5 Things to Know

5 things to know before the stock market opens Friday


1. Wall Street set to open lower on continued tech stock selling

Nasdaq futures were pointing to an over 100 point, or nearly 1%, decline at Friday's open, one day after the Nasdaq Composite sank 244 points or 2.2%. Rallying tech stocks plummeted Thursday — with Apple and Microsoft leading the stock market lower. Both stocks, up over 25% this year as perceived coronavirus-proof trades, are heavily weighted on the Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 as well as being two of the Dow 30 components.

A major drag on Nasdaq and Dow futures Friday morning can be traced to another technology stock, Intel. The semiconductor giant, also among the Dow 30, was losing over 14% in the premarket. Intel late Thursday missed already lowered second-quarter expectations on gross margin, the percentage of revenue left after subtracting the costs of goods sold. The company, while beating estimates on Q2 earnings and revenue, also disclosed disappointing third-quarter guidance.

American Express, also a Dow stock, was lower in the premarket after the credit card giant Friday morning reported below-estimate revenues and better-than-expected earnings for the second quarter. American Express said spending volumes hit a low in April, followed by a gradual rebound in May and June. Dow component Verizon, which was higher in the premarket, reported better-than-expected earnings and revenue in the second quarter. However, Verizon saw negative impact from Covid-19, which hit wireless service and ad spending revenues.

2. China retaliates, ordering U.S. to close Chengdu consulate

Adding pressure on U.S. stocks ahead of Wall Street's open was Beijing's retaliation for this week's order from the State Department that China close its Houston consulate. On Friday, China's Foreign Ministry announced it is revoking the license for the U.S. consulate in the southwestern city of Chengdu, ordering it to cease operations.

On Thursday, capping a string of searing speeches by Trump administration officials, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo slammed the Chinese government. Pompeo said the U.S. will no longer tolerate Beijing's efforts to usurp global order. The crumbling bilateral relationship, strained from the ongoing trade battle, has intensified, with Trump blaming China for the coronavirus pandemic.

3. Senate GOP to unveil coronavirus relief plan next week

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, wears a protective mask while walking to the Senate floor at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, July 23, 2020.
Al Drago | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Senate Republicans will release their new economic relief plan to combat the still-rampaging coronavirus next week, according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. That timing virtually assures that Capitol Hill would miss the end-of-the-month deadline to extend, in some fashion, for the $600-per-week federal unemployment insurance supplement to state benefits.

The GOP had hoped to unveil its legislation this week, which would have kickstarted talks with House Democrats, who passed their own version of additional Covid-19 relief in May. The historic $2.2 trillion CARES Act, which became law in late March, put in motion many programs to help Americans and U.S. businesses to weather the outbreak.

4. Trump cancels parts of GOP convention set in Florida

President Donald Trump gestures to a map while speaking during a news conference about his administration's response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic at the White House on July 23, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Drew Angerer | Getty Images

With Covid-19 cases in the U.S. topping 4 million and recent spikes in daily cases in many states, including Florida, President Donald Trump canceled the Jacksonville portions of the Republican National Convention, scheduled for next month. At Thursday's White House coroinavirus press briefing, he cited the threat of the outbreak.

The Democratic National Convention, set for next month in Milwaukee, will be a nearly all-virtual event. Delegates have been told to stay home due to health concerns, and the Democratic National Committee has said it's reevaluating how many people will be allowed on the convention floor.

5. CDC releases guidelines for back to school this fall

Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dr. Robert Redfield wears a face mask while he waits to testify before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on the Trump Administration's Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, U.S. June 23, 2020.
Kevin Dietsch | Reuters

With school districts weeks away from the start of the academic year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released long-awaited guidelines for reopening, with a heavy emphasis on getting students back into the classroom.

The guidelines laid out the social, emotional and mental risks of keeping students at home and gave broad outlines on how to resume in-person instruction, in line with what the CDC has already recommended to other entities, such as practicing good hygiene, disinfecting surfaces regularly and spacing out students to maintain social distancing. Other recommendations included repurposing unused or underutilized buildings or moving classes outside when possible and keeping students in "pods," where the same groups stay together throughout the school day.

The White House has emphasized that the guidance is only a recommendation and will not replace state and local decision-making. The Trump administration has been pressing states to get kids back to school as a key component to return the nation to some semblance of normalcy.

— NBC News contributed to this report. Follow all the developments on Wall Street in real-time with CNBC's live markets blog. Get the latest on the pandemic with our coronavirus blog.

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