U.S. markets were fairly flat in premarket trading Wednesday, with the S&P 500 futures up just 0.1% before the opening bell and no movement in the Dow futures from Tuesday's close. And crude oil continued its September rally, climbing 0.9% to $45.23 a barrel, lifting gains on the month to about 5%.
And shares of Chipotle (CMG) were up nearly 6% before the opening bell, after activist billionaire Bill Ackman said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission late Tuesday that his hedge fund, Pershing Square, has taken a 9.9% stake in the Denver-based fast-food chain.
Chipotle shares are still down about 42% since highs last August after a series of reports of E. coli breakouts across the country prompted to Food and Drug Administration to investigate the individual case. Initial reports of E. coli outbreaks in the Northwest led Chipotle to shutter 43 restaurants in Washington and Oregon last November.
Meanwhile, shares of Dave & Buster's (PLAY) were down about 7% in premarket trading after the chain of sports-and-arcade-themed restaurants reported same-store sales of just 1%, below consensus of 2.1% and sharply down from the year-ago period. Dave & Buster's also dropped its outlook for same-store sales growth to a range of 2.25% to 3.25% for the year, from previous guidance of 3.25% to 4.25%.
"While comparable store sales growth was modest, it still exceeded the competitive casual dining benchmark, which we have outperformed for 17 straight quarters," CEO Steve King said in a statement. But that didn't placate investors.
Western Digital (WDC) was also trading up about 5% before the opening bell after the data-storage manufacturer boosted its outlook for its first-quarter earnings on Wednesday to a range of $1.00 to $1.05, from previous guidance of $0.85 to $0.90. And citing a "better-than-expected product mix," the Irvine, Calif.-based company also lifted its first-quarter sales guidance to a range of $4.45 billion to $4.55 billion, up $500 million from the company's previously offered range.
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) shares were down about 4% in premarket trading after the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based semiconductor maker said it will be looking to offer new shares and convertible notes in order to raise about $1 billion to help pay off some of its more than $2 billion debt load. In a Tuesday filing with the SEC, Advanced Micro said it will sell $600 million of common stock and $450 million of convertible notes that will mature in 2026. Advanced Micro shares are up about 145% so far in 2016.