Here are the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:
U.S. stock futures were choppy as tech stocks bounced from Thursday's rout that dragged the Nasdaq down 3.5% for its worst single-day performance since October. Tesla fell slightly again in Friday's premarket, a day after dropping 8% in a brutal week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Thursday sank 559 points, or 1.8%, from a record closing high the previous session. The Dow had its worst day in nearly a month and so did the S&P 500, which lost almost 2.5%. The culprit behind the sell-off was the rapid rise in bond yields.
All three stock benchmarks were tracking for weekly losses. Ahead of the final trading day of February, the Nasdaq was clinging to a gain for the month, which started off strong. The Nasdaq was down nearly 7% from its Feb. 12 record closing high. The Dow and S&P 500 both remain solidly in the green for the month. However, the S&P 500 was off almost 2.7% from its last record closing high, also on Feb. 12.
The 10-year Treasury yield retreated Friday morning, but remained above 1.4%, after surging to 1.6% in the previous session to its highest level since February 2020 and more than 0.5% higher since the end of January. The spike in the 10-year yield, which is used as a benchmark for mortgage rates and auto loans, has been driven by expectations of improving economic conditions as coronavirus vaccines are rolled out, as well as fears of higher inflation.
A fresh round of government stimulus checks, approved in December, sent personal income up to its biggest monthly gain since April 2020 though inflation remained tame. The Commerce Department reported Friday morning that personal income rose 10% in January, slightly beating expectations. Personal consumption expenditure inflation matched estimates at 1.5%.
Inflation worries are being stoked on the thought that the $1.9 trillion Covid stimulus bill — which is seen passing the House on Friday — on top of accelerating growth could overheat the economy. Democrats on Capitol Hill are trying to push their relief measure, including a federal minimum wage boost to $15 per hour, through without GOP support. However, a key nonpartisan official, the Senate parliamentarian, ruled Democrats cannot include the minimum wage increase in the bill. The decision means the Senate will likely pass a different version of the legislation than the House, and representatives will have to approve the plan a second time.
A key Food and Drug Administration advisory panel is set to vote Friday on whether to recommend approval of Johnson & Johnson's single-shot Covid vaccine for emergency use, which would help pave the way for a third preventive treatment in the U.S. While the full FDA doesn't have to follow the vaccine committee's recommendation, it often does. During similar requests by Pfizer and Moderna for vaccines, the FDA authorized those companies' two-shot regimes a day after the panel of outside medical advisors backed emergency use authorization.
As more and more Americans are vaccinated and the economy continues to open up more fully, companies like DoorDash, which has benefited from the stay-at-home trade, could get hurt. In its first report as a public company, the food delivery service told shareholders it expects some of the tail winds it experienced from stay-at-home orders across the U.S. will turn around once the country gets the virus under control. Shares sank 10% in Friday premarket. Even with that drop, DoorDash would still be up nearly 50% from its $102 per share offer price back in December. While DoorDash late Thursday reported $970 million in revenue in the fourth quarter, which beat estimates, it also reported an adjusted per-share loss of $2.67.