What to watch today: Dow set to rebound after its worst weekly losing streak of the year
Dow futures rebounded Monday following a roller-coaster week driven largely by uncertainty over the Covid omicron variant. The 30-stock average saw its fourth straight weekly loss for the first time since September 2020. Friday's decline after the government's disappointing headline number on November jobs growth capped weekly drops of around 1% for the Dow and S&P 500 and almost 2% for the Nasdaq. The Dow on Friday did trim earlier losses as the internals of the employment were more reassuring. (CNBC)
The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq were, respectively, 5%, nearly 3.7% and 6% away from their latest record high closes achieved last month. The 10-year Treasury yield ticked higher early Monday, but remained below 1.4%. The benchmark yield approached 1.7% last month and in October. It soared over that level back in March. The 10-year started the year under 1%. (CNBC)
Bitcoin traded under $49,000 on Monday after a terrible weekend for the world's biggest cryptocurrency. On Friday morning, bitcoin was around $57,000, but then tumbled more than 17% from Friday night into Saturday, hitting a low near $43,000, before stabilizing Sunday. Bitcoin was down about 30% from its all-time high of close to $69,000 in early November. (CNBC)
* Hackers steal $196 million from crypto exchange Bitmart, security firm says (CNBC)
* Bitcoin miners say they're helping to fix Texas' electric grid, Ted Cruz agrees (CNBC)
The Federal Reserve is likely to decide to double the pace of its bond-buying taper at its upcoming December meeting, recent comments from Fed officials suggest. Initial discussions could also begin about when to raise interest rates and by how much next year. Fed Chair Jerome Powell, in testimony last week, supported the idea of a faster taper. (CNBC)
IN THE NEWS TODAY
Early indications suggest the highly mutated omicron variant may be less dangerous than the highly contagious delta strain, according to U.S. health officials. While delta remains the dominant form of the coronavirus in the U.S., omicron has been detected in about one-third of U.S. states less than two weeks after South Africa reported the new variant to the World Health Organization. (AP)
* NYC imposes vaccine mandate for all private sector employers, mayor says (CNBC)
* U.S. drugstores squeezed by vaccine demand, staff shortages (AP)
* J&J booster works well for people who had Pfizer originally, study says (NY Times)
The Biden administration is expected to announce this week a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, a senior administration official told NBC News. A diplomatic boycott would mean that no U.S. government officials would attend the games but that U.S. athletes would still be allowed to compete. On Monday, China threatened to take "firm countermeasures."
After lurching from deadline to deadline, China Evergrande Group is again on the brink of default, with its pessimistic comments condemning its stock to a record low just as direct state involvement raises hope of a managed debt restructuring. (Reuters)
Lucid Group (LCID) slumped 14% in Monday's premarket trading after it received a subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission. Lucid said the subpoena requested documents related to its SPAC merger deal with Churchill Capital Corp. (Reuters)
Former Google employees filed a lawsuit last week that claims the company violated its own "Don't Be Evil" mission. The new case comes as a judge in a lengthy labor suit ordered Alphabet's (GOOGL) Google to release scores of documents tied to an alleged anti-union effort. (CNBC)
* Spotify removes many comedians' work from streaming platform over royalties dispute (WSJ)
FedEx (FDX) forecasts Monday will be its busiest day of the 2021 holiday season. The delivery giant estimates that it will drop off an estimated 100 million more packages than it did from Black Friday to Christmas in pre-pandemic 2019 and 10% more than the record 2020 season during Covid. (CNBC)
* Wall Street's top e-commerce picks as FedEx sees boom (CNBC Pro)
Jack in the Box (JACK) is buying Del Taco (TACO), the second-largest Mexican fast-food chain in the U.S., in a deal valued at roughly $575 million. Del Taco surged nearly 65% to $12.36 per share in premarket trading, which would bring its market value from $274 million to $450 million. (CNBC)
Hedge-fund billionaire and New York Mets owner Steve Cohen has invested in a crypto start-up that aims to launch a stock exchange with 24-hour trading. Cohen's venture-capital fund Point72 Ventures is leading a $14 million funding round for 24 Exchange, a Bermuda-based firm that wants to bring the non-stop trading of the digital currency world to the stock market. (CNBC)
* NYSE shakes up senior management with Lynn Martin replacing Stacey Cunningham as president (CNBC)
* Nasdaq is on track to beat NYSE in a record year for IPOs (WSJ)
STOCKS TO WATCH
MicroStrategy (MSTR) tumbled 7.9% in the premarket following the weekend slide in the price of bitcoin. The business analytics software company has billions of dollars in bitcoin holdings on its balance sheet.
Kohl's (KSS) rallied 2.8% in the premarket following news that activist investor Engine Capital is urging Kohl's to consider either a sale of the company or a separation of its e-commerce business. Engine Capital has a Kohl's stake of approximately 1%.
GCP Applied Technologies (GCP) agreed to be acquired by French construction company Saint-Gobain for $32 per share in cash, or about $32 billion. GCP surged 13.3% in premarket trading.
FactSet Research (FDS) will join the S&P 500 prior to the market opening on Dec. 20, along with Signature Bank (SBNY) and SolarEdge Technologies (SEDG). They'll replace Leggett & Platt (LEG), Hanesbrands (HBI), and Western Union (WU), which will all move to the S&P MidCap 400.
Alibaba (BABA) rose add 1% in premarket action after it announced a reorganization of its e-commerce teams and named a new chief financial officer.
Nvidia (NVDA) slid 4.3% in the premarket, as it deals with continuing obstacles to its planned takeover of British chipmaker ARM. EU antitrust regulators have halted their investigation of the deal as they await more information, and last week the U.S. FTC sued to block the transaction.
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