Here are the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:
- Wall Street set to dip after breaking 3-day losing streak
- Biden to hold supply chain meeting, a day after Covid address
- Tech firms bail on CES; Delta Air Lines lobbies CDC over quarantines
- Employer must face worker's suit over husband's Covid death
- Musk says he sold 'enough stock'; slams 'overtaxation' California
1. Wall Street set to dip after breaking 3-day losing streak
U.S. stock futures were slightly lower Wednesday, one day after Wall Street broke a three-session losing streak driven by concern over a spike in Covid cases in the U.S. due to the now-dominant omicron variant. The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Tuesday gained 560 points, or 1.6%. The S&P 500 jumped nearly 1.8%. The Nasdaq surged 2.4%. All three benchmarks were tracking for solid December gains.
Year to date as of Tuesday's close, the Dow was up almost 16%; the S&P 500 had risen roughly 23.8%; and the Nasdaq was up 19%. Wednesday morning's economic calendar includes the third estimate of third-quarter gross domestic product. The government said GDP grew 2.3% in Q3, higher than forecasts and the previous estimate.
2. Biden to hold supply chain meeting, a day after Covid address
One day after announcing new plans to fight Covid, President Joe Biden plans to hold a meeting Wednesday to address supply chain problems. U.S. officials and private sector companies, including FedEx, are set to talk about the ongoing efforts to fix pandemic logistics disruptions. On Tuesday, Biden said fully vaccinated people can safely celebrate the holidays, even as omicron rips across the nation. The president acknowledged that many vaccinated people will get breakthrough infections in the coming weeks, but said those who got their shots will be protected against severe illness and death.
3. Tech firms bail on CES; Delta Air Lines lobbies CDC over quarantines
Amazon, Facebook parent Meta Platforms, Twitter and Pinterest will not send teams to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas over coronavirus worries. However, the Consumer Technology Association, which runs CES, said Tuesday the show would run from Jan. 5 to Jan. 8. Health precautions would include vaccination requirements, masking and the availability of Covid tests, the group added.
Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian on Tuesday asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to cut in half its recommended quarantine time for fully vaccinated people who contract Covid. He said the current 10-day isolation period could negatively affect the airline's workforce and operations. Delta said about 90% of its staff is fully vaccinated.
4. Employer must face worker's suit over husband's Covid death
California-based See's Candies must face a lawsuit by an employee who claims she caught Covid at work and gave it to her husband who later died, a state appeals court held Tuesday. It appears to be the first ruling allowing a worker to sue an employer over a family member's Covid death. A lawyer for Berkshire Hathaway-owned See's gave no immediate comment to Reuters. In response to last year's filing, See's said its employee's husband's death was "derivative" of an alleged workplace injury, which means it would covered by workers' compensation and should not be decided in court.
5. Musk says he sold 'enough stock'; slams 'overtaxation' California
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he's unloaded "enough stock" to reach his plan to sell 10% of his shares in the world's most valuable car company, according to an interview released Tuesday. Part of the proceeds from those sales will go toward what Musk tweeted on Sunday will be a move than $11 billion 2021 tax bill. Tesla shares, under pressure in the past month but up more than 30% in 2021, rose over 3.5% in Wednesday's premarket. The billionaire, who relocated Tesla's headquarters from California to Texas this month following his 2020 personal move, slammed California for "overtaxation." Musk told satirical website Babylon Bee that it's "increasingly difficult to get things done" in the Golden State.