Here are the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:
U.S. stock futures were flat Wednesday, one day after the Dow Jones Industrial Average gave up gains at the open and closed down 292 points, or 0.8%, its sixth down day in the past seven sessions. The S&P 500 on Tuesday also saw its sixth decline out of the past seven sessions as the rough September on Wall Street continued. Both benchmarks were on track for their largest monthly declines since October. The Nasdaq fell for the fifth straight session Tuesday. A bright spot in Wednesday's premarket was Microsoft. The Dow stock and big Nasdaq name rose more than 1% after it announced an 11% dividend hike and a $60 billion stock buyback program. Microsoft also appointed company President Brad Smith as vice chairman.
Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands tumbled in premarket trading, after dropping roughly 10% on Tuesday, as Macao began a 45-day period of considering tighter regulations on the gaming industry. Those U.S. casino stocks have operations in the Chinese special administrative region. Officials in Macao said they want "sustained and healthy development" in the world's biggest gambling hub. However, investors are worried about potential changes. Hong Kong-listed shares of Wynn Macau and Sands China tanked about 30% overnight.
Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom survived a Republican attempt to remove him from office, according to an NBC News projection. The gubernatorial recall vote was the second in California's history to qualify for the ballot. Newsom — who was elected by an overwhelming margin to a four-year term ending in 2023 — spent months fending off the GOP-led effort, which gained traction last year over allegations the Newsom administration mishandled the state's response to the Covid pandemic.
President Joe Biden plans to meet with major U.S. employers Wednesday at the White House to discuss the federal vaccine mandate. The gathering comes as the Biden administration is drafting rules to require large employers to have their workers vaccinated or tested weekly. In guidance to federal agencies earlier this week, the White House said federal employees must be "fully vaccinated" no later than Nov. 22. The shot mandate, announced last week, faces legal, political and enforcement challenges.
Four amateur space travelers, led by e-commerce billionaire Jared Isaacman, was set for liftoff Wednesday night abroad a SpaceX rocket ship. They would become the first all-civilian crew launched into Earth's orbit. Isaacman, 38, the trip's benefactor, has forked over an undisclosed sum to fellow billionaire and SpaceX owner Elon Musk. Time magazine estimated the ticket price for all four seats at $200 million. Earlier this summer, Virgin Galactic's Richard Branson and Blue Origin's Jeff Bezos went into space. Musk has not gone into space yet.