5 Things to Know Before the Stock Market Opens

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Home improvement retailer Lowe’s (LOW) reported better-than-expected earnings but projected continued weakness in DIY spending, Macy’s (M) said it will close 150 stores and projected stagnant sales, Hess (HES) shares were down after Chevron (CVX) warned its $53 billion acquisition of the smaller firm could be in jeopardy, and Chinese e-commerce giant Shein is reportedly looking into listing its shares in London rather than New York. Here’s what investors need to know today

1. Lowe’s Beats Earnings View But Sees Continued DIY Spending Weakness 

Lowe’s Companies Inc. (LOW) reported quarterly sales and profit figures that topped analysts’ expectations but predicted sales will decline in 2024 as the home improvement retailer contends with continued softness in DIY spending. Lowe’s recorded earnings per share of $1.77 for the quarter ended Feb. 2, up from $1.58 in the comparable period last year, while total sales for the quarter fell to $18.6 billion from $22.4 billion in the prior year quarter. Both numbers exceeded consensus estimates. “This quarter we delivered strong operating profit and improved customer satisfaction, despite the continued pullback in DIY spending,” Lowe’s chairman Marvin R. Ellison said in a statement. For 2024, Lowe’s projects that comparable sales will decline between 2% and 3%. Lowe’s shares were down around 1% about two hours before the opening bell.

2. Hess Slumps as Chevron’s $53B Takeover at Risk

Hess (HES) shares fell nearly 3% in premarket trading, after Chevron (CVX)  warned investors that its $53 billion purchase of the smaller New York oil firm could be in jeopardy. ExxonMobil (XOM) and China’s Cnooc have said they have the right to counter Chevron’s offer for Hess’s stake in a high-profile oil project off Guyana, according to a Chevron filing Monday. “Chevron may not complete the acquisition of Hess Corporation within the time frame the company anticipates or at all,” the U.S. oil giant said in its filing. Much of the value in Chevron’s megadeal is reportedly tied to Hess’s 30% stake in the Exxon-led drilling consortium in Guyanese waters.

3. Macy’s Announces Closure of 150 Stores, Stagnant Sales Forecast

Macy’s (M) shares lost ground after the retailer said it is closing approximately 150 “unproductive” stores through 2026 and projected stagnant sales for fiscal 2024. The U.S. department store chain, which has struggled with competition from online retailers, said, however, that it plans to expand its footprint in the higher-end stores Bloomingdale’s and beauty chain Bluemercury. The company’s growth strategy came as it reported sales fell nearly 2% in the holiday quarter and guided toward sales of between $22.2 billion and $22.9 billion for this fiscal year, down from $23.09 billion in 2023.

4. China’s Shein Looks into Going Public in London, Not New York 

Chinese e-commerce giant Shein is reportedly considering the possibility of switching its planned initial public offering to London from New York because of hurdles to the listing in the U.S. The Singapore-headquartered fast fashion company has determined that it’s unlikely the Securities and Exchange Commission will approve its IPO, Bloomberg reported. Shein has been subject to scrutiny from American politicans, with Senator Marco Rubio among those asking the SEC to block its listing, saying the company needs to disclose more about its operations in China.

5. Zoom Soars On Earnings Beat, AI Promise 

Zoom Video (ZM) shares jumped more than 10% in premarket trading after the video-conferencing firm topped analysts’ quarterly estimates and issued better-than-expected guidance amid growing demand for its expanding AI-enhanced product range. The company, which has lost some of its luster since more people have gone back to offices since the pandemic, said it is focused on rolling out its generative artificial intelligence (AI) digital assistant across its suite of products.