U.S. stock futures fell modestly Wednesday, one day after the Dow and S&P 500 fell from record high closes as the recent rally driven by signs of a strong economic rebound from the depths of the Covid pandemic took a pause. The Nasdaq also broke a multiday win streak with a small loss, though the tech-heavy index remained about 2.8% away from its February record close. (CNBC)
* Today's biggest analyst calls of the day: Tesla, JPMorgan, ViacomCBS, AMC (CNBC Pro)
Bond yields continued to drop from recent 14 month highs, easing fears of rising inflation. The 10-year Treasury yield early Wednesday was trading under 1.7%. The Federal Reserve is set to release minutes from its March monetary policy meeting at 2 p.m. ET. (CNBC)
* Mortgage refinance demand drops 20% as rates rise to 10-month high (CNBC)
IN THE NEWS TODAY
JPMorgan Chase (JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon sees strong growth for the U.S. economy in the near term, thanks to the government's response to the coronavirus pandemic that has left many consumers flush with savings, according to his annual shareholder letter made public Wednesday. (CNBC)
The night before the Archegos Capital story burst into public view late last month, the fund's biggest prime broker, Morgan Stanley (MS), quietly unloaded some of its risky positions to a small group of hedge funds, people with knowledge of the trades told CNBC.
* Coinbase estimates Q1 revenue jumped nine-fold to about $1.8 billion ahead of IPO (CNBC)
* Plaid valuation tops $13 billion in first funding after a scrapped Visa merger (CNBC)
Jeff Bezos voiced support for raising the U.S. corporate tax rate to help pay for infrastructure spending. But the Amazon founder on Tuesday stopped short of saying he supports President Joe Biden's plan for the increase. (CNBC)
Biden is urging states to open Covid vaccine appointments to all U.S. adults by April 19, moving up his original deadline by nearly two weeks. Biden urged Americans to continue to practice pandemic safety measures, saying the U.S. isn't "at the finish line yet." (CNBC)
* White House rules out involvement in 'vaccine passports' (The Hill)
* Op-ed: Stop saying Covid vaccine passport and learn from past messaging missteps (CNBC)
One in three Covid survivors has suffered a neurological or psychiatric disorder within six months of infection with the virus, a study has found. The results were based on an observational study of more than 230,000 patient health records. The study was published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal. (CNBC)
* Some people with ‘long Covid’ say their symptoms ease after getting vaccine (CNBC)
* More colleges move to make vaccines mandatory for students (CNBC)
* Budweiser and other brands are urging people to get the Covid vaccine (CNBC)
Qiagen (QGEN), a genetic testing company, unveiled new technology that shortens turnaround time for researchers identifying new variants of the virus that causes Covid-19. The stock gained 1.5% in the premarket. (CNBC)
The vacancy rate for regional malls in the U.S. hit a record 11.4% in the first quarter of 2021 from 10.5% in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to Moody's Analytics' commercial real estate division. The increase marked the highest the firm has ever seen, surpassing the record 80 basis-point spike in the first quarter of 2009, in the thick of the Great Recession.
California plans to reopen its economy by June 15 so long as there are enough Covid-19 vaccine shots for everyone who wants them and hospitalizations remain stable, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday. The state is also slated to end its four-tiered, color-coded system, which has been used to determine risk levels. (CNBC)
* At Disney World in Florida, smiles won't be hidden for much longer (AP)
* Will.i.am and Honeywell make bet on fashionable high-tech face masks (CNBC)
* Teen spending on clothes set to rise from pandemic lows, Piper Sandler says (CNBC)
Target (TGT) said it will hire more Black-owned companies, launch a program to identify and support promising Black entrepreneurs and add products from more than 500 Black-owned brands to its shelves or website. Altogether, the discounter said Wednesday that it will spend more than $2 billion with Black-owned businesses by 2025.
United Parcel Service (UPS) is taking package delivery to new heights, literally, with the purchase of 10 electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft from Beta Technologies. Atlanta-based UPS said it will test the eVTOLs for use in its Express Air delivery network, focusing on small and medium markets. (CNBC)
* Beta hopes its eVTOLs deal with UPS validates this new mode of transport (CNBC)
Nike (NKE) said Wednesday it's suspended its endorsement of NFL star Deshaun Watson. The quarterback has been accused of sexual misconduct in lawsuits filed by 22 women. On Tuesday, Watson's first accuser spoke publicity. The Houston Texans player is backed by companies including Nike and Beats By Dre. (CNBC)
Kim Kardashian West has reached billionaire status. Forbes primarily credits Kardashian West's "two lucrative businesses," cosmetics company KKW Beauty and shapewear company Skims for accelerating her rise to the 10 figures club. (USA Today)
STOCKS TO WATCH
Beyond Meat (BYND) announced the opening of a new manufacturing facility in China, its first outside the United States. The plant-based food company said the new factory would significantly increase its ability to deliver products in the region. Beyond Meat rose 2.8% in premarket action.
Nokia (NOK) settled a long-standing patent dispute with computer maker Lenovo, striking a new cross-licensing agreement. The case involved Lenovo's use of multiple video compression technologies. Terms of the agreement weren't disclosed, but the Finland-based telecom equipment maker said it will receive a payment from Lenovo. Nokia rose 1.3% in premarket trading.
Li Auto (LI) announced a new $750 million debt offering, which the China-based electric vehicle maker said would be used to fund research and development. The stock fell 3.7% in premarket action.
Niu Technologies (NIU) unveiled its first electric kick-scooter, with the China-based company planning to make the two-wheeled transportation device available in North America, China and Europe this summer.
Solar equipment company SunRun (RUN) stock added 2.3% in the premarket after RBC initiated coverage with an "outperform" rating, noting SunRun's position as the leading player in the rapidly growing rooftop solar market.
Pfizer's (PFE) rheumatoid arthritis drug Xeljanz is under scrutiny by Canadian health officials, after a study showed an increased risk of heart-related issues and cancer among patients. Global sales of Xeljanz in 2020 totaled $2.44 billion.
Genworth Financial (GNW) terminated its deal to be acquired by China-based China Oceanwide Holdings, a $2.7 billion transaction first announced in 2016. The insurance company said its board had determined that the deal could not be completed in a reasonable time frame. Genworth fell 1.7% in premarket trading.
Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) expects to take a $200 million hit to first-quarter earnings from the extreme winter weather in Texas earlier this year. The energy producer is scheduled to report its first-quarter results on April 29.
University of Iowa senior Luka Garza announced on CNBC that he's auctioning off an NFT. The buyer of Garza's nonfungible token will also get signed shoes and a chance to spend time with the college basketball star. Garza told CNBC he sees the digital collectibles as an example of how NCAA athletes could benefit from their name, image and likeness.
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