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What to Watch Today: Nasdaq Futures Sink as Soaring Bond Yields Slam Tech

Brendan McDermid | Reuters


U.S. stocks were sliding in Tuesday's premarket, indicating further September losses with just three days left in one of the historically weakest months of the year. Nasdaq futures were sinking 200 points, or 1.5%. S&P futures were down almost 1%. Dow futures were dropping nearly 0.5%. The Nasdaq and S&P 500 fell Monday. The Dow rose modestly. Monday's divergence came as Treasury yields rose. (CNBC)

The 10-year Treasury yield, increasing on economic optimism and inflation fears, remained above 1.5% on Tuesday, back to levels not seen since June. Higher bond yields, which move in the opposite direction of prices, can put pressure on tech stocks by exposing their high valuations. (CNBC)

Energy stocks, however, were higher in premarket trading as U.S. oil prices rose about 1% to around $76 per barrel, nearly a three-year peak. U.S. oil prices soared 77% this year as Covid-disrupted business activity continued to recover. (CNBC)

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, in remarks prepared for Tuesday's Senate Banking Committee hearing, cautioned lawmakers that the causes of the recent rise in inflation may last longer than anticipated. The remarks are part of mandated testimony Powell must give to Congress regarding the Fed's economic response to the Covid pandemic. He goes before the House Financial Services Committee on Thursday. (CNBC)

* Dallas Fed President Kaplan to retire early, cites trading disclosure ‘distraction’ (CNBC)
* Boston Fed President Rosengren abruptly announces earlier retirement (CNBC)

Senate Republicans blocked a House-passed bill that would prevent a federal government shutdown and a potential default on U.S. debt. Lawmakers need to pass an appropriations bill by Thursday to avoid a shutdown, and they must suspend or increase the debt ceiling sometime in the coming weeks to prevent a default. Democrats may be forced to suspend the debt limit on their own, potentially as part of their up to $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill. (CNBC)


Pfizer (PFE) announced Tuesday that it asked the FDA to clear its Covid vaccine for kids 5 to 11 for emergency use. Last week, U.S.-based Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech (BNTX) said a smaller two-dose regimen was safe and generated a "robust" immune response in a clinical trial. The application to U.S. health regulators comes as infections have soared in young kids, hitting their highest point in early September, according to data from the American Academy of Pediatrics. (Reuters)

* Pfizer starts study of mRNA-based next generation flu vaccine (Press Release)
* Unvaccinated Americans say the need for boosters prove Covid vaccines don't work (CNBC)

Sanofi (SNY) announced positive results from a study of its own MRNA-based Covid vaccine, but then said it was halting any further development due to the domination of the market by the Pfizer and Moderna (MRNA) vaccines. The French drugmaker said it would use MRNA technology to develop other vaccines, while focusing on the development of a protein-based Covid vaccine with British partner GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). (Reuters)

Shares of Ford (F), after closing up 2.7% on Monday, were adding another 3.5% in the premarket. The U.S. automaker and South Korea-based battery supplier SK Innovation announced plans to invest more than $11.4 billion in new U.S. facilities that will create nearly 11,000 jobs to produce electric vehicles and batteries. (CNBC)

* Ford CEO says automaker’s stock has ‘tremendous upside’ even after doubling in his first year (CNBC)

Mastercard (MA) is jumping into the competitive installment loan space by allowing banks and start-ups to ramp up their own "buy now, pay later" offers. The credit card giant announced a new program called "Mastercard Installments" for U.S., Australian and U.K. markets Tuesday, which will go live in the first quarter of next year. (CNBC)

* Wells Fargo pays $37 million to resolve DOJ claims it defrauded currency customers (CNBC)


Recreational vehicle maker Thor Industries (THO) reported quarterly earnings of $4.12 per share, beating the consensus estimate of $2.92 a share. Revenue also topped Wall Street forecasts. Thor said demand for RVs remains strong, with backlogs at a record high. Its shares rose 3.6% in the premarket.

Applied Materials (AMAT) slid 3.6% in the premarket after New Street downgraded the stock to "neutral" from "buy," noting record valuation and limited upside for the maker of semiconductor manufacturing equipment.

United Natural Foods (UNFI) beat the 80 cents a share consensus estimate, with quarterly profit of $1.18 per share. Revenue came in below consensus estimates. United Natural said sales in the year-ago quarter saw strong pandemic-driven customer demand. Shares fell 2.7% in the premarket.

Aurora Cannabis (ACB) reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue as consumer cannabis sales fell 45% from a year earlier. The company cited Covid-19 restrictions as a key reason for the drop. Aurora Cannabis slid 2.2% in premarket action.

Endeavor Group (EDR) is buying sports betting business OpenBet from Scientific Games (SGMS) for $1.2 billion in cash and stock. The Ultimate Fighting Championship owner plans to combine OpenBet with its existing sports betting business. Endeavor shares soared 10.1% in the premarket.

Huntsman (HUN) rallied 4.2% in the premarket after activist hedge fund Starboard Value took an 8.4% stake in the chemical maker, calling the shares undervalued. Huntsman said it was looking forward to a constructive dialog with Starboard.

Merck (MRK) is near a deal to buy drugmaker Acceleron Pharma (XLRN), according to people familiar with the matter who spoke to The Wall Street Journal. Bloomberg had earlier reported that Acceleron was in talks to be bought by an unnamed major pharmaceutical company. Acceleron rose 2.6% in premarket trading.

Spotify Technology (SPOT) kicked off a global campaign designed to boost its advertising sales. The music streaming service's new campaign is aimed at small- and medium-sized businesses beyond what's been its traditional focus. Spotify fell 1.9% in the premarket.

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