What to watch today: Wall Street looks steady after breaking three-day losing streak
U.S. stock futures were relatively flat Wednesday, one day after Wall Street broke a three-session losing streak driven by concern over a spike in Covid cases in the U.S. due to the now-dominant omicron variant. The Dow on Tuesday gained 560 points, or 1.6%. The S&P 500 jumped nearly 1.8%. The Nasdaq surged 2.4%. All three benchmarks were tracking for solid December and stellar year-to-date gains. (CNBC)
* Cramer: says charts suggest S&P 500 may not be as strong in 2022 (CNBC)
Wednesday morning's economic calendar includes the third estimate of third-quarter gross domestic product. The government said GDP grew 2.3% in Q3, higher than forecasts and the previous estimate.
* Mortgage rates fall to a four-week low, but buyers still pull back (CNBC)
IN THE NEWS TODAY
One day after announcing new plans to fight Covid, President Joe Biden plans to hold a meeting Wednesday to address supply chain problems. U.S. officials and private sector companies, including FedEx, are set to talk about the ongoing efforts to fix pandemic logistics disruptions. (Reuters)
* Biden says fully vaccinated people can still safely celebrate holidays (CNBC)
* Americans are tired of Covid. Official response to omicron created more frustration (CNBC)
Amazon (AMZN), Facebook parent Meta Platforms (FB), Twitter (TWTR) and Pinterest (PINS) will not send teams to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas over coronavirus worries. However, the Consumer Technology Association, which runs CES, said Tuesday the show would run from Jan. 5 to Jan. 8. (CNBC)
Delta Air Lines (DAL) CEO Ed Bastian on Tuesday asked the CDC to cut in half its 10-day recommended quarantine time for fully vaccinated people who contract Covid. He said the current isolation period could negatively affect the airline's workforce and operations. (CNBC)
* Travelers scramble for Covid tests ahead of holiday rush (CNBC)
Berkshire Hathaway-owned See's Candies must face a lawsuit by an employee who claims she caught Covid at work and gave it to her husband who later died, a California appeals court held Tuesday. It appears to be the first ruling allowing a worker to sue an employer over a family member's Covid death. (Reuters)
Elon Musk said in an interview released Tuesday he's unloaded "enough stock" to reach his plan to sell 10% of his Tesla (TSLA) shares. Part of the proceeds from those sales will go toward what Musk tweeted will be a move than $11 billion 2021 tax bill. Tesla shares, under pressure in the past month but up more than 30% in 2021, rose over 3.5% in Wednesday's premarket. (Reuters)
Musk and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey have been voicing their thoughts on a hypothetical new iteration of the internet this week. While still a hazy concept, Web3 been hailed by proponents as a decentralized version of the internet based on blockchain. (CNBC)
* Next for the metaverse: convincing you it’s not just for kids (CNBC)
Looking for a new vehicle? Don't expect many, if any, the typical year-end or holiday deals, due to lingering semiconductor shortages depleting dealers' inventories. J.D. Power reports about 89% new vehicles bought by customers are selling near or above the sticker price. That compares to 12% in December 2019. (CNBC)
STOCKS TO WATCH
CarMax (KMX) jumped 5% in premarket trading after CarMax beat estimates on the top and bottom lines for its latest quarter, as well as posting comparable dealer sales that were above analyst forecasts.
BlackBerry (BB) reported a breakeven quarter, on an adjusted basis, compared with forecasts of a 7-cent loss. The communications software maker also saw revenue beat estimates, helped by strong demand for cybersecurity products. But current quarter forecasts were shy of estimates. Shares fell modestly in the premarket.
CalAmp (CAMP) sank nearly 16% in premarket trading. The maker of wireless data communications products and software lost an adjusted 8 cents per share for its latest quarter, surprising analysts who had expected an 8-cent profit. Revenue also missed.
Alibaba (BABA) fell 4% in the premarket after Atlantic Equities downgraded the Chinese e-commerce company's stock to "neutral" from "overweight." The firm cites concerns that Alibaba shopping platforms Tmall and Taobao won't see improvement in their performances in the near term.
Coinbase Global (COIN) was named a "top pick" for 2022 at Oppenheimer, which cited an accelerating move into the mainstream for digital assets. The crypto exchange has been volatile since listing on April 14. It closed Tuesday more than 40% below its all-time, per-share high of $429.54 reached on that first day of trading.
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