Morning Brief

What to watch today: Nasdaq set for sharp drop after Friday's comeback

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BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures were mostly lower Monday, with a sharp drop in the Nasdaq and tech names indicated to start the new week after Friday's big turnaround. Tesla shed another 2% in the premarket after closing Friday below $600 per share for the first time since early December. The stock has lost a third of its value since its all-time intraday high in late January. (CNBC)

* David Tepper getting bullish on stocks, believes rising rates are set to stabilize (CNBC)

The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq on Friday all broke three-session losing streaks, with strong advances. For the week, the Dow and S&P 500 gained 1.8% and 0.8%, respectively. However, the Nasdaq dropped 2% last week. The Dow and S&P 500 were up nearly 3% and 2.3%, respectively, since the beginning of the year. The Nasdaq was just above breakeven ahead of Monday's open. (CNBC)

Senate passage of the $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill Saturday wasn't enough to put stocks in the green Monday as more economic stimulus on top of an already recovering economy continued to stoke inflation concerns. That's pushing bond yields higher Monday, with the 10-year Treasury yield trading around 1.6%, shy of Friday's one-year high. (CNBC)

The Democratic-held House aims to pass the Senate-approved Covid stimulus package on Tuesday and then send it President Joe Biden for his signature. The bill approved in the Senate on Saturday comes with a smaller, compromise federal unemployment benefits boost and without a federal minimum wage increase. (CNBC)

* Biden says Americans will start getting stimulus checks this month (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

Shares of Disney rose more than 1% in Monday's premarket trading after California officials on Friday cleared theme parks to open at reduced capacity on April 1. They closed nearly a year ago due to the pandemic. The order includes Disneyland in the southern part of the state, Comcast's Universal Studios Hollywood and others. Disney World in Florida and Universal Studios Orlando opened with capacity limits over the summer. Shares of Comcast, parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC, fell in the premarket. (Reuters)

* Cinemark won’t be playing Disney’s ‘Raya and The Last Dragon’: Here’s why (Deadline)

Shares of GameStop (GME) surged about 12% in Monday's premarket after Bloomberg reported that the company tapped board member Ryan Cohen to guide the video game retailer's transition to an e-commerce business. Cohen, a major GameStop investor and founder of online pet retailer Chewy, will lead a board task force on digital changes.

* Amazon-backed Deliveroo reveals it lost $309 million in 2020 ahead of IPO (CNBC)
* EU clears Microsoft's $7.5 billion acquisition of video game publisher Bethesda (CNBC)
* UK digital bank Starling valued at $1.5 billion after Fidelity backing (CNBC)
* Chinese app Meitu buys $40 million worth of bitcoin and ethereum (CNBC)

General Electric (GE) is nearing a $30 billion-plus deal to combine its aircraft leasing business with Ireland's AerCap Holdings, according to The Wall Street Journal. GE Capital Aviation Services is one of the world's biggest jet leasing companies and leases passenger aircraft made by companies including Boeing and Airbus. Shares of GE rose about 2.5% in Monday's premarket. AerCap (AER) shares surged 12%.

The White House on Sunday urged computer network operators to take further steps to gauge whether their systems were targeted by a hack of Microsoft's Outlook email program, saying a recent software patch still left serious vulnerabilities. Microsoft has blamed on China, although Beijing denies any role. (Reuters)

Brent crude, the international oil benchmark, rose above $70 per barrel Monday for the first time in more than a year. The surge came after Saudi Arabia said Sunday that its Saudi Aramco facilities were targeted by missiles and drones. Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi movement claimed responsibility for the attack. West Texas Intermediate crude, the U.S. benchmark, also moved higher, trading above $66 at nearly a two-year high. (CNBC)

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo dismissed calls for his resignation after allegations of inappropriate workplace conduct and sexual harassment. The Democratic Cuomo said he will sign the state legislature's bill to strip him of the emergency powers he wielded throughout the coronavirus pandemic. (CNBC)

* Two more women accuse Gov. Cuomo of inappropriate conduct (CNBC)
* Top Democrat in New York state Senate calls on Cuomo to resign (CNBC)

The pressure of being under the microscope drove Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, to thoughts of suicide, Prince Harry's wife said in an interview with Oprah Winfrey on Sunday. Meghan also revealed an allegation about the royal family's view on race. (NBC News)

STOCKS TO WATCH

Apollo Global (APO) and Athene (ATH): The private-equity firm's shares gained 8% in premarket trading following news that it will merge with retirement services company Athene in an all-stock transaction that values Athene at about $11 billion. Athene shares surged 19.6%.

McAfee (MCFE): The cybersecurity company's shares jumped 10.9% in premarket trading, following news that it sold its enterprise business to privately held Symphony Technology Group for $4 billion in cash.

Adaptive Biotechnologies (ADPT): The company received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for its T-Detect test which confirms a recent or prior Covid-19 infection in patients. Adaptive shares soared 11.3% in premarket action.

AT&T (T): The company said SEC accusations against three employees are meritless and vowed to challenge them. The SEC alleges that the employees selectively shared information about smartphone sales in 2016, which prompted those analysts to lower their revenue forecasts.

Bumble (BMBL): The dating service operator received a number of positive analyst recommendations, with Cowen rating the stock outperform in new coverage and Stifel and Citi initiating coverage with a buy rating. Despite the positive recommendations, the stock fell 2.8% in premarket trading.

Xpeng (XPEV): The China-based electric vehicle maker's shares gained 2.2% in premarket trading after the company reported a loss of $120.7 million for its latest quarter, 42% smaller than it had been in the year-ago quarter. Xpeng competitor Nio (NIO) fell 3.1% in premarket action after Jeffries cut its price target on the stock to $38.80 from $60.

Facebook (FB): A racial bias investigation of Facebook by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has been designated as "systemic," according to attorneys for four plaintiffs who spoke to Reuters. The plaintiffs are accusing Facebook of bias in hiring and promotions, although the EEOC has not brought any allegations against the social media giant and the investigation may not result in any findings of wrongdoing. Facebook lost 1% in premarket trading.

Coherent (COHR): Coherent said a revised takeover proposal from optical electronics maker II-VI (IIVI) is superior to its pending merger agreement with Lumentum (LITE). II-VI stock fell 2.2% in the premarket.

VF Corp (VFC): VF was upgraded to "buy" from "hold" at Pivotal Research, which cited a variety of factors including relatively easy comparable sales comparisons for Vans and a positive outlook for North Face and Timberland.

Pearson (PSON): Pearson shares jumped 5.9% in premarket action after the educational publishing company announced a strategy update that more directly targets consumers.