Morning Brief

What to watch today: U.S. futures drop after Friday's records for Dow, S&P 500



U.S. stock futures dropped Monday after a late-session rally Friday sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 up over 1.4% and nearly 1.7%, respectively, as stocks benefiting from a successful Covid reopening outperformed. The Dow and S&P 500, which both closed at record highs, saw weekly gains about equal to Friday's advances. (CNBC)

The Nasdaq on Friday erased an almost 1% loss and closed up 1.2%. However, the tech-heavy index still declined about 0.6% for the week. With just three days left in March, the Nasdaq was tracking for a slight monthly loss, while the Dow and S&P 500 were poised to turn in solid gains for the month. (CNBC)

The 10-year Treasury yield was steady Monday, trading below its recent 14-month high. The rapid rise in yields this year has been troublesome for growth stocks, many of them tech names, as higher interest rates erode the value of future profits and squeeze market valuations. (CNBC)

* Supreme Court to decide whether Goldman Sachs shareholders can bring suit in major fraud case (CNBC)


Credit Suisse warned Monday of a "highly significant" hit to its first-quarter results, after the Swiss-based bank began exiting positions with a large U.S. hedge fund that melted down on margin calls last week. Japanese firm Nomura said it's evaluating a potential loss estimated at $2 billion. Shares of Nomura and Credit Suisse were getting slammed in Monday's premarket. (CNBC)

Goldman Sachs (GS) told shareholders that any losses it faces from the unwinding of trades by Archegos Capital Management are likely to be immaterial, according to Bloomberg. Goldman's loans to Archegos were fully collateralized, a source told Bloomberg.

The hedge fund at the center of the fallout is Archegos Capital Management, which was forced to liquidate positions at the end of last week. The moves by the multibillion dollar U.S. family office, founded by former Tiger equity analyst Bill Hwang, caused a wave of selling pressure Friday in U.S. media stocks and Chinese internet ADRs. (CNBC)

Discovery Communications (DISCA) and Viacom (VIAC) were stable in Monday after significant declines last week due to the forced liquidation of positions held by Archegos. Discovery gained 2% in premarket trading, while Viacom rose 1%. (CNBC)

* Here’s what happened in that wild trading in China internet stocks (CNBC)

The giant Ever Given container ship blocking the Suez Canal was partially refloated early Monday, days after the vessel got stuck and brought a vital global trade route to a standstill. The Suez Canal Authority said the ship's course has been corrected by 80% and further maneuvers will resume when the water level rises later in the day. (CNBC)

It remains unclear when waterway will reopen to traffic as hundreds of ships waited to enter the Suez. Maritime data showed at least 10 tankers and container ships changed course to avoid the logjam, including U.S. ships carrying natural gas for Cheniere and Shell/BG Group. (CNBC)

President Joe Biden will separate his sprawling plan to upgrade the nation's infrastructure into two pieces. Biden on Wednesday will unveil the first part of his plan, focusing on items like rebuilding roads and railways. The second part, including child-care and health-care reforms, aspects of what's sometimes called social infrastructure, will be released in "in just a couple of weeks," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Sunday. Taken as a whole, the legislation is expected to cost more than $3 trillion. (CNBC)

* How Biden’s infrastructure package will likely tackle climate change (CNBC)

With the possibility of safer summer barbeques just months away, along with the promise of widespread Covid vaccine supply in the U.S. by the end of May, many Americans may be feeling as though the nation has finally turned the corner on the pandemic. However, White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci warned that America is really only "at the corner."

* CDC will extend national eviction ban through June 30, sources say (CNBC)
* Draft of joint WHO-China study says animals likely source of Covid (AP)

New daily U.S. cases, while sharply lower than January's high, increased 12% in the past seven days compared with a week ago, according to a CNBC analysis of Johns Hopkins University data. Nearly half of people ages 65 and older have completed all of their necessary shots, according to CDC data. However, just 20% of the adult population is considered fully vaccinated.

* U.S. Covid cases rising again as restrictions ease despite benefits from increased vaccinations (CNBC)

Ten states will open eligibility for Covid vaccines to all adults this week ahead of Biden's goal to make every American adult eligible for vaccination by May 1. In all, 46 states and the District of Columbia have pledged to meet Biden's goal. (USA Today)

* Birx recalls 'very difficult' Trump call, says many Covid deaths were preventable (NBC News)

Southwest Airlines (LUV) announced 100 firm orders for Boeing's (BA) 737 Max jets, while taking an option on 155 more planes. Southwest had been considering alternatives to the 737 Max during the time the jet was grounded following two fatal crashes. Boeing rose 2.7% in the premarket. (Reuters)

* United flies to JFK for first time since 2015, taking advantage of pandemic lull (CNBC)


Fly Leasing (FLY), a Dublin-based aircraft leasing company, agreed to be acquired by Carlyle Group (CG) affiliate Carlyle Aviation Partners for $17.05 per share, compared to Fly Leasing's Friday close of $13.25. Fly Leasing soared 26.6% in premarket action.

Cal-Maine Foods (CALM), the nation's largest egg producer, reported fiscal third-quarter profits of 28 cents per share, beating the 8 cents a share consensus estimate. Sales fell short of Wall Street forecasts. Cal-Maine said it benefited from strong demand for shell eggs, as consumers continued to eat more at home due to the pandemic. Cal-Maine gained 2.2% in the premarket.

Tencent Music (TME) – The China-based music streaming service announced a $1 billion share buyback, its biggest ever, and its shares rose 7.2% in premarket trading.

Twitter (TWTR) shares gained 2% in the premarket after Truist upgraded the stock to "buy" from "hold," with the firm pointing to higher revenue growth estimates as well as what it refers to as "the most exciting product roadmap" it has ever seen from Twitter.

Bilibili (BILI), a China-based online video company, made its debut in Hong Kong trading following its secondary listing, closing 1% below its listing price. Its U.S. shares jumped 3.6% in premarket action.

Visa (V) said it would allow the use of USD Coin – a cryptocurrency pegged directly to the U.S. dollar – to settle transactions on its payments network.

JPMorgan Chase added Amazon (AMZN) as a "top pick," saying the company was among those poised to deliver strong sustainable growth at a reasonable valuation.

Ohio-based Peoples Bancorp (PEBO) will merge with West Virginia-based Premier Financial Bancorp (PFBI) in an all-stock deal valued at about $292 million. Peoples shares rose 2% in premarket trading, with Premier gaining 1.4%.


The Elite Eight is set, and those NCAA men's basketball tournament games begin tonight. Following some down-to-the wire Sweet 16 match-ups, the remaining March Madness teams are just one game away from playing into April in the Final Four. (USA Today)