Amazon profits ahead of schedule, Paramount CEO Bakish resigns


Investing.com – U.S. stock futures edged lower ahead of a new batch of corporate earnings reports, including from tech giant Amazon (NASDAQ: ). Paramount Global Inc. (Nasdaq: ) announced that CEO Bob Bakish has resigned, despite the entertainment group's tie-up with David Ellison's SkyDance Media Talks about a possible merger continue. Meanwhile, HSBC said boss Noel Quinn would retire after nearly five years at the helm.

1. Futures edged lower

U.S. stock futures edged lower on Tuesday as investors awaited Amazon's earnings report and looked ahead to the Federal Reserve's key monetary policy decision later this week.

As of 03:26 ET (07:26 GMT), the contract was down 20 points, or 0.1%, down 7 points, or 0.1%, and down 16 points, or 0.1%.

Wall Street's major indexes ended higher on Monday, buoyed by a sharp rise in Tesla Inc's (NASDAQ: ) shares after the electric car maker said it was making progress in gaining regulatory approval to launch fully self-driving software in China. . Apple (NASDAQ: ) shares also rose on reports that the iPhone maker is in discussions with OpenAI to integrate some of the artificial intelligence darling's technology.

The background during the session was the Federal Reserve's upcoming policy meeting on Wednesday, with traders generally expecting the Fed to keep interest rates unchanged. As a result, the market is particularly eager to hear how Chairman Powell sees interest rates heading in the coming months, with many investors now betting the Fed won't implement much-anticipated borrowing cost cuts until September.

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2. Amazon’s profit prospects

Amazon reports earnings on Tuesday, with the e-commerce giant releasing its latest quarterly results after the close.

Investors will likely be keen to see how the performance of Amazon's all-important AWS cloud computing unit develops. The unit is continuing to recover from a recent slowdown in customer spending on cloud services and has been incorporating more artificial intelligence-powered features into its products to boost demand.

So, like big tech peers Meta Platforms (NASDAQ: ), Alphabet (NASDAQ: ) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: ) last week, Amazon could face sharp The question is how it plans to turn its major investment in artificial intelligence into sustainably high sales.

Meanwhile, for Amazon overall, analysts predict that solid online customer spending and the introduction of advertising to its Prime Video streaming service may support first-quarter total returns. They pointed out that continued cost-cutting initiatives – including further layoffs at AWS – and efforts to restructure Amazon's U.S. logistics network may also improve margins to some extent.

3. Paramount Worldwide’s Bakshi resigns

Paramount Global announced that Chief Executive Bob Bakish has resigned amid negotiations over a potential partnership with David Ellison's Skydance Media.

CBS CEO George Cheeks, Showtime/MTV Entertainment Studios and Paramount Media Networks CEO Chris McCarthy and Paramount Pictures Pictures and Nickelodeon CEO Brian Robbins has been named to the newly created Office of the CEO to “lead and oversee the company moving forward,” the company said.

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Some analysts are skeptical of the change, arguing that the Hollywood company behind films such as “The Godfather” needs stable leadership to guide discussions with Skydance and deal with the Paramount+ streaming service that is crucial to it fierce competition.

Multiple media outlets reported on Monday that Skydance has raised its bid for Paramount Holdings, offering to inject $3 billion into the combined company to pay down debt and buy back stock.

Paramount B shares rose slightly in after-hours trading following the news.

4. HSBC CEO Noel Quinn retires

HSBC said on Tuesday Chief Executive Noel Quinn would retire after nearly five years in the role, in which he oversaw a major transformation of the bank that significantly improved its cash position and earnings.

Quinn is stepping down after 37 years at HSBC and will remain as chief executive until the board finds a successor.

Quinn led a major streamlining of HSBC's operations during his tenure and most recently oversaw the sale of its Canadian and Argentinian businesses. He also led the bank's refocusing on its core consumer banking business in Europe and Asia.

HSBC has posted huge profits over the past two years, while its cash and capital position have also improved significantly.

5. Oil is unstable

Oil prices hovered near flat lines in European trade on Tuesday as focus remained on any progress in cease-fire talks between Israel and Hamas.

Media reports said that Israel had proposed a 40-day ceasefire to Hamas and that representatives from the two countries held renewed talks in Egypt. The Hamas delegation reportedly left Cairo and will return with a written response to the proposal. A ceasefire means the conflict between the two countries is likely to de-escalate, which could result in traders placing a lower risk premium on oil.

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Elsewhere, growing expectations for longer-term U.S. interest rates ahead of this week's Federal Reserve meeting are likely to weigh on sentiment.

Crude oil futures expiring in June rose 0.1% to $88.45 a barrel at 03:29 ET, while crude oil futures edged up 0.1% to $82.72 a barrel.





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