Microsoft Corp.

What to Watch Today: Wall Street Looks Higher in Premarket After the Nasdaq's Slide

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

BY THE NUMBERS

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. (CNBC)

The Dow 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 is out with December housing starts and building permits at 8:30 a.m. ET. (CNBC)

* Homebuyers are rushing to get mortgages before higher rates price them out (CNBC)

Bank of America (BAC) 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 about 3% in the premarket. (CNBC)

Morgan Stanley (MS) 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 about 2.5% in the premarket. (CNBC)

Dow stock Procter & Gamble (PG) 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 more than 1% in the premarket. (CNBC)

UnitedHealth (UNH), 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 modestly in the premarket. (Reuters)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

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. (AP)

* Here's a look at Biden’s progress delivering on election promises (AP)
* Biden avoids wading into the congressional stock trading debate (CNBC)

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. (CNBC)

* Scientists say it's too soon to relax despite omicron proving less severe (CNBC)

With just over two weeks before the opening of the Beijing Winter Olympics, residents of the Chinese capital say they're disappointed at not being able to attend events because of coronavirus restrictions that have seen parts of the city placed under lockdown. (AP)

Verizon (VZ) and AT&T (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. (CNBC)

* Major foreign airlines cancel some U.S. flights despite 5G deal (CNBC)

San Francisco-based SoFi (SOFI) cleared its final regulatory hurdle to become a bank, and its shares soared more than 18% in Wednesday's premarket. 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. (CNBC)

Oil prices rose for a fourth session Wednesday to a fresh seven-year high as an outage on a pipeline from Iraq to Turkey increased concerns about an already tight supply outlook as worrisome geopolitical troubles simmered in Russia and the United Arab Emirates. (Reuters)

* Cramer's Investing Club Stock Profile: Chevron stands out among peers as a free cash flow machine (CNBC)

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged western nations Wednesday to remain united in the face of what he called "relentless" Russian aggression against Ukraine. He also reassured Ukraine's leader of their support. Blinken met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a visit to Kyiv. (AP)

* U.S. and its allies pledge unity on Russia; but what to do remains unclear (AP)

Biden on Wednesday intends to nominate a Muslim woman for a federal judgeship for the first time in U.S. history. Nusrat Jahan Choudhury, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, is the president's pick for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. (USA Today)

New York's attorney general disclosed new details last night about an investigation into former President Donald Trump's business, saying the probe uncovered evidence suggesting the fraudulent valuing of multiple assets and misrepresentations of those values to financial institutions for economic benefit. (NBC News)

* Rudy Giuliani, 3 other Trump allies subpoenaed in Jan. 6 riot probe (CNBC)

STOCKS TO WATCH

Sony (SONY) fell 3.9% in premarket trading on top of a 7.2% skid Tuesday. The drop followed news of Microsoft's (MSFT) deal to buy video game maker Activision Blizzard (ATVI) for $68.7 billion, a transaction that would increase competitive pressure on Sony's PlayStation operation.

Alliance Data Systems (ADS) lost 1.7% in the premarket, with warehouse retailer BJ's Wholesale (BJ) is moving its co-branded credit card account to Capital One (COF). Alliance is also being sued by BJ's, which claims the store credit card specialist is slowing down the transfer process. Alliance believes it's in full compliance with its contract.

Zogenix (ZGNX) soared 66% in the premarket after agreeing to be acquired by Brussels-based biopharma company UCB for $26 dollars per share, compared with the $15.64 Tuesday closing price for Zogenix. UCB would also pay an extra $2 per share if the Zogenix drug fintepla, a treatment for a rare type of epilepsy, wins EU approval by the end of 2023.

Tegna (TGNA) is close to finalizing a $9 billion deal to be bought out by private equity firms Apollo Global Management and Standard General, according to the New York Post. The paper said the TV station operator was initially holding out for a roughly $500 million breakup fee if the deal did not receive FCC approval in a timely manner, but has now backed off that demand. Tegna rallied 4.9% in the premarket.

ASML (ASML) ose after reporting a better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit. The Dutch chipmaker also issued an upbeat 2022 sales growth forecast, with shares adding 2.2% in premarket trading.

Pearson (PSON) raised its full-year forecast amid strength across its education publishing portfolio and better-than-expected prospects for U.S. higher education courseware. Pearson shares jumped 7.2% in the premarket.

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