Affirm Soars, Kroger Falls — And What Else Is Happening in the Stock Market Friday

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Stocks were set for a higher open after President Joe Biden and China’s Xi Jinping spoke by phone for the first time in seven months.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 166 points, or 0.5%, while S&P 500 futures rose 0.4% and Nasdaq Composite futures advanced 0.4%.

Biden and Xi Jinping had what seems to have been a productive meeting. The two leaders spoke Friday and agreed that the two countries should avoid conflict. Conflicts in the past few years have included tariffs on goods from both sides and disputes over intellectual property. 

“Futures are modestly higher following potentially positive news out of China,” writes Tom Essaye, founder of Sevens Report Research. 

Meanwhile, stocks had been falling for several days. The S&P 500 fell for four straight days heading into Friday and was down 1% from its intraday high last Thursday to the low point of the dip yesterday. Slower expected economic growth for the near-term was the main culprit, but there seems to be plenty of reason to buy the dip

Elsewhere, the producer-price index for August rose 8.3% year-over-year, above estimates of 8.2%. Investors are watching to see if the relatively high inflation will prompt the Federal Reserve to lift interest rates ahead of schedule. 

Here are five stocks making moves in Friday’s premarket action:

Affirm Holdings (ticker: AFRM) stock rose 22% after reporting a loss of 48 cents a share, worse than estimates of a loss of 29 cents a share, on sales of $261 million, which beat expectations for $226 million. 

Zscaler (ZS) stock gained 2.8% after reporting a profit of 14 cents a share, beating estimates of 9 cents a share, on sales of $197 million, above expectations for $186 million. 

Kroger (KR) stock fell 2.2% after reporting a profit of 80 cents a share, beating estimates of 64 cents a share, on sales of $31.7 billion, above expectations for $30.6 billion. 

SunRun (RUN) stock rose 3% after Needham initiated coverage of the stock with a Buy rating. 

Cigna (CI) stock dropped 1.7% after getting downgraded to Underperform from Buy at Bank of America. 

Write to Jacob Sonenshine at jacob.sonenshine@barrons.com

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