Crude oil was declining early Thursday after rallying on Wednesday on news of a surprise agreement by OPEC members to curb production. Under the agreement, cartel members would decide at the group's next meeting in November on details of cutting production by up to 700,000 barrels a day.
The move sent stocks such as Tidewater (TDW) and Chesapeake Energy (CHK) higher. But analysts say they have more questions about the implementation of the agreement, like which countries will cut output and by exactly how much. So let's not count our chickens before they hatch.
Meanwhile, Wells Fargo (WFC) is back in the spotlight on Thursday as CEO John Stumpf returns to Capitol Hill to answer more questions about the bank's fraudulent customer accounts. Stumpf should be better prepared to answer questions by the House Financial Services Committee after the bank's board said it would cancel stock awards and incentive payments valued at more than $60 million to Stumpf and former consumer banking chief Carrie Tolstedt. The CEO, alone, is forfeiting $41 million in unvested stock awards. The hearing today is set to start at 10 a.m. ET and the market will be watching to see if any more Congressional members call for Stumpf to resign. (Wells Fargo is a holding in Action Alerts PLUS).
In earnings news, Accenture (ACN) posted top- and bottom-line beats, and shares were rising by nearly 3% in premarket trading. The consulting company reported earnings of $1.31 a share for the fourth quarter, which topped Wall Street's estimates by $0.01. Revenue of $8.49 billion for the period also surpassed analysts' forecasts of $8.43 billion. For the year, the company reported profit of $6.45 a share on revenue of $32.88 billion.
Pepsico's (PEP) third-quarter results pleased investors, as the stock was rising in premarket trading. The beverage and snack giant posted earnings of $1.40 a share, beating forecasts of $1.32. Revenue fell 2% from the prior year to $16 billion, but still topped estimates of $15.84 billion. The company also updated its full-year profit outlook for the second time this year, as it now expects earnings of $4.78 a share, compared to $4.71 previously. (PEP is also a holding in Action Alerts PLUS).