Here are the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:
- Wall Street looks higher in premarket after the Nasdaq's slide
- BofA, Morgan Stanley, P&G, UnitedHealth rise on earnings beats
- Biden to hold a news conference to mark 1 year into his presidency
- Verizon, AT&T launch 5G, agree to delay service by some airports
- SoFi soars after clearing regulatory hurdle to become a bank
U.S. stock futures rose as investors got better-than-expected earnings while digesting the 10-year Treasury yield topping 1.9% early Wednesday. Rising bond yields to more than two-year highs slammed tech stocks again Tuesday, sending the Nasdaq down 2.6% to its lowest close in three months. The index finished in correction territory, down more than 10% from its all-time intraday high in November. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 on Tuesday fell 1.5% and 1.84%, respectively. Both the Dow and S&P 500 hit all-time highs earlier this month. They're down more than 4% and 5% each from those levels. The government reported Wednesday morning that December housing starts rose 1.4% to just over 1.7 million units. Estimates had called for a percentage drop to 1.65 million units.
Bank of America before the bell Wednesday topped estimates for profit on record quarterly asset management and investment banking fees, and as the firm released $851 million in reserves. Revenue for the fourth quarter slightly missed estimates. BofA shares gained more than 4% in the premarket.
Morgan Stanley posted better-than-expected quarterly profit Wednesday. Like BofA, Morgan Stanley also fell just short of expectations for fourth-quarter revenue. Shares of Morgan Stanley rose more than 5.5% in the premarket.
Dow stock Procter & Gamble early Wednesday reported fiscal second-quarter earnings and revenue that topped expectations as price hikes helped offset higher commodity and freight costs. The consumer products giant also boosted its full-year sales forecast. P&G shares rose nearly 1% in the premarket.
UnitedHealth, also a Dow component, issued better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit and revenue, helped partly by growth in its Optum unit that includes its drug benefits management business. UnitedHealth shares rose over 1% in the premarket.
President Joe Biden is scheduled to hold a news conference Wednesday afternoon, on his 365th day in office. Biden will update Americans on his lengthy legislative to-do list and fight against Covid as the omicron variant continues boost new case counts. Next week, the Biden administration will make 400 million N95 masks available for free at pharmacies and community health centers. A federal government website for Americans to order free Covid tests is set to launch Wednesday. In the site's testing phase Tuesday, many people were able to submit orders, while others experienced problems.
Verizon and AT&T turned on a major new part of their 5G networks Wednesday, the culmination of a yearslong process that will bring noticeably faster mobile service across large parts of the nation. The providers agreed to postpone 5G service near some American airports. However, several foreign airlines were still canceling flights to the U.S. over 5G interference concerns at airports with the next-generation mobile service. Dubai-based Emirates said, "We hope to resume our US services as soon as possible."
San Francisco-based SoFi cleared its final regulatory hurdle to become a bank, and its shares soared more than 18% in Wednesday's premarket. The mobile-first finance company offers banking products. But it's not technically a bank. Like many fintech companies, it relies on partnerships with FDIC-insured banks to hold customer deposits and issue loans. In order to become a bank, SoFi plans to acquire a California community lender. The fintech firm went public last year in a SPAC merger.