Here are the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:
- Futures flat ahead of tech earnings and after Nasdaq, S&P 500 records
- Tesla beats on earnings and revenue, helped by bitcoin sale
- UPS earnings, revenue beat on strong deliveries of online purchases
- GameStop raises a half billion dollars in stock sale
- CDC to unveil new outdoor mask guidelines; Biden to speak
U.S. stock futures were flat after the Nasdaq closed at a record for the first time since February. The deluge of tech earnings continues after Tuesday's bell, with Google-parent Alphabet and Dow stock Microsoft. The S&P 500, which has hit many new highs in recent months, also closed Monday at a record. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell modestly but remained less than 1% shy of its April 16 record close.
The Federal Reserve kicks off its two-day April policy meeting Tuesday. The central bank is not expected to take any action, but economists expect it to defend its willingness to let inflation run hot, even as commodities such as corn and copper hit multiyear highs. Both corn and copper have nearly doubled in the past 12 months.
Tesla shares — up 4.6% in 2021 and more than 400% in the past 12 months — slipped 2% in Tuesday's premarket. Elon Musk's electric auto maker late Monday handily beat expectations with per-share adjusted earnings of 93 cents in the first quarter, buoyed by regulatory credits and a $101 million positive impact from bitcoin sales. Revenue of $10.39 billion for the quarter, which also exceeded estimates, rose 74% from the year-earlier period. Tesla delivered 184,800 Model 3 and Model Y cars in Q1, beating expectations and setting a company record.
Among Tuesday's earnings before the opening bell, UPS easily beat estimates with first-quarter profit of $2.77 per share and revenue of nearly $23 billion. The world's biggest parcel delivery company benefited from a surge in online purchases during the Covid pandemic. Shares soared nearly 4% in premarket trading. The stock was up over 4% in 2021 and 75% in the past 12 months.
Shares of GameStop jumped 9% in Tuesday's premarket to nearly $185 each, the morning after the video game retailer said it completed the sale of 3.5 million additional shares, raising $551 million to aid in its digital transformation. The stock, favored by the Reddit retail traders, closed up nearly 12% on Monday. It's up almost 800% year to date. GameStop shares started 2021 under $19 each and touched an intraday high of $483 in late January. Less than a month later, the stock fell to $40 before mounting a comeback into March to around $348 intraday. Since then, shares have evened out around current levels.
The CDC is expected to unveil new guidance on outdoor mask-wearing for unvaccinated people Tuesday, ahead of a planned speech by President Joe Biden later in the day on the state of the pandemic response. Officials said a focus in coming weeks will be on easing guidance for vaccinated people, both in recognition of their lower risk and to provide an incentive for more people to get shots. The White House said Monday it will share with the world roughly 60 million doses of AstraZeneca's vaccine produced in the U.S. but not yet cleared in this country.