What to watch today: Wall Street looks to pad this week's gains

U.S. stock futures were pointing to a mixed open Friday on Wall Street, with recently beaten-up tech stocks getting a boost. The Nasdaq on Thursday dropped 1.3% and briefly dipped back into a correction, down 10% from its Sept. 2 record highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, down as much as 384 points and at one stage positive, closed 130 points or 0.5% lower, ending a four-session winning streak. The S&P 500 lost 0.8% on Thursday. After last week's downturn, the three benchmarks were up for this week ahead of Friday's trading. (CNBC)

* Cramer: 'I think it's time to start putting cash to work' (CNBC)

The big week for initial public offerings brings Unity to Wall Street on Friday. The video game software developer on Thursday evening priced shares at $52 after lifting the anticipated range Wednesday to $44 to $48 per share. Unity wraps up one of the busiest weeks for IPOs this year, highlighted by Wednesday's debut of Snowflake, which more than doubled in value to close the day with a market cap over $70 billion. Snowflake, which gave back about 10% on Thursday, was under some pressure in Friday's premarket. (CNBC)

* Amwell co-CEO: Telehealth transformation will still take years despite pandemic boom (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

Shares of Oracle fell 1.5% in the premarket after the Commerce Department announced Friday morning that it would ban U.S. business transactions with China-owned social apps WeChat and TikTok, starting Sunday. President Donald Trump is expected to announce Friday whether or not the government will approve a deal for Oracle to take a minority stake in TikTok and become a "trusted technology partner" for the company in the U.S. Walmart was also aiming to take a stake. (CNBC)

Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden are going to battleground state Minnesota on Friday. They're expected to avoid Minneapolis, where the May killing of George Floyd, a Black man, by a White police officer sparked a national reckoning on systemic racism. Trump will visit Bemidji, about 200 miles northwest of the city, while Biden swings through Duluth, 150 miles northeast of the city on the banks of Lake Superior near to the Wisconsin line. (AP)

* Biden leans into his working class roots to draw a contrast with Trump (CNBC)
* Trump heats up culture war in appeal to Wisconsin voters (AP)
* Lawmakers close in on spending deal to avoid shutdown (WSJ)
* Schumer, Warren propose forgiving $50,000 in student debt for borrowers due to pandemic (CNBC)

Two employees at Goldman Sachs' downtown New York headquarters have tested positive for Covid-19, a company official told The New York Times. The two work on different floors. The Times reported that Goldman officials believe the cases came from exposure to the coronavirus outside the office, where more workers have been returning in recent weeks. Earlier this week, J.P. Morgan Chase sent workers home after a company employee tested positive for the virus.

* New York City delays in-person learning for middle and high school students until October (CNBC)
* CDC testing guidance was published against scientists' objections (NY Times)

STOCKS TO WATCH

Shares of Dave & Buster's Entertainment (PLAY) rebounded from steep losses in Friday's premarket trading. The restaurant and arcade chain on Thursday closed down 26% after The Wall Street Journal reported the company warned of bankruptcy if an agreement can't be reached with lenders.

United Parcel Service (UPS) is offering buyouts to some employees as new UPS Chief Executive Carol Tome aims to curb costs. The Wall Street Journal reported that workers would leave in two phases; by the end of 2020 and mid-2021. UPS said last week it would hire more than 100,000 workers for the winter holiday season.

Oppenheimer downgraded both Home Depot (HD) and Lowe's (LOW) to "perform" from "outperform," and lowered price targets on both stocks. Oppenheimer said that in the near term, "we're increasingly concerned that the market is becoming too lax toward chances of a post-Covid-19 sales growth downshift at HD/LOW and potential impact on shares."

Ambarella (AMBA) shares rose more than 1% in the premarket after a Berenberg analyst initiated the semiconductor design company with a "buy" rating and a price target of $67 per share. That price target implies a 28.4% upside over the next 12 months.

J.P. Morgan downgraded Beyond Meat (BYND) to "underweight" from "neutral," sending the stock down more than 4%. "The stock is ahead of itself and we view Street estimates as too high, thanks to chief rival Impossible Foods taking share at grocery and restaurants hesitating to add menu complexity during the Covid-19 crisis," J.P. Morgan said.

Tesla (TSLA) shares were up 4% in the premarket after an analyst at Piper Sandler hiked his price target on the electric car maker to $515 per share from $480 per share. The new target implies a 21.6% upside from Thursday's close of $423.43 per share.

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