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What to Watch Today: Stocks Set to Rise as June Retail Sales Beat Wall Street Expectations

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BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. equity futures were slightly higher Friday morning, as the first major week of second-quarter earnings reports comes to a close on Wall Street. Dow futures implied an opening gain of more than 70 points, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures also were in the green. (CNBC)

* Treasury yields rise following Fed Chair Powell's testimony (CNBC)

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was the only major index to finish in positive territory Thursday, gaining 53.79 points, or 0.15% to close at 34,987.02. The S&P 500 dipped 0.33%, while the Nasdaq lost 0.7% and broke its three-session win streak. The 30-stock Dow is on track for its fourth positive week in a row and has risen in four of the past five sessions.

* Earnings results ahead may reignite a rally in cyclical stocks linked to the economy (CNBC PRO)

The Commerce Department released better-than-expected June retail sales Friday morning, rising 0.6% for the month. Economists polled by Dow Jones expect retail sales to have declined 0.4% in June.

IN THE NEWS TODAY

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told CNBC she expects "several more months of rapid inflation" before price pressures begin to subside. "I'm not saying that this is a one-month phenomenon. But I think over the medium term, we'll see inflation decline back toward normal levels. But of course, we have to keep a careful eye on it," Yellen told CNBC's Sara Eisen in an interview that aired after Thursday's closing bell. (CNBC)

* The best ways to invest when inflation takes off (CNBC)

The U.S. plans to issue an advisory warning to American businesses about "what may happen" in Hong Kong, as Beijing further exerts influence over the semi-autonomous region, President Joe Biden said Thursday. The situation in the Asian financial hub "is deteriorating," Biden said, while also criticizing the Chinese government for "not keeping its commitment" to the former British colony, which returned to Chinese rule in 1997. The Biden administration also is preparing a batch of sanctions on Chinese government officials for their role in cracking down on democracy in Hong Kong, Reuters reported, citing sources. (CNBC)

Intel (INTC) is in talks to acquire GlobalFoundries for roughly $30 billion, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter. But the newspaper said Intel's potential deal for the U.S.-based chipmaker may not come to fruition. GlobalFoundries, which is owned by Mubadala Investment Company, a United Arab Emirates sovereign wealth fund, had reportedly been exploring a blockbuster initial public offering. (WSJ)

Los Angeles County, the nation's largest county, is requiring people to wear face masks indoors again due to a rise in coronavirus cases, driven by the highly transmissible delta variant. The mandate, which also applies to people who have been vaccinated against Covid, goes into effect before midnight Saturday. (Associated Press)

* WHO chief says it was 'premature' to rule out Covid lab leak (Associated Press)

In an exchange on Twitter, Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk acknowledged the company's forthcoming Cybertruck could "flop, because it is so unlike anything else." However, he said, "I don't care. I love it so much even if others don't. Other trucks look like copies of the same thing, but Cybertruck looks like it was made by aliens from the future." (CNBC)

* Tesla registrations in California surge 85% in second quarter - data (Reuters)

Chinese government officials visited the offices of ride-hailing giant Didi (DIDI) as part of a cybersecurity review, which was announced just days after the company went public June 30. Shares of Didi were down more than 5% in premarket trading. The company is facing a regulatory crackdown from Beijing that has forced it to stop signing up new users; Didi's smartphone app also was removed from app stores in the country. (CNBC)

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance will stop offering digital versions of stocks such as Apple (AAPL), a move that comes as the firm experiences heightened regulatory pressure across the globe. The company said that "effective immediately," stock tokens were unavailable to be bought on its website and after Oct. 14 it will cease support for them overall. (CNBC)

* Gundlach says the bitcoin chart looks pretty scary here, and he wouldn't own it (CNBC PRO)

STOCKS TO WATCH

Moderna (MRNA) shares surged 7.3% in the premarket on news that the drugmaker's stock would be included in the S&P 500 as of Wednesday. It will replace Alexion Pharmaceuticals, which is being acquired by AstraZeneca (AZN).

A study published in The Lancet medical journal found that BioNTech's (BNTX) mRNA-based Covid-19 vaccine produced 10 times more antibodies than the inactivated virus-based vaccine produced by China's Sinovac. BioNTech rose 1.7% in premarket trading.

Carnival (CCL), Royal Caribbean (RCL) and Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH) rose in the premarket after Canada said it would allow large cruise ships to resume visiting the country in November. Carnival added 1.2%, Royal Caribbean gained 1.1% and Norwegian was up 1.7%.

Lordstown Motors (RIDE) said it is under investigation by federal prosecutors in New York, who are looking into Lordstown's vehicle preorders as well as the electric vehicle maker's merger with special purpose acquisition company DiamondPeak Holdings last October. Lordstown fell 1% in premarket trading.

Textron (TXT) was added to the "Conviction Buy" list at Goldman Sachs, which points to a strengthening market for business jets and consensus estimates that it feels are too low.

Honest Company (HNST) shares rose 2.4% in the premarket after the maker of personal care products was upgraded to buy from hold at Loop Capital Markets. Loop said shares are now at an attractive level after a recent pullback.

Live Nation (LYV) was rated buy in new coverage at Goldman Sachs, which said the live entertainment producer is poised to benefit from an expected surge in concert activity. Live Nation added 2.6% in premarket trading.

Molson Coors (TAP) announced it will resume paying quarterly dividends, with a planned payout of 34 cents per share payable on Sept. 17 to shareholders of record as of Aug. 30. The beer brewer had suspended its dividend last May as it dealt with the financial impact of the pandemic.

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