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What to Watch Today: Wall Street Tries to Keep Its Rebound Rally Going

BY THE NUMBERS

Dow futures rose Wednesday as Wall Street tried to keep its rebound rally going. However, earlier gains were cut sharply and Nasdaq futures slipped. The Dow jumped 549 points, or 1.6%, on Tuesday after starting the week with a 725 point rout. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq recovered more than 1.5%. The delta variant-driven surge in new daily Covid cases in the U.S. and around the world has put investors on edge. (CNBC)

As of Tuesday's close, all three stock benchmarks were still over 1% away from last week's record closes. Adding to swings in stocks this week, the 10-year Treasury yield bounced off Tuesday's 5½-month lows of nearly 1.13%, trading early Wednesday around 1.25%. Bitcoin climbed back above $30,000, rebounding after a sell-off in cryptocurrencies. (CNBC)

Shares of Netflix fell in the premarket after the video-streaming giant late Tuesday missed estimates with second-quarter earnings of $2.97 per share. Revenue of $7.34 billion basically matched forecasts. Global paid net subscriber additions of 1.54 million beat expectations. Netflix also confirmed a push into gaming. (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

Dow stock Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) rose about 1% in premarket trading after the U.S. drugmaker Wednesday delivered better-than-expected earnings of $2.48 per share in the second quarter. Revenue of $23.31 billion also beat expectations. (CNBC)

J&J expects to sell $2.5 billion of its one-shot Covid vaccine this year, even as concerns mount over its effectiveness against the delta variant. A new NYU study suggests that people who got the J&J vaccine get a second shot of it or a booster of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. (CNBC)

The world is in the "early stages of another wave" of Covid infections and death, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Wednesday. Speaking to International Olympic Committee members in Tokyo, Tedros also called on the world's leading economies to share vaccines. (CNBC)

With the Games set to open Friday, after being delayed a year, Tokyo's new infections surged to a six-month high Wednesday. Olympics organizing chief Toshiro Muto on Tuesday refused to rule out canceling the Games if coronavirus cases spiked. A spokesperson later said organizers were "concentrating 100% on delivering successful Games." (AP)

The pandemic drove average life expectancies in the U.S. down by about a year and a half last year, marking the largest one-year decline since World War II, according to new data from the CDC. Americans are now expected to live an average of 77.3 years. Hispanics saw the biggest drop in life expectancy last year, followed by Black Americans. (CNBC)

* China scraps fines, allows families have as many children as they’d like (CNBC)

The bipartisan infrastructure deal senators brokered with President Joe Biden is hanging precariously ahead of a crucial Wednesday test vote as they struggle over how to pay for nearly $1 trillion in public works spending. Tensions were rising as Republicans prepared to mount a filibuster. (AP)

The Biden administration has reached a preliminary agreement with Germany over a controversial Russia-to-Europe gas pipeline, called the Nord Stream 2. It's vehemently opposed by Ukraine and Poland as well as both Republicans and Democrats in Congress. (AP)

The arrest of a key Trump ally, accused of lobbying illegally for the United Arab Emirates, helps illustrate how deeply the oil-rich Middle Eastern country had ingratiated itself with the U.S., during the previous administration. Businessman Tom Barrack, a longtime friend of former President Donald Trump, was charged Tuesday. (CNBC)

* Britney Spears’ conservatorship case prompts bipartisan ‘Free Britney’ bill in Congress (CNBC)

STOCKS TO WATCH

Shares of Dow component Coca-Cola (KO) jumped about 2% in the premarket after the beverage giant reported better-than-expected earnings of 68 cents per share. Revenue of $10.13 billion also exceeded forecasts. Sales surpassed 2019 pre-Covid levels, prompting the company to raise its full-year outlook.

Verizon (VZ), also a Dow stock, rose about 1.5% in premarket trading, after the company beat estimates by 7 cents with adjusted quarterly profit of $1.37 per share. Verizon also reported better-than-expected revenue and subscriber growth, and raised its full-year outlook.

Shares of United Airlines gained about 1% in Wednesday's premarket, the morning after the carrier matched estimates with a second-quarter loss of $3.91 per share. Revenue beat expectations and quadrupled to $5.47 billion. Sales were still down 50% from 2019 levels. United expects to generate positive adjusted pretax income for the third and fourth quarters and plans to ramp up flights.

Harley-Davidson (HOG) reported quarterly earnings of $1.33 per share, 16 cents above estimates, although revenue was short of analyst projections. Its bottom line benefited from sales of more high-margin products like touring and cruiser bikes. Harley shares jumped more than 2.5% in the premarket.

Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) earned an adjusted $7.46 per share, beating consensus forecasts of a $6.52 per share profit. The restaurant chain's revenue was slightly above Wall Street forecasts, and comparable sales also beat analyst projections as indoor dining continued to rebound. Chipotle shares surged roughly 4.5% in premarket trading.

Sleep Number (SNBR) shares fell 28 cents shy of estimates with quarterly earnings of 88 cents per share, with the mattress retailer's revenue below estimates as well. Sleep Number said supply shortages continue to impact its sales, and its stock tumbled more than 12% in the premarket.

SAP (SPA) raised its outlook for the second time this year, with the business software giant benefiting from its work helping customers transition IT operations to the cloud. Despite the raise, SAP shares fell almost 5% in the premarket.

Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) reported adjusted quarterly profit of $3.92 per share, compared with a $3.07 consensus estimate. The surgical equipment maker also reported better-than-expected revenue, as sales and usage of its da Vinci surgical robotic systems increased as medical procedures rebounded post-pandemic. Intuitive Surgical gained 3% in premarket trading.

JPMorgan Chase (JPM) awarded Jamie Dimon 1.5 million stock options that are not exercisable for at least 5 years, with the board saying the award reflects its desire for the 65-year-old CEO to continue in that role "for a significant number of years."

WATERCOOLER

After a 50-year dry spell, the Milwaukee Bucks are NBA champions again. The Bucks defeated the Phoenix Suns, 105-98, on Tuesday in Game 6 of the NBA Finals to win the series, four games to two. Milwaukee's young star Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 50 points, collected 14 rebounds, and blocked five shots. (NBC News)

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