U.S. stock futures signal a muted open; Tesla to be added to S&P 500

Wall Street 

Stocks set for a muted open

U.S. stocks are set to open little changed Tuesday after closing at record highs yesterday. By 5:40 a.m. ET, futures tied to the blue-chip Dow were indicated 90 points, or 0.3% lower to 29,775.

Those for the S&P 500 futures dropped 14.5 points, or 0.4% to 3,608.5 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 rose 26.25 points, or 0.22% to 12,031.25.

On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 1.6% as positive coronavirus vaccine news from Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA) invoked optimism. The S&P 500 index gained 1.2% while the Nasdaq composite closed 0.8% higher.

Tesla added to S&P 500; shares up

Meanwhile, Standard & Poor’s on Monday said Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) will join its S&P 500 stock index at the start of trading on December 21, cementing the electric car maker’s rise into one of the biggest, most powerful U.S. companies.

The move to add Tesla to the index comes after the Elon Musk-led company reported its fourth straight profitable quarter in July, one of the requirements that S&P uses to determine eligibility for the index.

The decision means mutual funds and ETFs that track the S&P 500 index will have to include Tesla in their portfolios.

Shares of the company fell less than a percent on Monday to finish at $408.09, but rose more than 12% in after-hours trading following the announcement

Walmart, Home Depot earnings on tap

On the earnings front, analysts expect Walmart (NYSE: WMT) to report third-quarter earnings of $1.18 per share on revenue of $132.23 billion ahead of the opening bell.

Home Depot (NYSE: HD) is projected to report earnings of $3.04 per share on revenue of $31.90 billion.

Electric car maker NIO (NYSE: NIO) is projected to report a loss of 17 cents per share on revenue of $653.73 million after market close.

George Soros acquires a stake in Palantir Technologies

Soros Fund Management, the investment management firm run by billionaire George Soros, disclosed in a regulatory filing that it purchased 18.5 million shares in Palantir (NYSE: PLTR) during the third quarter.

According to the filing published late Friday, the purchase price was about $175.3 million, which means Soros could have bought shares at a price of $9.50 each.

Third Point, the New York–based hedge fund led by Dan Loeb, also disclosed Friday that it picked up 2.3 million shares of Palantir at only $9.03.

Palantir is a software and data company co-founded by legendary entrepreneur and investor Peter Theil. It made its public debut in late September and mostly treaded water during its first month on the NYSE. The stock is now trading at around $16.15.