Here are the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:
U.S. stock futures were relatively flat Tuesday, one day after the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq all rallied to more record closes to start November. Investors are waiting to see whether the Federal Reserve announces the start of tapering its bond purchases following its two-day meeting, which begins Tuesday. The Fed's decision could test Wall Street's bullish trend heading into the seasonably strong year-end stretch for the market. So far in 2021, as of Monday's close, the Dow was up 17.3%; the S&P 500 was up 22.8%; and the Nasdaq was up 21%.
Pfizer rose nearly 3% in Tuesday's premarket after better-than-expected quarterly earnings and revenue. The American drugmaker raised its full-year sales outlook for its Covid vaccine by 7.5% to $36 billion. Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech hope that Tuesday's meeting of an advisory panel to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be the next stop on the road to full CDC approval for their Covid vaccine for kids 5-11. The Food and Drug Administration cleared smaller-dose shots for the younger children Friday. Pfizer's two-shot vaccine has already been authorized for use in older children and adults.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said Monday night that his electric vehicle company has yet to sign a contract with rental car company Hertz. The tweet from Musk seemingly contradicted a prior announcement and advertisement released by Hertz last week. Tesla hit a $1 trillion market cap for the first time on Oct. 25 after Hertz said it would grow its fleet of battery EVs with "an initial order of 100,000 Teslas by the end of 2022." Separately, Tesla is recalling nearly 12,000 U.S. vehicles sold since 2017 because of an error that may cause a false forward-collision warning or unexpected activation of the automatic emergency braking system. Tesla shares dropped more than 4% in the premarket.
The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday will propose rules to plug methane gas leaks at hundreds of thousands of oil and gas wells in the U.S., marking its most aggressive action yet to curb climate-warming greenhouse gas emissions. President Joe Biden will formally announce the proposals during the second day of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland. At home, Biden faces more uncertainty around his social spending bill. Centrist Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin on Monday demanded more time to evaluate the $1.75 trillion package.
Voters in Virginia go to the polls Tuesday to decide a close off-year race between former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin, former CEO of private equity giant The Carlyle Group. Roughly a fifth of Virginia's 5.9 million electorate cast early ballots, nearly six times more than in 2017. Biden and former President Barack Obama campaigned for McAuliffe. By contrast, Youngkin eschewed virtually all public campaign visits from well-known Republicans, including former President Donald Trump. The Virginia governor's race has been a reliable bellwether ahead of midterm elections.