Here are the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:
- Wall Street set to open lower on rising bond yield concerns
- Bitcoin slips from records as Musk tweets it seems high
- PPP loans tweaked to try to reach even smaller businesses
- Total U.S. Covid deaths near 500,000; Biden plans remembrance
- United takes two dozen Boeing 777s out of service after engine failure
U.S. stocks futures fell Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is set to open down about 0.5%, with the Nasdaq indicated off double that, as Treasury yields continued to push higher. The 10-year Treasury yield, which moves inversely to price, traded Monday at about 1.37%, the highest level in almost one year. Finishing little changed Friday, the Dow eked out a third straight weekly gain, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq broke two week winning streaks. However, February's solid monthly gains remained intact for all three stock benchmarks.
Bitcoin dropped about 7% on Monday, one day topping $58,000 for another all-time high. Bitcoin, the world's biggest cryptocurrency, exceeded a market value of $1 trillion Friday. Elon Musk, whose Tesla is estimated to have made about $1 billion in profit on its bitcoin investment, tweeted early Saturday morning that bitcoin seems high. Shares of Tesla — up 325% in the past 12 months — fell nearly 3% in Monday's premarket.
President Joe Biden is launching changes Monday to the Paycheck Protection Program to try to reach smaller, minority-owned firms and sole proprietors left behind in previous rounds of aid. For two weeks, starting Wednesday, the Small Business Administration will only accept applications for forgivable PPP loans from firms with fewer than 20 employees. The program was relaunched last month with $284 billion in new funds from a Covid relief bill passed in late December. About $150 billion of PPP money is still available, according to a Biden administration official.
While daily U.S. Covid deaths have been dropping in recent weeks, total fatalities from the disease in America, the highest of any single country in the world, could exceed 500,000 as soon as Monday, based on data from Johns Hopkins University. When it happens, Biden plans to mark the sad milestone with a moment of silence and candle lighting ceremony at the White House. The latest daily numbers show an average of 1,872 people died over the past seven days, down from a single-day record of 4,407 on Jan. 12. Daily new cases averaged 69,986 over the past seven days. The highest single day of new cases was just under 300,000 on Jan. 2.
United Airlines will temporarily remove 24 of its Boeing 777s from service after one of the planes bound for Honolulu suffered an engine failure shortly after takeoff from Denver International Airport on Saturday. The plane returned to Denver safely. Images from the flight on social media showed an engine on fire and reports on the ground near the airport said engine parts rained down.
The FAA ordered the inspection of some Boeing 777 jetliners powered by the same Pratt & Whitney engine, the PW4000. Boeing shares fell 3% in premarket trading. Raytheon, which owns Pratt & Whitney, dropped 2%. United shares slipped less than 1%.
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