5 Things to Know Before The Stock Market Opens

Feb 26, 2024

News of the day for February 26, 2024

Updated February 26, 2024

Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett at the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho in July 2023. .

Kevin Dietsch / Staff / Getty Images 

After a hectic few days where Nvidia’s (NVDA) blockbuster results drove an AI-fueled stock market rally, U.S. stock futures are trading flat ahead of a busy data week. Berkshire Hathaway’s (BRK.A, BRK.B) shares are rising in premarket trading after the company announced strong earnings and said its cash pile increased to $167.6 billion, while shares of Domino’s Pizza are on the rise after an earnings beat. Alcoa (AA) shares are sliding after the aluminum producer made a $2.2 billion offer to buy Australia’s Alumina. Zoom Video Communications (ZM) will report quarterly earnings after the closing bell and Intuitive Machines’ (LUNR) spaceship has tipped over. Here’s what investors need to know today.

1. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Rises on Earnings, Record Cash Pile 

Berkshire Hathaway’s (BRK.A, BRK.B) shares were about 3% higher in pre-market trading after the company reported strong earnings and said that its cash pile swelled to a record $167.6 billion at the end of last year. In focus now will be what the Omaha, Neb., company, whose businesses include insurer Geico and See’s Candies, will do with that mountain of cash. Company Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett said in the company’s closely watched annual letter to shareholders that investment opportunities are getting harder to come by and that there is “no possibility of eye-popping performance.” Buffett led the letter with an homage to former vice chair Charlie Munger, who died in November at the age of 99, calling him “The Architect of Berkshire Hathaway.”

2. Alcoa Drops After $2.2 Billion Bid for Alumina 

Shares of Alcoa (AA) fell more than 3% after it made a $2.2 billion offer to buy Australia’s Alumina AWC, a deal that would cement the Pittsburgh-based company’s position as one of the world’s largest bauxite and alumina producers.  Alumina, which had reportedly rejected a number of previous bids from the U.S. company, has recommended that shareholders support the transaction. Aluminum is used in large quantities to make electric vehicles and renewable-power infrastructure, and the acquisition comes even as EV sales are slowing.

3. Zoom Expected to Report Earnings Decline

Zoom Video Communications (ZM) is expected to announced a decline in profit when it releases its fiscal 2024 fourth-quarter results after the closing bell. Analysts peg earnings per share for the period at $1.15 per share versus $1.22 in the year-ago period. The video conferencing company, whose name turned into a verb during the pandemic, has struggled since more people have gone back into offices. Earlier this month, the company reportedly decide to cut around 150 jobs, or about 2% of its workforce, after having slashed 1,300 positions early last year.  Its shares are down about 15% in the past year.

4. Domino’s Surges More Than 7% on Earnings Beat

Domino’s Pizza Inc. (DPZ) shares were more than 7% higher in premarket trading after the pizza chain reported fiscal fourth-quarter net income of $4.48 a share, compared with net income of $4.43 a share in the year-earlier period and analysts’ projections of $4.38. Quarterly revenue of $1.40 billion was slightly below analysts’ forecasts of $1.42 billion.

5. Intuitive Machines Tumbles 25% After Spaceship Tips Over

Intuitive Machines (LUNR) shares slumped more than 25% in premarket trading Monday after the commercial space startup said its Odysseus moon lander had tipped over and was resting on its side. Shares in the company, which became the first private firm to land on the moon last week, had more quadrupled this year through the close of trading Friday. Chief Executive Steve Altemus said it wasn’t totally clear what had happened but the data suggested the robot caught a foot on the surface and then fell.

CORRECTION: This article has been updated with the correct spelling of Warren Buffett’s surname.

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