

The Government has admitted unilaterally altering the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement would be a violation of international law.

However Ministers argue they have no alternative if they are to fully protect British sovereignty.

According to a senior source, speaking to The Times, close to the UK’s negotiating team this move was partly made after Brussels warned it could effectively ban British meat produce from the EU market by refusing to accept they meets the basic standards required.

They alleged under the Withdrawal Agreement terms this could prevent meat being sent from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, as the latter would effectively stay within the EU’s customs union.

Referring to meat restrictions the source said: “They have suggested it.

READ MORE: Brexit fishing chaos – Shocking EU member state Britain WILL clash with

“It is not at all uncommon in international relations for states that are involved in dispute settlement with each other while still carrying on all kinds of normal business in the usual way and that would be our expectation if we were to get into that situation.

“In some of the more mainstream areas in this negotiation such as trade in goods and trade in services we’re beginning to get to a stage where you can begin to see how some of the practical issues might settle in a way that suits us both.

“You’re beginning to see some of the trade offs.

“It is what we would expect and what we would want to see if we’re going to get agreement by October 15.”

Talks are currently deadlocked over the access of EU fishing boats to UK waters and how much state aid the Government is permitted to give businesses.

However the source admitted the two sides are still some way off an agreement.

They said: “Whilst we are beginning to get discussions of substance of some issues, big important areas remain unresolved.

“On subsidies we are asking that the EU agree with us what they have agreed with so many others in this area.

“Despite their insistence to the contrary, on fisheries their position is still a long way from the huge change we need to get an agreement.”



Brexit blackmail: EU threatens to BAN British meat if trade negotiations fail

The Government is currently trying to negotiate a new deal for when the Brexit transition period runs out at the end of this year. Earlier this week it announced plans to override parts of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement unless the EU makes additional concessions to Britain.

This could be done via the Internal Market Bill which is currently making its way through Parliament.

European leaders have threatened to withdraw from trade negotiations with London unless the bill is withdrawn.

Senior figures in the European Parliament have also pledged to block any trade deal with the UK if the proposal becomes law.

The Government has admitted unilaterally altering the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement would be a violation of international law.

However Ministers argue they have no alternative if they are to fully protect British sovereignty.

According to a senior source, speaking to The Times, close to the UK’s negotiating team this move was partly made after Brussels warned it could effectively ban British meat produce from the EU market by refusing to accept they meets the basic standards required.

They alleged under the Withdrawal Agreement terms this could prevent meat being sent from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, as the latter would effectively stay within the EU’s customs union.

Referring to meat restrictions the source said: “They have suggested it.

READ MORE: Brexit fishing chaos – Shocking EU member state Britain WILL clash with

“It is not at all uncommon in international relations for states that are involved in dispute settlement with each other while still carrying on all kinds of normal business in the usual way and that would be our expectation if we were to get into that situation.

“In some of the more mainstream areas in this negotiation such as trade in goods and trade in services we’re beginning to get to a stage where you can begin to see how some of the practical issues might settle in a way that suits us both.

“You’re beginning to see some of the trade offs.

“It is what we would expect and what we would want to see if we’re going to get agreement by October 15.”

Talks are currently deadlocked over the access of EU fishing boats to UK waters and how much state aid the Government is permitted to give businesses.

However the source admitted the two sides are still some way off an agreement.

They said: “Whilst we are beginning to get discussions of substance of some issues, big important areas remain unresolved.

“On subsidies we are asking that the EU agree with us what they have agreed with so many others in this area.

“Despite their insistence to the contrary, on fisheries their position is still a long way from the huge change we need to get an agreement.”



Now Arby's is selling meat by the pound


The restaurant has been selling three of its sliced meats (roast turkey, ham and corned beef) in half-pound and pound packages at nine Atlanta-area locations for a limited time. Covid-19 sparked the deli-like idea, with Arby’s explaining that people have long been asking for its freshly cut meat served in bulk.

“It’s not a gimmick. It’s about meeting an unmet need,” Arby’s Chief Marketing Officer Patrick Schwing told CNN Business. “We never felt compelled to do it until now because we know we can deliver a high-quality product with a great convenience versus going into a deli or grocery store.”

Arby’s chose the three meats based on a customer survey, which found that people wanted cold cuts rather than meat that needs to be reheated, like its iconic roast beef. Schwing said that customers’ reaction has been a “bit unexpected” because it’s the first time they’ve sold the meats in this format.

All three meats are sliced at the restaurant and cost roughly the same as sliced deli meat at a grocery store: $4.99 for a half pound and $8.99 for one pound. They can be ordered through drive-thrus. The trial began in mid-July and is slated to end later this month.

“We’re not sure that everyone fully appreciates the quality and preparation of our products,” Schwing said. “That’s why were showcasing the meat without the other accoutrements.” He acknowledged that people might not necessarily come to Arby’s just for this, but instead add it to their to-go order and have one fewer thing to do, like stopping by the grocery store.

Arby’s is owned by Inspire Brands, a privately held company that also owns Buffalo Wild Wings, Sonic and Jimmy John’s. So, it doesn’t reveal exact sales numbers. However, Schwing said Arby’s has noticed a trend in recent months similar to other fast food restaurants with a “bulk” of its business coming through drive-thrus and customers stocking up with larger orders, such as families.

Arby’s might extend the test to its other meats, which sells roughly 10 types, or go nationwide if it’s successful. Schwing cautioned the brand doesn’t want to “scale something that isn’t mission critical,” because the pandemic could further change peoples’ wants.

Other fast food restaurants also sell their items in nontraditional ways as people start eating more at home. For example, Chick-fil-A and Shake Shack (SHAK) both sell meal kits and Panera has been selling groceries.

Morningstar analyst R.J. Hottovy told CNN Business that those formats are another way to engage with its customers and gain goodwiil.

“The biggest challenge that restaurant companies have in launching something like this is that it could add operational complexity, but it looks like Arby’s had been thoughtful about how they’ve implemented the test so far with minimal disruption,” Hottovy said.

He doesn’t expect them to become “major revenue drivers,” but adds these services “will continue in a post-pandemic environment, especially those that can be integrated into a restaurant’s existing delivery and drive thru operations.”

Stocks making the biggest moves midday: Tesla, Facebook, Apple, Beyond Meat & more

Stocks making the biggest moves midday: Tesla, Facebook, Apple, Beyond Meat & more