Stock Alert: NetApp Up 6% As Quarterly Results Beat Estimates

US workers file 1 million jobless claims as COVID-19 total tops 58.4 million

The number of Americans who have applied for unemployment benefits during the coronavirus pandemic grew to more than 58.4 million on Thursday, as 1 million more people filed jobless claims.

More than 1 million people have now lost their jobs in 22 of the past 23 weeks, as COVID-19 has ravaged the US economy.

The jobless claims were down roughly 100,000 from the week prior, the feds said.

And continuing claims measuring sustained joblessness on a one-week lag dropped by 223,000 to 14.5 million in the week ending Aug. 15, the feds said — an encouraging sign that more Americans are leaving unemployment rolls.

At a total of 58.4 million, the number of Americans who have filed for unemployment claims during the course of the pandemic is greater than the populations of South Africa — and has long since surpassed the 37 million jobs lost over the 18 months during the Great Recession that ended in 2009.

Americans still collecting checks have now gone almost a month without the $600 boost to weekly benefits provided under the CARES Act stimulus bill.

President Trump signed an executive order this month to continue the extra benefits at $300 a week, but only a handful of states have signed up to receive the federal funds.

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Abercrombie & Fitch Q2 Profit Beats Estimates; Shares Surge

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (ANF) reported second quarter adjusted net income per share of $0.23, compared to net loss per share of $0.48, last year. On average, 13 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report a loss per share of $0.83, for the quarter. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items. The company’s gross profit rate improved 140 basis points to 60.7% on lower promotional and clearance activity.

Second quarter net sales were $698 million, down 17% as compared to last year, reflecting the adverse impact of COVID-19 on store sales. Analysts expected revenue of $658.44 million, for the quarter. Digital net sales rose 56% to $386 million.

For the third quarter, the company expects net sales to be down in the range of 15% to 20% year-on-year.

Shares of Abercrombie & Fitch Co. were up 12% in pre-market trade on Thursday.

Ping An H1 Operating Profit Slightly Rises – Quick Facts

Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, Ltd. (PIAIF.PK) reported that its first half net profit attributable to shareholders of the parent company declined by 29.7% year on year to RMB 68.68 billion. Operating profit attributable to shareholders of the parent company rose by 1.2% year on year to RMB 74.31 billion.

As of June 30, 2020, retail customers rose by 4.6% from the beginning of 2020 to 210 million. Affected by the COVID-19 epidemic, the Group’s retail operating profit declined by 2.3% year on year to RMB 65.02 billion.

Ping An will pay an interim dividend of RMB 0.80 per share in cash, up 6.7% year on year.

U.S. Leading Economic Index Jumps For Third Straight Month In July

The Conference Board released a report on Thursday showing its leading economic index for the U.S. increased for the third straight month in July, although the pace growth by the index slowed from the two previous months.

The report said the leading economic index jumped by 1.4 percent in July after surging up by 3.0 percent in June and by 3.1 percent in May.

“Despite the recent gains in the LEI, which remain fairly broad-based, the initial post-pandemic recovery appears to be losing steam,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Senior Director of Economic Research at The Conference Board.

He added, “The LEI suggests that the pace of economic growth will weaken substantially during the final months of 2020.”

The Conference Board said the coincident economic index climbed by 1.2 percent in July following a 2.9 percent spike in June.

Meanwhile, the lagging economic index fell by 1.0 percent in July after tumbling by 2.3 percent in the previous month.

Israel’s Flagship Carrier to Operate Flight to UAE, TV 13 Says

Follow us@middleeast for more news on the region.

El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. will “soon” operate an unprecedented flight to the United Arab Emirates, Channel 13 news reported on Thursday, as an Israeli delegation prepares to head to the Gulf Arab nation to start normalization talks.

Israel and UAE Agree to Establish Ties; Annexation Is Paused (4)

Israel’s flagship airline, in which the government owns a golden share, is not known to have ever flown directly from Tel Aviv into the UAE. An Etihad Airways cargo plane from Abu Dhabi made the first known commercial flight between the countries in May with a humanitarian shipment for the Palestinians.

El Al said nothing was official yet. Several pilots who had been put on leave due to the coronavirus outbreak have been called back to work and were preparing for the trip, Channel 13 said.

While both the White House and the Israeli prime minister’s office have announced plans to fly from Israel to the UAE next week, it hasn’t been clear whether El Al would be the carrier.

In the past, diplomatic and other planes flying between Gulf nations and Israel made stops in a third country.

Stock Alert: NetApp Up 6% As Quarterly Results Beat Estimates

Shares of NetApp Inc. (NTAP) are rising more than 6 percent or $2.69 in Thursday’s morning trade at $44.90, after the cloud storage software company’s quarterly results beat estimates.

Wednesday, NetApp reported first-quarter net income of $77 million or $0.35 per share, down from $103 million or $0.42 per share last year. However, adjusted earnings of $0.73 per share topped the consensus estimate of analysts’ polled by Thomson Reuters of $0.41 per share.

Revenue for the quarter rose to $1.30 billion from $1.24 billion last year. The Street had a consensus estimate of $1.15 billion.

For the second quarter, NetApp expects adjusted earnings of $0.66 to $0.74 per share and revenues of $1.225 billion to $1.375 billion. Analysts currently estimate earnings of $0.77 per share and revenues of $1.24 billion.

NetApp has traded in a range of $34.66 to $65.38 in the past 52 weeks.