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What to Watch Today: Stock Futures Under Pressure as Selling in Tech Stocks Continues

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BY THE NUMBERS

Tech stocks continued to slide in the premarket Friday, one day after they got crushed and sent the Nasdaq down nearly 2.5%. The S&P 500 on Thursday fell nearly 1%, and the Dow, which had been higher earlier in Thursday's session, closed down 0.08%. The Nasdaq's plunge erased Wednesday's big jump after Wall Street seemed OK with the Fed's decision to accelerate its bond-buying taper and signal three interest rate hikes next year. (CNBC)

* Goldman says oil could hit $100, demand might soon reach ‘new record high’ (CNBC)

Darden Restaurants (DRI) on Friday reported quarterly earnings and revenue that topped analysts' expectations. The Olive Garden parent also announced that CEO Gene Lee will retire May 29. The board elected Chief Operating Officer Rick Cardenas as its next chief executive. Additionally, the company is accelerating its plans to hike wages. Darden raised its fiscal 2022 forecast, anticipating higher sales and earnings than initially forecast. Still, shares fell 3.5% in premarket trading. (CNBC)

Shares of Rivian Automotive (RIVN) plummeted 8% in Friday's premarket, the morning after CEO RJ Scaringe and other executives reported a surge in customer reservations but cut vehicle production expectations for the year. The updates came alongside Rivian's first quarterly report as a public company, which was largely in line with expectations, and confirmation of plans for a new $5 billion plant in Georgia that's expected to come online in 2024. (CNBC)

FedEx (FDX) reinstated its original fiscal 2022 forecast after the bell Thursday, even as persistent labor problems chipped away at profits ahead of the peak holiday season, when the number of packages it handles often doubles. Shares jumped 5% in the premarket. FedEx reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings and revenue. (Reuters)

Shares of several "buy now, pay later" firms sank sharply after the U.S. consumer watchdog opened an investigation into the sector. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said Thursday it was seeking information from companying including U.S.-based Affirm (AFRM) and PayPal (PYPL), on the risks and benefits of their products. (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNBC on Friday that changing the definition of fully vaccinated against Covid is "certainly on the table." The White House's chief medical advisor said there's no doubt the best protection against infection is two shots of the either Pfizer's or Moderna's vaccines and a booster shot. (CNBC)

Fauci said that while the delta variant continues to surge, omicron is "spreading very efficiently." There's been "a lot of breakthrough infections" nationwide, he added. New York City officials said as of Sunday the Covid test positivity rate in the city was 7.8%, up from 3.9% just three days before. (CNBC)

* Apple delays return to corporate offices indefinitely (CNBC)

The CDC on Thursday recommended Pfizer's (PFE) and Moderna's (MRNA) vaccines over Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ) shot for adults, after finding dozens of people developed a rare blood clot condition following vaccination with J&J shots. All of those patients were hospitalized, and nine died. (CNBC)

Novavax (NVAX) rose 1.3% in the premarket on a Financial Times report that the European Medicines Agency may approve its Covid vaccine for emergency use as early as next week. The WHO said on Thursday that it would reveal its position over the vaccine in the coming days, following an expert group meeting.

Dan Ammann, CEO of General Motors' (GM) autonomous vehicle branch Cruise, is leaving the company. The move is effective immediately. Ammann's departure is unexpected. He's former investment banker who was well-respected by Wall Street analysts. (CNBC)

Peloton (PTON) has removed a viral ad featuring Chris Noth from its social media accounts after sexual assault allegations against the "Sex and the City" actor surfaced. The allegations of sexual misconduct appeared Thursday in an article in The Hollywood Reporter.

JPMorgan Chase (JPM) is paying a $125 million fine to settle Securities and Exchange Commission charges that its Wall Street division allowed employees to use WhatsApp and other platforms to circumvent federal record-keeping laws. (CNBC)

Meta (FB) has said that around 50,000 Facebook users have been targeted by private surveillance companies. Meta, which also owns and operates Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger, said in a blog post Thursday that it has alerted the people who it believes were targeted by the malicious activities. (CNBC)

In a three-hour closing argument, the prosecution in Elizabeth Holmes' fraud trial said Theranos' founder chose to deceive investors and patients, calling it "not only callous, it was criminal." The defense, which began its closing argument on Thursday afternoon, countered saying Holmes never intended to mislead. (CNBC)

* Judge tosses $4.5 billion deal shielding Sackler family from opioid lawsuits (Reuters)

President Joe Biden on Thursday appeared to acknowledge that his Build Back Better spending bill may not pass Congress in the remaining weeks of this year. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer has set a Christmas deadline for passing the $1.75 trillion bill, but negotiations have slowed to a crawl. (Reuters)

STOCKS TO WATCH

Winnebago (WGO) added 3.4% in premarket trading after a sizable bottom-line beat for its fiscal first quarter. The recreational vehicle maker earned $3.51 per share, compared with the consensus estimate of $2.26 and revenue that also came in above analyst forecasts.

Bottomline Technologies (EPAY) soared 15% in the premarket after the fintech company agreed to be acquired by private equity firm Thoma Bravo for $57 per share in cash, or $2.6 billion.

Cerner (CERN) Soared 18.9% in premarket trading after the Wall Street Journal reported that Oracle (ORCL) was in talks to buy The healthcare IT firm in a potential $30 billion deal. Oracle fell 4.6%.

U.S. Steel (X) slid 4.4% in the premarket after the company issued lower-than-expected current-quarter guidance, with higher expenses and cautious customer buying patterns offsetting improved steel pricing.

Steelcase (SCS) reported lower-than-expected profit and revenue for the third quarter. The furniture maker said its results have been impacted by supply chain issues and higher costs. Shares fell 4.4% in premarket trading.

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