Here are the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:
- Stocks set to drop after Dow, S&P 500 record closes
- Bitcoin slammed in a wild weekend even as China adjusts view
- GameStop CEO to resign; 'Roaring Kitty' doubles down
- Deadly Tesla crash probed; CPSC warns about Peloton's Tread+
- U.S. hits vaccine milestone as Fauci hopes for quick J&J shot resumption
1. Stocks set to drop after Dow, S&P 500 record closes
U.S. stock futures fell Monday after the Dow closed at another record high Friday. The 30-stock average finished above $34,000 for the first time ever Thursday. The S&P 500 also notched two straight record closes. The Nasdaq rose slightly Friday, finishing just 0.3% shy of its February closing record. Wall Street wrapped up another winning week with the three major benchmarks all gaining more than 1% last week. The 10-year Treasury yield was steady Monday, still under 1.6% and last month's run of 14-month highs.
Dow stock Coca-Cola rose modestly in the premarket after the beverage giant Monday morning reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings and revenue. Coca-Cola said demand in the first quarter was unchanged from last year as North America and western Europe take longer to bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic.
2. Bitcoin slammed in a wild weekend even as China adjusts view
Bitcoin dropped to close to $53,000 on Sunday morning, days after reaching an all-time high near $65,000 in a wild weekend of trading. Bitcoin was up modestly to around $57,000 early Monday. But that's down about 13% from last week's record. Also on Sunday, a leading Chinese central banker called bitcoin an "investment alternative," a significant shift in Beijing's tone after a crackdown on cryptocurrency issuance and trading nearly four years ago. The comments came from Li Bo, deputy governor of the People's Bank of China, during a panel hosted by CNBC in China.
3. GameStop CEO to resign; 'Roaring Kitty' doubles down
GameStop rose nearly 12% to around $173 per share in premarket trading after the video-game retailer said Monday that CEO George Sherman will step down. The board is looking for a successor. It's the biggest shakeup since Ryan Cohen, co-founder of online pet supplier Chewy, joined GameStop's board in January. Cohen, who is expected to become chairman in June, invested in GameStop last year to push the firm to focus on online sales and to shutter unprofitable stores in malls. Cohen's involvement with GameStop helped spark the stock's wild ride earlier this year.
Keith Gill, known as "Roaring Kitty" and credited as an inspiration for the Reddit-fueled trading frenzy in GameStop, exercised options Friday, giving him 50,000 more shares at a strike price of just $12. If he had sold the options at Friday's price, he could have made over $7 million. Gill also bought 50,000 more GameStop shares, bringing his total investment to 200,000 shares worth more than $30 million at Friday's close of nearly $155.
4. Deadly Tesla crash probed; CPSC warns about Peloton's Tread+
Police investigating Saturday night's crash of a 2019 Tesla Model S in Spring, Texas — just north of Houston — said it appears that no one was in the driver's seat when the vehicle slammed into a tree and burst into flames, killing the two men inside. Police told the New York Times that minutes before the crash, the wives of the men heard them say they wanted to go for a drive and talked about the car's Autopilot feature. Shares of Tesla fell roughly 1.5% in Monday's premarket.
Shares of Peloton dropped 7% in Monday's premarket after the Consumer Product Safety Commission said Saturday that consumers should stop using the Peloton Tread+ treadmill if small children or pets are around. One month ago, Peloton disclosed an accident involving the treadmill that resulted in the death of a child. Peloton called the CPSC's advisory "inaccurate and misleading," insisting its treadmills are safe when all safety recommendations are followed.
5. U.S. hits vaccine milestone as Fauci hopes for quick J&J shot resumption
Half of all U.S. adults have received at least one Covid vaccine dose, according to CDC data. Sunday's milestone comes one day after the global death toll from the coronavirus topped 3 million, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. In the U.S., the number of daily new Covid cases remains high, around summer surge levels. Monday marks President Joe Biden's deadline for all states to open up Covid vaccines to all U.S. adults.
White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday he thinks the U.S. will likely resume use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine with a warning or restriction attached. He anticipates a decision as soon as Friday, when the CDC's vaccine advisory panel meets again. Health regulators asked states last week to pause J&J's single-dose shot after reports of six cases of rare but severe blood clotting issues.
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