Check out the companies that make headlines in front of the bell:
Bank of America (BAC) – Bank of America's fourth quarter earnings were 74 cents a share, 6 cents a share above estimates. Revenue was also above estimates, with a 25% increase in income from fixed income, currencies and commodities.
BlackRock (BLK) – The asset management company earned $ 8.34 per share in the fourth quarter, compared to a consensus-based estimate of $ 7.69 per share. Revenues were also above Wall Street forecasts. This was favored by the increasing inflows into exchange-traded funds and into the cash management business.
Goldman Sachs (GS) – Goldman reported GAAP earnings of $ 4.69 per share, compared to a consensus estimate of $ 5.47. However, the GAAP figure includes a substantial litigation cost that, if not taken into account, will cause Goldman's earnings per share to exceed estimates. Turnover exceeds estimates, with record income in consumer and wealth management and record income in assets under management.
Goal (TGT) – Retailer's sales for Christmas increased by 1.4%. A result that Target calls "disappointing". According to CEO Brian Cornell, the company faced challenges in several key product groups. However, Target confirmed its fourth quarter earnings forecast.
UnitedHealth (UNH) – The health insurer reported quarterly earnings of $ 3.90 a share, 12 cents a share above estimates. Sales were slightly below the forecasts. UnitedHealth benefited from higher sales in Optum pharmacy performance management.
Beyond Meat (BYND) – Beyond Meat has signed a contract with ingredient supplier Roquette Freres to supply pea proteins to expand an existing partnership and help plant-based burger makers avoid bottlenecks.
Microsoft (MSFT) – Microsoft has released a patch for a Windows 10 vulnerability discovered by the National Security Agency. Both Microsoft and the NSA stated that there is no evidence that the bug was actually used for malicious purposes.
Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR) – Nectar has withdrawn its application for an opioid pain reliever to treat chronic low back pain. The move comes after a board of the Food and Drug Administration has unanimously voted against the recommendation to approve the drug.
ViacomCBS (VIACA) – ViacomCBS has reportedly hired George Cheeks, vice chair of Comcast's NBCUniversal Contest Studios (CMCSA), to fill a leadership position. This emerges from the Wall Street Journal, according to which Cheeks could eventually succeed Joe Ianniello as head of the company's CBS network. Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC.
PG&E (PCG) – According to a Bloomberg report, PG&E is near a contract with the investment firm Pimco and Elliott for a restructuring plan. The agreement is designed to provide the utility's creditors with a mix of equity and debt when they abandon their competing restructuring plan.