Here are the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:
- S&P 500 set for higher open after Monday's record close
- Busiest week of earnings season kicks off with 5 Dow stocks
- Biden hopes Covid vaccinations can reach 1.5 million per day
- Senators to be sworn in for Trump impeachment trial
- Apollo CEO paid sex predator Jeffrey Epstein $158 million for financial advice
U.S. stock futures were higher Tuesday as Wall Street studied a crush of before-the-bell quarterly financial reports in the busiest week of earnings season. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq closed at record highs Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average modestly declined for the third straight session but remained less than 1% from Wednesday's closing record.
The short-squeeze mania around GameStop continued after the stock more than doubled at one stage Monday before closing 18% higher. In Tuesday's premarket trading, the video game seller was adding about 15% to the stock's year-to-date surge of over 300%. Short sellers are down $91 billion in January as GameStop leads squeeze in stocks they bet against.
Shares of Etsy popped Tuesday morning after Tesla CEO Elon Musk sent a tweet about the e-commerce company. Etsy's stock rose about 8% in the premarket following Musk's tweet that said: "I kinda love Etsy." The e-commerce company wasn't moving at all in the premarket prior to Musk's early morning call out. It's now set to be the biggest gainer in the S&P 500 when the market opens.
Janet Yellen, a former Fed chief with a reputation as a consensus builder, has become the nation's first female Treasury secretary. Yellen was confirmed by the Senate on Monday. She's now in charge of the agency charged with supporting President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion Covid stimulus program, which has already come under fire from Republicans.
Thirteen Dow components and 111 S&P 500 companies deliver earnings this week. Four Dow stocks — American Express, 3M, Johnson & Johnson and Verizon — are out Tuesday morning, with former Dow stock General Electric also reporting. Microsoft, also a Dow stock, leads this week's tech earnings Tuesday afternoon. Apple, Facebook and Tesla are out Wednesday. Alphabet releases results next week.
The U.S. could reach 1.5 million Covid vaccinations per day, Biden said Monday, topping his previously targeted pace of 1 million per day, which was nearly met already by the Trump administration. Biden has pledged to administer 100 million shots of coronavirus vaccine in his first 100 days in office.
As U.S. daily new infections and deaths were trending lower recently from record levels, the hunt for new strains of the virus intensified. Minnesota confirmed the first known U.S. case of the more contagious variant originally found in Brazil. There have already been cases in the U.S. of the strain found in Britain, but none of the variant discovered in South Africa.
Senators on Tuesday will be sworn in as jurors in former President Donald Trump's impeachment trial, which is expected to start the week of Feb. 8. The House on Monday delivered its impeachment article against Trump for inciting an insurrection at the Capitol earlier this month. Trump has not taken any responsibility for the Jan. 6 riot of his supporters who tried to stop Congress from voting to affirm Biden's election win.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell backed off his demand that Senate Democrats preserve the procedural tool known as the filibuster, easing a standoff with new Majority Leader Chuck Schumer as the two negotiated a power-sharing agreement in the closely divided chamber.
Apollo Global Management's Leon Black paid child sex predator Jeffrey Epstein $158 million for financial advice from 2012 through 2017, despite knowing Epstein pleaded guilty to sexually abusing an underage girl in 2008, a probe by a law firm retained by Apollo has found. The investment firm also said the investigation found no wrongdoing by Black or by the company. However, Black said he will retire as CEO by the end of July. He plans to remain chairman of the firm he co-founded with Marc Rowan, who will become CEO.