Walmart Inc.

Walmart's stock surged by 6% in pre-market trading after the company raised its annual outlook and reported better-than-expected first-quarter results. The retail giant attributed its optimistic forecast to a potential decline in inflation, which could boost consumer demand. Walmart's U.S. sales, excluding fuel, rose by 3.9% in the first quarter, surpassing analysts' expectations of 3.15%. Online sales also saw a significant increase of 22%, outperforming the 17% growth during the holiday season. The company’s adjusted earnings per share for the quarter were $0.60, exceeding the forecast of $0.52. Total revenue reached $161.51 billion, also beating estimates. Walmart now anticipates its annual net sales to grow at the higher end or slightly above its previous forecast of 3% to 4%, and adjusted earnings per share to be at the high end or slightly above the prior estimate of $2.23 to $2.37.

Chubb Limited

Chubb's stock rose by 5.4% after Berkshire Hathaway disclosed a $6.7 billion stake in the company. The investment by Warren Buffett's conglomerate is seen as a strong vote of confidence in Chubb, one of the world's largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance companies. The disclosure of Berkshire Hathaway's significant investment has positively impacted investor sentiment, driving up Chubb's share price.


Deere & Company

Deere's stock fell by 5% in pre-market trading after the company cut its earnings forecast for the second time this year due to declining demand for tractors and combines. The drop in crop prices and rising production costs have negatively impacted agricultural revenues. The U.S. Department of Agriculture expects agricultural revenues to decrease by 25.5% to $116.1 billion this year, marking the second consecutive annual decline. Higher interest rates have also pressured farmers, leading to excess inventory at equipment dealers and forcing some to offer discounts or auction off machinery at lower prices. Deere now projects a net income of around $7 billion for fiscal year 2024, down from the previous forecast of $7.50 to $7.75 billion. The company expects large agricultural equipment sales to decline by 20% to 25% this year, compared to the earlier estimate of around 20%. Net income for the second quarter ended April 28 fell by 17% to $2.37 billion, or $8.53 per share, while net sales dropped by 15% to $13.61 billion, although both metrics exceeded Wall Street estimates.

Biogen Inc. and Ionis Pharmaceuticals

Biogen and Ionis Pharmaceuticals saw their stocks decline after announcing the discontinuation of their experimental ALS treatment, BIIB105. The decision came after the drug failed to show significant improvement in patients during an early-to-mid stage study. ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a rare and fatal neurodegenerative condition. The companies reported that BIIB105 did not significantly reduce neurodegeneration or improve functional measures such as breathing in patients. This setback affects approximately 60,000 people in the U.S. and Europe who suffer from ALS, leading to a negative reaction in the market for both companies' shares.